Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Welcome to Taiwan

Welcome to Taiwan.

I might have looked to the immigration officer like a person who would use whatever means necessary to enter his country. What rang his warning bells? Must have been my unruly mustache or the very handsome mugshot on my passport. Of the few countries I have been to, this is the first country where the immigration officer scrutinized my passport with an eyepiece.

Welcome to Taiwan. Really.

After finding nothing wrong with my passport (hey, I'm an honest guy!), the immigration officer stamped my passport thru with nary a "Welcome to Taiwan". Nevertheless, I was happy to be officially out of his sight and officially in his country.

Welcome to Taiwan. Now, move it.

The plan. Take a Kuo–Kuang Bus 1819 from Taoyuan International Airport to Taipei Main Station. Kuo-Kuang buses depart every 15 minutes from 540AM to 1230AM. After 1230AM, there are only two other schedules: 1AM and 130AM. The bus ride will take about an hour and would cost NT$125 (about Php190). From Taipei Main Station, take the Taipei Metro (minimum fare NT$20 or about Php30) to my hostel.

The reality. I am a tightwad and it sucks being one. Being a tightwad means getting cheap airplane tickets. Which means getting stuck with sucky flight schedules. Which often means arriving late at night or in the wee hours of the morning. In our case, we arrived after midnight and got out of the airport after 1AM when there was only one bus bound for the city and the trusty Taipei Metro was fast asleep. Too lazy to do transfers (bus then taxi), whatever we saved from our plane ticket we spent for a taxi from the airport to the city (NT$1300; about Php1950).

Taiwan Series:
Tourist Visa for Taiwan
Taiwan Preparations
What's in a (Business) Name? Taiwan
Wisdom from the Road #20
Welcome to Taiwan (you're here!)
Taipei Accommodation: Fun Taipei Backpackers
Free Taipei Tourist Stops
Wisdom from the Road #21
An Artist's Playground
House Visits: Shilin Main Presidential Residence and Lin Family Mansion and Garden
Life in Mini
Time to Count My Money, Taiwan
Tasting Taipei, Starting with Breakfast
Tasting Taipei, Splurge Section
Tasting Taipei, Shilin Market
Tasting Taipei, Random Food Finds


  1. Excited to read your Taiwan adventures... But I agree, riding on a LCC carrier has consequences - arriving late at night or most flight are red eye flights - they save money from evening and early morning airport as slot charges for those time are cheaper.

    1. Thanks Ian! It might take me another month or so to finish this series hehehe :D Right, we get what we pay for hehehe.

  2. for some reason, i always get nervous queuing at immigration. i probably look guilty as hell even though i have nothing to be guilty about.

    this one time, in kuala lumpur, this immigration officer took forever to assess my passport. he kept scrutinizing my passport and then looking up at me for a good 10 or so minutes. he even got up from his seat and verified my passport with his boss. asked me to show him my itinerary and all that. nerve-wracking is an understatement to describe that ordeal. i was holding up the line and in my head, images of cruel airport detentions i've ever seen on every television program floated in and out of my mind. crazy!

    1. Hahahahaha I can imagine!!! Any other countries, in your experience, that were strict (well, by that I mean, asked so many questions) upon entry?