Visa-free Taiwan 2022. What to see, tour prices
If you’ve read my article “Visa-Free Countries 2022”, then you know that by the end of July 2022 a separate island state from China has become a visa-free Taiwan. This means that Russian citizens do not need a visa to visit Taiwan in 2022. Now let’s find out why you should fly to this island, what to do there, what you can save on, and why it’s definitely worth flying to Taiwan. Let’s go!
Island vacations in Taiwan
First, let me tell you about what Taiwan is all about. The island is located in the Pacific Ocean. Its length from north to south is 394 km, from west to east is 140 km. Nature in Taiwan is lush, you can see different kinds of animals and vegetation. A mountain range of extinct volcanoes lies in the east of the island, running north to south. On the west side of the island are the main settlements and beaches.
In visa-free Taiwan, you should come not only for the beaches but also from an excursion point of view. The island combines several cultures from China, colonial Germany, and Great Britain while retaining its individuality.
If you are going to Taiwan, the weather can let you down. February-March and October-November are perfect for the beach season. If you’re more interested in culture and sightseeing, you can safely go from November to February. In the rest of the months the island is dominated by the rainy season, and the stay on it will be uncomfortable.
For Russians, as you have already realized, visa-free regime in Taiwan is no longer needed. This regime has been introduced until the end of July 2022 and this way the government is watching to see if the demand for Russian citizens to visit Taiwan will increase. If everything goes well, then Taiwan will become a visa-free country for us forever. Now you can stay on the island without visa for up to 14 days, inclusive. Basically, two weeks is enough for you to explore the island.
How to get to Taiwan from Russia
In principle, find tours to Taiwan is still unreal. But you can try if there are already. While the demand for this island in Russia is unclear, so there are no charter planes to Taiwan. But you can get to Taiwan on your own by plane from Moscow. There is no direct flight connection between Moscow and Taipei (which is the capital of the island), so you must always change planes. For example, a round trip ticket with connection to Guangzhou will cost about 40 000 rubles:
Expensive? Yes, but exotic. And then you’ll see why. But there are ways to fly cheaper: first you need to get to Vietnam or Hong Kong, then you can fly to Taiwan for 9 000 rubles round trip.
For Russian citizens, both Vietnam and Hong Kong are also visa-free. Now let’s see why you should go to this island and for what to suffer the inconvenience of the transplants:
The island is small, if you stick to a tight schedule, it is possible to explore all the corners, as I said, in two weeks. Or limit yourself to the main attractions of Taiwan, then you will be enough and 7 days. If you are staying in the island’s capital, Taipei, but don’t want to drive all over the island, here are the top attractions near Taipei:
A skyscraper with observation decks on the 89th (closed) and 91st (open) floors. The best time to visit is after 16:00-17:00, the entrance ticket is the usual 500 new Taiwan dollars (exchange rate of 1 to 2, multiply by two – get the price in rubles), a quick ticket without waiting in line 1000 Taiwan dollars. The top of the skyscraper you can get an audioguide and listen to about the city. Inside the skyscraper look at the 660 ton pendulum, which ensures the stability of the skyscraper during earthquakes. The prerequisite is that there is no fog, so it is best to choose the date of your visit according to the weather.
The complex of buildings in the Chinese style and the park. Entrance to the area is free. The square is open around the clock, the entrance to the memorial from 9:00 to 18:00.
There are about 720 thousand exhibits of Chinese culture, the oldest of which is 8 thousand years old. There are two parks around the museum. Admission to the museum is 250 Taiwan dollars, visiting Zhishan Park is free if you show a ticket to the museum or 20 Taiwan dollars, visiting Zhide Park is also free.
In the temple itself you can see a stunning sized Buddha cave (80 meter long tunnel), a balcony with a golden statue of the goddess Mazzu. The view from the top of the temple is from the upper park. After that, it is worth completing the view with a walk or a ride on a rented bicycle through Guangdong National Park. And see the temple from the other side of the river.
The main purpose of a visit to the market is traditional cuisine. The market is open until 2 a.m., it is always very lively and smells diverse. And yes, only cash is accepted here.
Not the fact that you can get around all in one visit, but be sure to see the pandas, white rhinos, koalas. You can enter the zoo before 16:00, but it is better to arrive in advance. The panda enclosure is closed every first Monday of the month. Admission costs NT$60.
