Fun in Taiwan: Sun Moon Lake

2016 has been my best year in terms of traveling, and I’ve yet to write anything about my 2016 trips. So let me start it off with our Taiwan trip last April 2016.

Taiwan, officially called the Republic of China (ROC), is a state in East Asia, with neighbors including China (west), Japan (northeast) and Philippines (south).  It is around 4 hrs and 30 mins trip from Singapore Changi Airport to Taoyuan International Airport. We went there on the first weekend of April hoping to catch the tail end of the sakura/spring season.

Early Saturday morning, we took the red eye flight to Taiwan via Scoot. Once we arrived in Taoyuan International Airport, we took UBus 705 (N$30; S$1 = ~22N$) (found in Terminal 1) which took us to the HSR (High Speed Rail) Taoyuan Station.

Cherry blossoms found outside Taoyuan HSR Station

Cherry Blossoms found outside Taoyuan HSR Station


Taiwan High Speed Rail (also known as THSR, HSR, or Gāotíe) is a high-speed rail line approximately 345KM in length running along the west coast of Taiwan from Taipei Main Station in the north to Kaohsiung in the south.  Similar to Shinkansen of Japan, the HSR can reach speeds of up to 330 km/hr. There are 3 different seating sections: non-reserved (car 10-12), reserved and business class. There are automated ticket vending machines available in the stations, as well as counters. More information on traveling via Taiwan HSR here.

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Fun in Taiwan: Visa Application

Taiwan (Republic Of China) is an island nation located east of Hong Kong and north of the Philippines. Before it became ROC, Taiwan was under the Japanese regime until World War II when it was claimed by People’s Republic of China and thus was called Republic of China. In a way, it is an independent country but still under the constitution of PRC.

Acquiring a VISA to enter Taiwan

Entering Taiwan, like China, requires a Visa for certain passport holders, Philippines included. There is a fee of S$65 single entry visitor visa application in Singapore with the following requirements:

  1. a passport with validity of at least six months upon entry .
  • visa-exempt entry only applies to foreign visitors holding formal passports (i.e. ordinary, official/service and diplomatic passports), not including those holding emergency, temporary, other informal passports or travel documents.
  • Japanese passport holders with their passports valid for more than 3 months are eligible for visa-exempt entry.
  • US passport (including emergency passport) holders with their passports valid for the period of intended stay are eligible for visa-exempt entry.

2. a confirmed return air/sea ticket or an air/sea ticket and a visa for the next destination, and a confirmed seat reservation for departure.

3. non-criminal record and not prohibited by the local authorities to enter the R.O.C.

The requirements and procedure for visa application for Philippine passport holders residing in Philippines can be found on this link.

Aside from applying for Visa, there is also an option to apply for Travel Authorization Certificate. Nationals of India, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia, who possess a valid visa (including an electric one) or permanent resident certificate issued by U.S.A., Canada, Japan, U.K., Schengen Convention countries, Australia or New Zealand, are eligible for the visa exemption program, which permits a duration of stay up to 30 days. Since I have a trip to Australia in 4 months after going to Taiwan, I decided to get an Australian Visa first and use it to apply for the Travel Authorization Certificate to Taiwan. Take note that you can only use a valid visa for the TAC if: 1. on the same continuing journey, you are using the Visa to the issuing country prior to your arrival in Taiwan AND/OR 2. you will arrive in Taiwan before the expiration date of the valid visa.

After getting my Australian Visa grant, I applied for the TAC right away and it was approved on the same day. The printed version of both visa and TAC is needed to be shown to Taiwan immigration upon arrival.


Jinkay ❤