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Visiting Taiwan
Your visa
The 90 days loophole
Conscription – Do I have to do military service?
How do I get to Taiwan?
What should my budget be?
How safe is Taiwan?
What is the best city to visit?
What is the best time of year to visit?
What should I bring?
What should I buy?
How much Chinese do I need to know?
What are some of the lesser-known attractions in Taiwan?
Living in Taiwan
For work
How can I work in Taiwan?
How much Chinese do I need to know?
Where should I live?
For study
How can I study Chinese?
Undergrad & Graduate study
Where can I meet people?
Teaching English in Taiwan
ESL 101 in Taiwan
What other jobs are available?
How can I sort my work permit and residency?
Taiwan's healthcare system for travelers and residents
r/Taiwan FAQs

Visiting Taiwan
Your visa
Citizens of the following countries can obtain a landing visa for up to 90 days:
Andorra, Australia (Effective from January 1, 2015 for one year), Austria, Belgium,
Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland,
France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic
of Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the
Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K., U.S.A. and Vatican City
Citizens of Malaysia and Singapore can obtain a landing visa for up to 30 days.
You must have a passport that is valid for at least six months.
You must bring an onward/return ticket to prove you will be exiting the country.

The 90 days loophole
TL;DR: Yes, you can exit and reenter the country every 90 days to renew
your visitor visa.
For people who do not want to apply for an ARC through work, school, or joining
family, there is the option to buy a round-trip ticket to a neighboring country
(usually Hong Kong, as it is the closest). People who use this method will fly out
every 90 days and return (sometimes on the same day), effectively renewing their
landing visa. This can be done indefinitely, though if you are planning to stay in
Taiwan for a length of time, it is better to obtain your ARC.
Source: TECO NY

TL;DR: If you have never had a household registration in Taiwan, you do
not need to worry about conscription. Source:
A frequent concern of young Taiwanese men born or residing abroad is the
possibility of conscription upon returning to the country, even when traveling on
their foreign passport.
As of 2012, the law is as follows:
According to Article 20 of the Constitution, Articles 1, 3 and 32 of the Act of

Military Service System, all male ROC nationals with household registration in
Taiwan have the obligation to do military service. A man aged 18 starts his
military service day from January 1st of the proceeding year and will be
discharged on December 31st of the year at the age of 36.
Young men 18-36 with a household registration in Taiwan who are studying
in Taiwan can apply through their school to be deferred from the draft. Source:
According to the Regulations for Exit of Draftees Article 14: For a draftee having
maintained his household registration in Taiwan and has at the same time the
status of double nationalities shall enter into and depart from Taiwan by
presenting his ROC passport; any draftee entering into Taiwan by presenting a
foreign passport and is duly subject to conscription shall be restricted from
departing from Taiwan.

How do I get to Taiwan?
Taiwan's most frequented airport, Taipei Taoyuan International (TPE) is located in
Taoyuan county, roughly one hour outside of Taipei. Carriers including United
Airlines, EVA Air, China Airlines, KML, Cathay Pacific, fly direct to TPE from all over
the world, and many more include just one stop in a neighboring country such as
After arriving: Depending on your arrival time, there are variety of options for
onward travel within Taiwan after reaching TPE. These include:
Buses – Buses run frequently from the arrivals terminal to destinations in the
heart of Taipei, as well as outside cities such as Zhongli and Taichung. Source:
Taoyuan Airport Bus Schedule
Taxi – Taxis swarm around the outside of the airport. Expect to pay anywhere
between 800-1500 NT for a taxi to Taipei. If you do not speak Chinese, make sure
to have the address of your hotel ready to show to your driver.
High Speed Rail – There is a shuttle bus that runs between the airport and the
Taoyuan High Speed Rail station: Bus #705, running every 5-10 minutes at peak,
25 minute trip to the HSR. Cost: $30NT. Tickets can be purchased in the Arrivals
Lobby in both terminals 1 and 2.

