Taipei Getaway: Tips For VISA and Early Morning Arrival

Our very first morning in Taipei is consisted of strolling along Ximen road and having quick breakfast from a local cafe before heading to...

Our very first morning in Taipei is consisted of strolling along Ximen road and having quick breakfast from a local cafe before heading to Xiandian River and the rest of our itinerary. 

It was our first time in this city and I'm completely charmed. 

But before the tour, let me tell you how we got to book Taipei in the first place. 


Our flight to Taipei on wonderful winter weather was on a last flight of Airasia from Manila to Taiwan on a Friday night - that's after workweek. It was around 11:30 pm when we left Manila and arrived at around 1:30am of next day in Taoyuan International Airport. 

I know, this is one unusual flight to choose from considering it's a new city for us. It wasn't exactly a convenient choice and would not be okay with majority of vacationers here. But hubs and I are adamant and can be unconventional sometimes. 

The deciding factor was it's a low airfare deal when I was looking for a quick getaway and which will not disrupt so much of our schedules from work. I must admit, booking this trip was a spur of the moment kind of thing. And I got it just about 2 weekends away from the date of our departure. However, it may not be the only factor you need to consider. Why?


Taiwan requires visa from Filipino visitors unless you have been issued a visa before from the following countries that is not more than 10 years expired - Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Schengen countries, UK and USA. If you have any of these document you are qualified for their visa-free entry by securing the ROC Travel Authorization Certificate instead. 

It's applied here and once approved, print your certificate. It must be presented at the airport and when entering Taiwan together with your passport having at least 6 months remaining validity starting from date of arrival in Taiwan.

An approved ROC Travel Authorization Certificate is valid for 90 days, with multiple entries and with maximum stay for 30 days on each entry. If you wish to extend, check this website for more information.


Starting June 1, 2017, Philippine passport holders are granted to have visa-free entry for up to 30 days in Taiwan. This is a trial basis initially granted for a year.  (Source)


It was just the two of us having an unconventional trip schedule and since it was Valentine's weekend, we figured that it will be our "we time" and a escape from the traffic and busyness of Manila for that weekend.

After the queuing on Immigration, mini-stops inside the airport for a snack and waiting for our bus to Taipei city, we left the airport at about 2:50am. We are both too sleepy but excited with the winter vibes to feel tired. 

The airport is clean and has lounges where you can find seats to sleep if you want to. Some are sleeping at the airport to wait the crack of dawn, I guess - tipid tips for accommodation expenses. 

We followed what our friend from Taiwan advised us on what bus to take and its estimated travel time from airport to our hotel. With an hour away to Taipei Main Station, I set my alarm clock on the phone to 40 minutes as soon as we're seated and the bus is moving away from the airport to have some rest. I am that kampante (relax; trusting) that we won't missed our stop even we fall asleep!

Not only that they do have clean, comfortable and safe public transport system; but we've just proven that it's also reliable and efficient. I was forced to wake up when I felt that too many lights were on, which is our bus lights and it has just reached the main station. Obviously, the hubs is more exhausted coz he's still in deep sleep so I woke him up. 

At the main station on a winter in Taipei - 9 deg Celcius as you can see on the LED display of the tall building in front.

We arrived at the main station sooner than we thought. The driver announced it thru their paging system as well as its flashing on the bus' LED signage. We're not lost on our first leg. Hooray!

Route of buses to help you pick the right one for your destination.

From main station to our hotel, we rented a cab. We could have walked the distance but we're too tired and we don't know yet which way to go. By that time I'm also exhausted to figure out google map in Taiwanese character. Haha. So, I just show the address from my phone (which I have saved on my phone before we left Manila) to our cab driver. It has both English and Taiwanese characters. 

In about a minute, we're on the lobby and checking in to Ximen Hotel

By the time were on our room, my 40-minute setting on alarm clock went on which I forgot to turn off when we alighted the bus. It's 3:40am and it's too cold and we're too eager to curl up on our king-sized bed and get cozy under the soft white linen. Time to recharge!

Overall, it was fast, no traffic, no overcharging from cab driver and without hassle even we're arriving on the wee hours! 

For sourcing a good airfare and traveling hassle free (like we just had a late-Friday-night gimik before going home), I could pat my own back if I could reach it coz that was really a good job! Haha. 

Now the tour. Coming up is Xindian River photos and the Grand Central Station of New York feels in Taipei! 


This is a series which I started with hello! Read Hello Taipei.

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  1. I hope you had a great time there in Taipei. I have been there several times and since I was a child. I think it is one of the safest cities I have ever been to, and people are polite and not disruptive. Impressive also if you were taking a bus or taxi, and then you see all those roads on top of other roads, right?

    1. Thanks, Sir Robert! :) We really had a great time. Yeah, disciplined and mirroring Japan. Only it's smaller and easier to navigate. Which is good!

  2. Your room looks very nice and laconic, because everything is done very casually and with an interesting design decision.


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