Taiwan. Travel and vacation in Taiwan.

Visa-free Taiwan 2022. What to see, tour prices

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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 ideal 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.

Visa-free Taiwan

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. Actually 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:

Cheap Tickets to Taiwan

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.

Visa-free Taiwan - How to get there by plane

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:

Taiwan attractions

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:

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Taiwan sights - Taipei 101

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.

What a great temple

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.

Visa-free Taiwan - Temples

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 .

Funicular

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.

  1. Lovers’ Bridge and Promenade in Danshui District

Tranquil neighborhood, waterfront with restaurants serving inexpensive seafood, boat rides.

Taipei Presidency Palace

Yanmingshan National Park.

Yanmingshan National Park 2021

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.

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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 (near Taipei), or the city in the south of the island of 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.

Food in Taiwan

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 particular 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 several zones, the trip will be more expensive.

Visa-free Taiwan: How to get around?

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 give the card back at a special service. The card provides discounts on travel. Learn more about the card at easycard.com.tw/en.

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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

Tea plantation in Taiwan

  • 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 fittingrip Taiwan in rubles.

Taiwan. Travel and vacation in Taiwan.

Taiwan is an island in the Pacific Ocean with an area of 34.5 thousand square kilometers and the Chinese province of the same name. However, the locals have been actively fighting for their independence from Beijing for more than half a century. They are trying to get international recognition of the Republic of China (as they call their state). At present, this task has only been partially accomplished: the independence of Taiwan has been recognized by 22 states, among which there is not a single world leader.

Tourists come to the island of Taiwan all year round for a variety of reasons. Some are attracted by the national parks and nature reserves, which occupy up to 20 percent of the island. And some attracted by the architectural sights, among which there are masterpieces of Chinese, Japanese and European engineers. Taiwan is also popular with entrepreneurs from all over the world, because large international forums and conferences are regularly held here.

Photo: Taiwan East Coast

How to get to Taiwan?

There are 3 operating airports in Taiwan. The largest one is located in Taipei. Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from Moscow to this city, so you should first fly to Bangkok, Beijing, Istanbul or Hong Kong, and from there you should fly to the capital of Taiwan. Approximate travel time with a connection in Beijing is about 12 hours. One way ticket costs approximately 22 thousand rubles.

There are regular buses, electric trains and cabs from the airport to the capital of Taiwan. The cost of a bus ticket is 30 Taiwan dollars (60 rubles). An electric train, which will take you to downtown Taipei in 20 minutes, will cost more – 160 Taiwan dollars (330 rubles).

Photo: Taipei

Useful information for travelers

Taiwan’s official language is Chinese, but most locals can easily communicate in English. The official religion is Buddhism. Taiwan dollar is the main currency. Credit or debit cards are accepted in almost all hotels, restaurants, cafes, and stores. When planning a trip to Taiwan, remember that from June to August it’s rainy season, and the northern part of the island is often cloudy all year round.

Taiwanese people are very friendly and welcoming, and you shouldn’t have any trouble communicating with the local people. If you are going on a self-guided tour around the island, don’t forget to take a business card of the hotel – this rule of safety applies to all countries, and if you get lost, locals or cab drivers will always help you find your way to the hotel. On the other hand, for the convenience of tourists, many signs are in Latin alphabet.

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Photo: Kaarst Valley

Keep in mind that most temples do not allow photography or video, and smoking is prohibited in public areas. Contrary to the expectations of many tourists, here you will hardly see residents in traditional Chinese clothing. In Taiwan, modern European style is in fashion. However, there are nuances, for example, the flip-flops are not worn by Taiwanese, because it is believed that this shoe is for the poor.

You can travel around the island by high-speed trains, local airlines, buses, or rent a bike or car. However, remember that in the capital the roads are very confusing, often forming traffic jams and congestion, in addition, there are serious problems with parking. In this regard, it is best to use a rental car for long-distance trips. Moreover, there is a lot to see here. Here are the most interesting sights in Taiwan.

Photo: Taipei 101 Skyscraper

Taipei 101 Skyscraper

Over 500 meters tall, this giant is a marvel of engineering. It was built in record time. It took only six years to build.

The 101-storey building was built in a zone of earthquakes and strong winds, these factors were taken into account in the design: a giant ball weighing 800 tons was installed on the 92nd floor. Thanks to this design, the Taipei 101 skyscraper is considered the safest in the world. In the event of a strong wind, the balloon swings, dampening the inertia of the building, so that it remains stationary.