Start from the zoo, but don’t combine visits. Be sure to choose clear weather. Often the cable car is closed due to weather conditions. The unlimited travel for the whole day costs NT$180, the travel between two stations costs NT$30 (there are 4 stations in one direction). It is better to choose the stalls with a transparent bottom, although the waiting time is longer, but it will be a lot of impressions. On arrival at the final station don’t sit in the tea houses, but go downstairs, on the way you will find tea houses with more reasonable prices and there are less people. You should walk or take a bus to the temple Zhinan Tample .
The temple is located in the mountain, with a beautiful view of the city and the park around it. From there you can also take the cable car back to the zoo.
It’s humid, crowded, but interesting. Admission to the baths starts at NT$30. A visit to the valley and the thermal springs museum is free.
- Lovers’ Bridge and Promenade in Danshui District
Tranquil neighborhood, waterfront with restaurants serving inexpensive seafood, boat rides.
Yanmingshan National Park.
It is worth a separate item and spending a day, or better, two days to explore it. The park is located to the north of Taipei. There are many hiking trails, mountains, cherry groves, and hot springs. And also extinct volcanoes, rivers and waterfalls. You can get there on your own from Jiantan Station, which is near the Visitor Center. It takes about 40 minutes to get to Lengshuikeng Station. The fare is 30 Taiwan dollars.
Where to stay. Hotels in Taiwan
To get acquainted with the island and see the sights, it is best to choose Taipei or Taichung for accommodation. It will be easier to find a hotel or apartment there for a reasonable price: about 2,500 rubles for a double room with air conditioning, or 500 rubles for a bed in a hostel). Here are the best 3-star hotels in Taipei:
If you choose visa-free Taiwan for a beach vacation, it is best to choose Fulong Beach (not far from Taipei), or the city in the south of the island Hengchung . Lodging prices are not much different from the capital. How to save money on travel accommodation I describe in detail in this article
Food in Taiwan. What to eat?
For those who do not want to give up the usual food – MacDonald’s, 7-eleven, mall food courts. Here you can easily find the food and products habitual for Europeans.
For the experimenters there are night markets. If you are not a sophisticated gourmet, they are not the best place to start your acquaintance with traditional Taiwanese cuisine. Keep in mind that you don’t have to worry about unsanitary conditions at the markets. The legislation in Taiwan is very strict and if any violations are revealed, the shop owner will quickly lose both his place and his business. Be sure to try the squid on a stick and caramelized tomatoes for dessert.
Restaurants and Cafes . Traditional Taiwanese cuisine, which differs from Chinese cuisine, is served in cafes and restaurants. The main dishes are seafood, fish, and grilled meats. The side dishes come in a variety of rice and vegetables. It is not always possible to understand the way of cooking a dish, so it is better to order a few options for sampling. A dinner for two in a cafe can cost about NT$300-400. A dinner at a good restaurant is about NT$1,000 for two.
Sushi Express is a popular type of Asian cafe. Where you sit at a table and plates of food drive past you. You take whatever dish you like. Each plate costs 30 Taiwanese dollars. The bill is brought by the number of empty plates at the end.
How to get around
The best way to get around the city is by subway because almost every tourist attraction has a station with the same name. Fares depend on the number of zones you cross. The city is divided into zones, and if you cross multiple zones, the trip will be more expensive.
You can also use buses. The fare depends again on the distance and starts at 20 Taiwan dollars. The easiest way to travel between cities is by bus. The fare between Taipei and the city of Gohsiung in the south of the island: 5 hours 10 minutes and NT$800 per person. Or by high-speed trains . For comparison, the fare between Taipei and Gohsiung City in the south of the island is 3 hours 36 minutes and NT$950.
Or you can buy an all-terrain pass at once: the EasyCard. You can even use it for paying for long-distance buses and train tickets. And in some cafes and stores. At the issue of the card you pay 200 Taiwan dollars, with 100 – is a deposit for the card, they will return it if you return the card at a special service. The card provides discounts on travel. Learn more about the card at easycard.com.tw/en.
If you have a driver’s license, you can rent a car when you arrive in Taiwan without a visa. It may be a little uncomfortable to drive around the city. But between cities and in remote areas you can go by car.
What to bring
- Green Oolong . It is in Taiwan where the high mountain oolong is grown. The best place to buy it is at tea houses between the Mokong cable car terminus and Zhinan Tample Station.
- Snake tincture, for lovers of exotic stout.
- Hand-painted paper fans.
- Or tea sets for servery lovers.
- Jade handicrafts for jewelry and stone lovers.
- And for the practical – electronics and gadgets, will be cheaper than in Russia.
Prices in Taiwan
The exchange rate of 1 new Taiwan dollar is 2.17 rubles. That is, all prices you see on the price lists multiplied by 2. And so, we make a fintrip Taiwan in rubles.