What should my budget be?
Taiwan is a very inexpensive country to visit compared to its neighbors. No one
can accurately predict how much money you will spend every day, as there are
many variables, but consider these ways to do Taiwan on the cheap:
Food: Eat the local food. Western restaurants (especially in Taipei) are familiar,
but expensive. Find the longest line at the dingiest cart with someone's grandma
serving up fried rice and go wild.
Transportation: Don't waste your time or money on taxis. Public transportation
in Taiwan is clean, safe, efficient, and everywhere. Buses run $15NT for one trip
(上 = pay when you get on, 下 = pay when you get off). The MRT in both Taipei and
Kaohsiung is constantly expanding and will take you just about anywhere these
days. Scooter rental is possible if you know a Taiwanese person or have an
international driver's license (inside major cities), or sometimes just by using your
passport. Opinions vary on driving in Taiwan: it can be either fun or terrifying.
Shopping: Nightmarkets are where it's at in terms of budget shopping. In terms
of quality, maybe not so much – but part of the fun is walking through the colorful
stalls and picking up trinkets. Tourist traps are plentiful near major monuments;
avoid them and you're likely to see the same thing for sale in the nightmarket that
evening. Western brand stores and electronics are two things you are unlikely to
find much cheaper in Taiwan – save your clothing or computer shopping for your
return home.
Nightlife: Clubs and bars are plentiful in the major cities, but there's also... 7-11.
Alcohol is sold in every convenience store, of which there can be several on one
block, and Taiwan permits drinking in public. So grab a can and head to the park
for people-watching for a cheaper night out.
Activities: Taiwan has an abundance of cheap activities, from free concerts and
museums to hiking and hot springs. Check out Taipei Trends or Taiwan's official
events calendar to see what's happening during your stay.

How safe is Taiwan?
Taiwan is an incredibly safe country. It was recently ranked 2nd in the world's safest
countries (Source). The US Department of State reports fraud, pick-pocketing,
petty theft, and road dangers as the biggest threats to travelers.
Groups such as women, LGBT, people traveling with small children, and the
elderly do not need to worry about much while traveling in Taiwan. Walking alone
at night even in major cities rarely results in harassment, violence, or crime. The
metro system provides a monitored area of all platforms for women to stand at
night, and the streets are usually well-lit and busy in the cities. Exercise the usual
amount of awareness and caution you would use while traveling anywhere in the
Emergency services:
119 – Fire and Ambulance
110 – Police
1999 – Citizens Hotline
+886-2-2717-3737 – Tourist Information Line
A complete list of emergency and informational service numbers can be found

What is the best city to visit?
This will depend greatly on what you want out of Taiwan – scenery, the experience
of a bustling city, surfing and beaches, or a taste of local life? On a multi-day trip
it is entirely possible to see several of Taiwan's major cities and even pack in a
day or two at the beach. The HSR is the fastest way to get around on the west
side, but if you're into the slower pace of the east coast, the TRA will be your

What is the best time of year to visit?
Taiwan has a humid subtropical climate. You can expect the summers to be hot
and wet (34-38C) and the winters cold and wet (10-17C). The most agreeable
weather occurs in early spring between March – April/early May, and in the fall
between October and November. Yes, it rains a lot, but more so in the north.

What should I bring?
As gifts for Taiwanese: Brand name edibles, clothing/accessories/personal care
items (think Bath & Body Works, and other brands unavailable in Taiwan), or
vitamins can be good gifts for your Taiwanese friends or relatives.
As gifts for foreigners: If you're coming to visit a friend or family member, candy
and junk food is a much sought-after item for expats. As above, some brands of
personal care items are also not widely available in Taiwan.
Packing for your trip:
TaiwanEnglish: A list of recommended items (for moving, but can apply to
LaoRenCha: Things to bring if you're female and moving to Taiwan (also good for
longer-term visitors)

What should I buy?
As gifts for your family/friends/whoever: Keep in mind you are limited by the
import restrictions of your country – check before you buy!
Pineapple cakes are the go-to gift as they are delicious and easy to throw in your
luggage. If that's not your thing, you can always check out the bobbleheads of
various dictators available at Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall?

How much Chinese do I need to know?
TL; DR: Not much if you're just traveling, though it will make your life
easier. If you plan to stay long-term, it's essential to take some time to
study the language.
Taiwan's main language is Mandarin, though a good amount of people also speak
Taiwanese, and the Hakka language is alive and well in some parts of the country.
Road and directional signs tend to be in Pinyin and English (ex. BoAi Road), or
sometimes entirely in English (ex. Civic Boulevard). If you're traveling by car, keep
in mind that the road naming system has gone off the rails a bit (at least in Taipei)
where Zhongxiao East Road, one of the city's main arteries, is referred to as “4th
Avenue” on some maps.
Signs at transportation areas such as the airport, railways, and MRT are in Chinese
and English, and the stops for all MRT and bus stations are announced in
Mandarin, Taiwanese, Hakka, and English. Many restaurants have an entirely
English menu on hand, or the English will be written just below the Chinese on the
regular menu. Most people under the age of 35 can speak a bit of English,
however your mileage may vary.
It is possible in the cities to get by with no Mandarin skills and body language,
however, it becomes increasingly difficult the further you get outside of populated
areas. Traveling with a phrasebook or the like can save a lot of time and
If your plan is to stay longer than one year, it is a good idea to polish up your
Mandarin. Aside from being just plain respectful to the country and its people, it
will make life much more interesting to be able to converse, and open up more

What are some of the lesser-known attractions in
R/Taiwan had a great thread going about this. Check it out here.
For more off-the-beaten-path adventures, check out Synapticism.