The skyscraper consists of 8 tiers of open platforms, which rise above the base of 25 floors. At the moment Taipei 101 is the sixth tallest building in the world. Tourists can get in for free. But to use the high-speed elevator to get to the 89th or 91st floor, where the observation decks are located, you will have to pay in 39 seconds. Important detail. There are two types of tickets. A regular one costs about 95 yuan (950 rubles). With such a ticket, you risk spending a lot of time in line to get in. And there is a special ticket which allows you to go straight to the elevator. True, its price is twice as high.

Photo: National Palace Museum

National Palace Museum

In Taipei, be sure to visit the National Palace Museum. Its collection has about 720 thousand items. Here are the paintings that once adorned the walls of the palaces that belonged to the Yuan, Song, and Qing dynasties. The halls showcase amazingly beautiful porcelain sets, jewelry made of noble metals and precious stones, books and other antiques. There are picturesque parks and squares around the museum, where you can stroll in the shade of trees and take a break from the bustle of the city.

Be careful, the museum does not have a description of some of the exhibits in English. In this regard, we advise you to prepare thoroughly before visiting the palace. Otherwise, it will not be clear why there are such long lines for some items, and whether it is worth spending time on them.

Photo: E-Liu Geopark

E-Liu Geopark

To the east of Taipei lies the small town of Wanli, where Ye-Liu Geopark is located on the cape of the same name. For several thousand years, water and wind have created fantastic “sculptures” in the rocks. It is striking that all these “mushrooms”, “honeycomb”, “candles” and even the famous “Queen’s head” were not created by man, but by nature, whose activity does not stop for a minute. At the edge of the park there is an observation deck with a great view of the East China Sea.

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When walking in E-Liu Park, it is important to remember to take precautions. Because the cape extends almost two kilometers into the sea, it can be dangerous during bad weather. There is a special red rope in the water along the shore, over which it is forbidden: there have been cases where people have been carried away into the sea.

Photo: Yanmingshan National Park

Yanmingshan National Park

Yangmingshan National Park is only 20 kilometers from the capital of Taiwan. Its area is 11 hectares and ranges from 200 to 1,120 meters above sea level. Visitors to the park can take part in a clever “attraction” specially invented by the administration to attract as many tourists as possible. Wearing rubber boots, everyone can walk through the glade, dotted with calla lilies, and collect a bouquet of these beautiful flowers, which will be immediately packed by helpful staff. In addition, you can wander the narrow paths, take a break in a small hotel, taste the national cuisine, and visit the hot springs, enjoying the beauty of the surrounding nature.

Photo: Sacred Hall of Arts and Letters

Sacred Hall of Military and Literary Arts

The city of Kaohsiung, a four-hour drive from the capital of Taiwan, is famous for its Sacred Hall of Military and Literary Arts. It was erected to worship the warrior-god Guan Gong and the ancient thinker Confucius. At the bottom of the complex is a memorial and several altars decorated with beautiful carvings. On the second floor is a hall dedicated to Confucius. It is notable only for the name of the philosopher carved on its walls. The third floor was an exact copy of the Jade Emperor’s chambers. This hall is the most beautiful: numerous frescoes on the walls, paintings on the ceiling, dragons, a memorial decorated with a scattering of precious stones – all this luxury delights and amazes every visitor.

Photo: Chengqing Lake

Chengqing Lake

Not far from Kaohsiung City is Chengqing Lake. Its name can be translated as “crystal clear”. The locals call it the Lotus Lake, and for good reason. Every year these beautiful flowers bloom on the water surface, and their beauty has been many times praised by oriental poets.

Around the lake stretches a picturesque park with numerous temples. One of them was built in honor of the god of medicine Pasheng Tati more than a century ago. Causes surprise original zigzag bridge, which connects small islands with each other. Tourist walk is not limited only to the observation of natural beauty. Everyone can rent a boat or ride a horse, go fishing and even play golf.

Photo: Temple of the Three Phoenixes

Temple of the Three Phoenixes

In Kaohsiung, tourists most often visit one of the island’s most beautiful temples, the Temple of the Three Phoenixes, whose entrance is guarded by large stone lions. In the Hall of the Buddha you can see three of his images, which “sit” on a lotus, the backs of an elephant and a lion. They are surrounded by armed guards as well as temple novices who read prayers and are here at all times.

The Temple of the Three Phoenixes is always open to the public. You do not need to pay to enter, the main thing is to behave quietly and calmly.

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