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How and Where to buy a Taiwan SIM Card for Tourist in 2023

Travelling in Taiwan is fun and exciting for any solo traveller. And having a Taiwan SIM card can make travelling even easier.

Sometimes I like to stay offline, but I found many benefits in getting a Taiwan prepaid SIM card. It helped with navigating within a city, travelling to another part of Taiwan, finding local attractions, searching for delicious Taiwanese food at restaurants and night markets, and so much more.

And it is easy to buy a Taiwan tourist SIM card. Keep reading, and I will tell you exactly how and where to buy a Taiwan SIM card for tourist.

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Before you buy a Taiwan SIM Card for tourist

Before you get a SIM card in Taiwan, take a look at my post on all my best tips for travelling to Taiwan. I included a lot of information, including first-time travellers’ tips, transportation around the country, booking accommodations, and much more.

Here are some information you need to know before buying a prepaid SIM card in Taiwan:

  • It is possible to buy a prepaid SIM card at all the airports, mobile retail stores in the city and order through Klook
  • When you buy your Taiwan SIM card, you must provide the following:
    • Passport
    • Secondary identification – entry permit, visa, tourist visa, international student card, official ID such as driver’s license, identity card, or social security card (this is a new requirement)

Why you should get a Taiwan SIM card for tourist

Whether you are in Taiwan for a few days or several weeks, getting a Taiwan tourist SIM card can make your time in Taiwan that much better.

Here are some reasons why you should get a local SIM card:

1. Taiwan SIM Card: affordable prices and uninterrupted services

One time I accidentally left my overseas phone on while travelling, and I racked up a hefty phone bill! I realized this after I was charged for roaming fees! I swear I will never do that again!

Since then, I’ve always purchased local prepaid SIM cards whenever I travel.

While buying a prepaid SIM card in Taiwan is affordable, it is not as cheap as in some other Southeast Asian countries, but it is still pretty inexpensive. More about prices a little later.

Plus, the coverage of the mobile phone service is excellent. I could use my phone in cities, small towns, high up in the mountains in Alishan and deep into the hiking trails. There wasn’t any disruption at any point.

2. Get online and navigate with Google Maps

While you can still use Google Maps offline, you cannot see everything in great detail. Especially if you want to zoom in or look at specific information about an attraction or a restaurant, you will need to be online to see all the details in Google Maps.

Using Google Maps to navigate can replace traditional maps and travel guides. Plus, Google Maps has all the updated information for every location.

3. Searching for public transportation in Taiwan

In major cities across Taiwan, Google Maps can show you the exact bus, train, subway or any public transport you need. It also shows alternative routes, wait times, and costs as well.

In Taipei, there are many modes of public transportation. Google Maps can show you exactly how to get from point A to point B by bus, subway or train.

And in Taichung, I use Google Maps exclusively to find the best bus routes to different parts of the city and for day trips to Gaomei Wetlands, Zhongshe Flower Market and Carton King Creativity Park.

However, Yilan was the only place that didn’t give me enough information. Google Maps didn’t show the exact time since the bus schedule is elusive and less frequent than in other cities. But it was still useful to have Google Maps to see which buses are available.

4. Order Uber car rides with your smartphone

Uber is a multinational ride-hailing company. In Taiwan, it is easier to use Uber than take a cab, as most drivers may not speak English.

If you haven’t set up the Uber app on your smartphone, you need a local number to set up an account.

5. Use free internet at Starbucks in Taiwan

In Taiwan, you need to set up an account with Starbucks to use the free wifi. To do that, you must enter a local Taiwan phone number, which sends you a code via SMS to verify.

After setting up your account, you can use unlimited wifi at any Starbucks location across the country.

Telecommunication service providers + Taiwan prepaid SIM card prices

Many telecommunications providers in Taiwan sell tourist SIM cards, including the three biggest telecommunications companies, Chunghwa Telecom, Far EasTone, and Taiwan Mobile and a few other smaller companies.

When you buy a Taiwan mobile SIM card, the price includes unlimited data and credit for calling and texting. 

Since I’ve only used Chunghwa Telecom and FarEasTone, I recommend either one. They both have similar prepaid phone plans and affordable prices. They are the best phone plans I’ve used while travelling solo.

I’ve had no problems with either service provider. I didn’t have any interruptions, the connection was fast, and I got cell phone coverage everywhere in Taiwan.

Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信)

Chunghwa Telecom is the largest telecommunication service provider in Taiwan. The company has been providing mobile communication and other services since 1996.

They have many locations selling prepaid SIM cards, including several service centers at airport terminals (Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung) and retail stores across Taiwan. Check the Chunghwa website for all the mobile servicing locations and hours of operation.

Each prepaid plan includes unlimited data and credit for voice calls and texts, but the plans cannot be extended or topped up.

Taiwan sim card plans for Chungwa Telecom

Chunghwa Telecom has the following tourist prepaid card plans:

5G SIM
  • 3 Day Pass for NT$500 (with unlimited data, 3GB tethering, NT$50 voice)
  • 5 Day Pass for NT$600 (with unlimited data, 5GB tethering, NT$100 voice)
  • 7 Day Pass for NT$800 (with unlimited data, 7GB tethering, NT$150 voice)
4G SIM
  • 3 Day Pass for NT$300 (with unlimited data, NT$100 voice)
  • 5 Day Pass for NT$300 (with unlimited data, NT$50 voice)
  • 7 Day Pass for NT$500 (with unlimited data, NT$150 voice)
  • 10 Day Pass for NT$500 (with unlimited data, NT$100 voice)
  • 15 Day Pass for NT$700 (with unlimited data, NT$100 voice)
  • 30 Day Pass for NT$1000 (with unlimited data, NT$430 voice)
  • 90 Day Pass for NT$2199 (with unlimited data, NT$199 voice)
  • 180 Day Pass for NT$3999 (with unlimited data, NT$399 voice)

Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET) (遠傳電信)

Far EasTone is Taiwan’s third-largest telecommunication company, providing telecommunications and digital services.