Living in Taiwan
For work
How can I work in Taiwan?
Many Westerners in Taiwan work in buxibans, or cram schools, teaching children.
ESL teaching is the easiest and fastest way to come to the country and get
acclimated (See section on ESL teaching below). Others find jobs in technology,
business, finance, or as liaisons for their company.
How much Chinese do I need to know?
For cram schools, zero. Your job will be to teach English and speak English only. If
you plan on staying long-term or want to learn for yourself, you can work Chinese
classes into your schedule.
For other types of work, it will depend on what your company requires of you.
Being able to speak the local language will of course make you a more attractive
Where should I live?
TL;DR Keep your expectations low.
As with all major cities, Taipei is one expensive locale. Do not expect to get a
swanky apartment in the middle of town for a low price. New Taipei City, just over
the river, is quickly becoming a popular site for people to settle down due to lower
housing cost. As you move south the housing prices drop significantly, making
cities like Tainan quite attractive for people looking to save or spend less while
If you're set on Taipei, expect to spend at least NT$5000/month for one room in a
shared apartment (sometimes stuffed with lots of other roommates), NT$1215,000 for your own studio, and around NT$19-21,000 for a one or two-bedroom,
depending on location. Utilities may or may not be included in this price.
Don't expect your landlord to speak English. Take a Taiwanese friend or coworker

with you to sign the contract, which is more often than not in Chinese. You may
have to show your ARC or passport to the landlord at the time of signing. There
are few landlords who will rent short-term – apartments with a revolving door of
other expats do exist, but expect to sign for six months to a year.

For study
How can I study Chinese?
There are dozens of Chinese language schools in Taiwan, in various cities all
around the island. A full list of language schools can be found here. Some of the
programs are more speaking/listening focused, while others put emphasis on
reading and even writing. There is a lot of debate about the “best” program and
the effectiveness of each school's methods.
More listed here, from the Ministry of Education's official site.
Undergrad & Graduate study
It is possible to study a subject other than Chinese in Taiwan. Visit for a comprehensive list of schools, majors, and what programs
are offered in English (Yes, there are some!)

Where can I meet people?
Language Exchanges – such as the Taipei Language Cafe
Sports – On Tap in Taipei sponsors several sports teams. The bridge nearest to
Huashan 1914 Creative Park (nearest MRT: Zhongxiao Xinsheng) often has groups
of skaters hanging around. Pickup games of football/soccer can be found in many
of the riverside parks.
Expat bars in Taipei include: On Tap, Revolver, Beer & Cheese, Brass Monkey.
Thirsty in Taipei has a great list of unusual pubs in the city.

Teaching English in
Do I have to teach English?
Teaching is often the quickest and easiest way to get situated in Taiwan.
If you are looking to teach, there are hundreds of resources online for starting a
job in this field. Here are just a few:
Chain Schools
Reach to Teach
Dave's ESL Cafe
Teach Taiwan
Go Overseas

Giraffe English
Global Village

(and many more....)

What other jobs are available?
There are jobs available in other industries such as technology, business, and
finance. However, these jobs often require a certain level of fluency in Mandarin or
several years of professional experience.
Other options include working for foreign entities such as the British Council.
Some people do well in freelancing, the arts, or the restaurant business.

How can I sort my work permit and residency?
If you come to Taiwan to teach, your company will sort your ARC and work permit
for you, and may help you find living arrangements. The requirements for an ARC
-Application form
-Proof of employment
-2’’ x 2’’ colored photo, front head and shoulder, taken within six months.

-NT $1,000 / year

What's the best company to work for?
Teaching experiences can vary greatly. Horror stories have come out of every
corner of the island, but there are still a great many teachers who are happy doing
their thing. Research is your friend here – see what others have said about your
prospective company and take everything with a grain of salt.

Taiwan's healthcare system for travelers and
Last year, Taiwan topped the expat health care charts. If you are living and
working in Taiwan you will be enrolled in National Health Insurance. If you are
visiting, you can still pay to see a doctor. The cost will be significantly less than
what you might expect to pay in the US. A trip to see a specialist can be as low as
NT$1,000 and a routine doctor's visit may only cost you NT$500.
AIT has a comprehensive list of medical facilities and a great overview of medical
care in Taiwan.

r/Taiwan FAQs