Arriving in Taiwan

arriving in taiwan

So your flight landed in Taiwan (most likely Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei City), what do you do next after getting your bags and luggage?

1. Get some Taiwan dollars (NTD)

You can exchange your home currency for NTD at the many currency exchange shops in the terminal after exiting your arrival gate. The exchange rates are all fairly similar among the different currency shops. You can also withdraw NTD from the ATM. The Bank of Taiwan has multiple locations and ATMs in the airport. I have never been charged any withdrawal fees when withdrawing money from a Bank of Taiwan ATM, but check for any fees your home bank might charge for international withdrawals. When withdrawing money, choose to defer your conversion to get a better rate.

If you don’t want to exchange too much money at the airport, then that is fine too. You can find a Cathay United Bank ATM machine in almost every metro station. I use my US Citibank ATM card to withdraw money from these ATM machine all the time. There is a 20,000 NTD limit on withdrawals from these ATM machines.

2. Get a SIM Card.

You should get a SIM card before you exit the airport. You will need it to use google maps to navigate Taipei City and get to your room check-in. You can also use it to contact your landlord if you get lost. There are plenty of telecom shops selling tourist SIM cards at the airport. You can find SIM cards with durations ranging from 3 days to 180 days. The three largest telecom companies in Taiwan is Chunghwa Telecom, Far EasTone, and Taiwan Mobile. All three companies have locations at the airport and in Taipei City. Please check out this article about the best SIM cards for tourists for more information.

3. Contact your Landlord

After you get your SIM card, you should contact your landlord to let him/her know that you arrived at the airport. The landlord can then prepare to meet you at your room for check-in. You can also let the landlord know if you will be running late. Almost all landlords in Taiwan use Line as their preferred method of communication.

4. Get Transport to Taipei City

There are many ways to get to Taipei City from the Airport. You can take the Taoyuan Airport MRT, the bus, taxi, Uber or private transport. The cheapest and longest method is the bus, which will typically drop you off at Taipei Main Station. The next cheapest option is the Taoyuan Airport MRT. Make sure you take the express train, which will bring you to Taipei Main Station/Beimen Station in about 30-40 minutes. It is about a 10 minute walk from when you exit the Taoyuan Airport MRT to Taipei Main Station/Beimen Station.

The price of taxis, Uber and private transport are comparable (with private transport slightly more expensive). If you take the taxi, you should be prepared to let the taxi driver know the location of where you are going in Chinese. Most taxi drivers do not speak English.

If you want to book a driver to meet you at the airport, then you can use this Link to book your private transport in advance. A driver will be ready to meet you at the airport when you arrive and take you to your room in Taipei.

Please read this article about getting from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei for more information.

5. Check-In

When you meet your landlord for check-in, the landlord will require you to sign a rental contract and pay the security deposit. Please discuss with your landlord how they want you to pay the security deposit. Most landlords will only take cash in NTD. Some landlords may let you pay by PayPal or wire transfer if you pay for all the transaction fees. Please make sure you’ve gone over this with your landlord before you arrive in Taipei. The landlord will also go over the house rules if you live in a shared apartment. They will let you know about the trash or cleaning schedule and other responsibilities you may share with your housemates.

6. Buying Basic Necessities

After you settled in after your check-in, you may want to go shop for some basic necessities such as shampoo, body wash, toothbrush, snacks, drinks etc. You can get almost all of your basic necessities at any 7-11, Family Mart, Watson, Cosmed or Poya. There should be a few of these shops near your room. If you want to purchase groceries at the same time, then look for a Jason’s Marketplace, PX Mart or Carrefour. These are popular and common chain supermarkets in Taipei City. There is probably one near you.

7. Getting Dinner

Its your first night in Taipei and you want to experience local food, so where should you go? There many local Taiwanese food shops in the Shida night market (near Taipower MRT Station), Gongguan night market (near Gongguan night market) and on Yongkang street near Dongmen MRT Station. You might want to start in one of these locations if you are living nearby just to make it easy on yourself for your first night in Taiwan. You can find all the popular local food like smelly tofu and beef noodle soup in these areas.

If you have any questions about preparing for your arrival in Taiwan, please feel free to contact us at My Room Abroad.