They have mobile service centers at airports (Taipei and Taichung) and many retail stores across Taiwan.

Each prepaid plan includes unlimited data and credit for voice calls and texts, but the plans cannot be extended or topped up.

Taiwan sim card plans for Far EasTone

Far EasTone prepaid card plans are similar to Chunghwa Telecom, except it has an additional 8-day 4G plan, and some prices are slightly lower.

5G SIM
  • 3 Day Pass for NT$500 (with unlimited data, 3GB tethering, NT$50 voice)
  • 5 Day Pass for NT$600 (with unlimited data, 3GB tethering, NT$100 voice)
  • 7 Day Pass for NT$800 (with unlimited data, 3GB tethering, NT$150 voice)
4G SIM
  • 3 Day Pass for NT$300 (with unlimited data, NT$100 voice)
  • 5 Day Pass for NT$300 (with unlimited data, NT$50 voice)
  • 7 Day Pass for NT$450 (with unlimited data, NT$100 voice)
  • 8 Day Pass for NT$450 (with unlimited data, NT$50 voice)
  • 10 Day Pass for NT$500 (with unlimited data, NT$100 voice)
  • 15 Day Pass for NT$700 (with unlimited data, NT$100 voice)
  • 30 Day Pass for NT$1000 (with unlimited data, NT$430 voice)
  • 90 Day Pass for NT$2100 (with unlimited data, NT$100 voice)
  • 180 Day Pass for NT$3600 (with unlimited data, NT$100 voice)

How to buy SIM card in Taiwan

Getting a sim card in Taiwan is very simple. Once you have located the mobile phone counter at the airport or any retail store, provide the following items:

  • Passport
  • Secondary identification – entry permit, visa, tourist visa, international student card, official ID such as driver’s license, identity card, or social security card (this is a new requirement)
  • Credit card and cash (I’ve encountered both scenarios at airports and retail stores)

The store clerk will help you fill out the form, install the SIM card and set up your mobile phone.

After registration, your new prepaid SIM card will work right away. Double-check to ensure you have a data connection before leaving the counter.

Also, take a photo of the helpline’s phone number if you need further help. I’ve never had to call anyone as the cell phone service is quite easy to use and didn’t give me any problems at all.

Where to buy SIM card in Taiwan

There are many ways to get a Taiwan travel SIM card for your cell phone. The easiest ways to buy a SIM card are from:

  1. Mobile phone centers at any Taiwan airport
  2. Any mobile phone retail stores in major cities across Taiwan
  3. Order through Klook

1. Mobile phone centers at any Taiwan airport

Most international travellers will likely fly into Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei. But you may also fly into Songhshan Airport, Taichung International Airport or Kaohsiung International Airport.

Taipei – Taoyuan International Airport (TPE)

Taoyuan International Airport has several cellular service centres in different parts of the airport. Both Chunghwa Telecom and Far EasTone have counters in both terminals. Check the TPE website and see counter locations and hours of operation.

The website indicated multiple locations for Chunghwa Telecom. I bought my Taiwan sim card at the Arrival Hall in Terminal 2.

Far EasTone has a counter within the baggage claim area in Terminal 2. But it wasn’t open then and indicated customers should buy a sim card in the Arrival Hall.

Taipei – Songshan Airport (TSA)

Few international flights fly into Songshan Airport in Taipei. And if you are one of the few, you can still get a Chungwa Taiwan prepaid sim card at the arrival hall.

Taichung – Taichung International Airport (RMQ)

If you are flying into Taichung International Airport, there is a Chunghwa Telecom counter in the departure hall. Look for either counter after you exit immigration and customs. And check the RMQ website to see counter locations and hours of operation.

Koahsiung – Kaohsiung International Airport (KHH)

A few international flights fly into Kaohsiung International Airport. And if you arrive in Kaohsiung, you can get a Chunghwa or Far EasTone SIM card on the 1st Floor in the international terminal. Check the KHH website for counter info and hours of operation.

2. Any mobile phone retail stores in major cities across Taiwan

If you did not buy a Taiwan data SIM card at the airport but change your mind later, you could purchase a SIM card at any mobile phone retail store across Taiwan.

First, locate a retail store, like Chunghwa Telecom or Far EasTone. Bring your passport, secondary identification, credit card and cash, and you will get your prepaid SIM card immediately.

The store clerk will fill out all the registration information and install the SIM card for you.

3. Order through Klook

Another way to secure a SIM card in Taiwan is to order one through Klook.

Klook offers many types of Taiwan SIM cards for tourist including Chunghwa Telecom, Far EasTone and SIM cards by other telecom companies.

Since I’ve never used SIM cards by other companies, I suggest sticking to either Chunghwa or Far EasTone.

One of the best advantage of booking in advance is to secure a SIM card without taking money out of the ATM. You can arrive in Taiwan, pickup the SIM card and be on the road.

However, I would only suggest ordering one in advanced if you are arriving in Taiwan at a “normal” hour. I’ve heard some flights get in super early or late. And mobile service centres at the airport do not run 24 hours.

Moreover, make sure you have a secondary identification when you pick up your SIM card. If you don’t, they will not allow you to pick up the tourist SIM card.

Are you going to get a SIM card in Taiwan?

Having a Taiwan tourist SIM card really does help with navigation and communication. Plus, a prepaid SIM card is affordable no matter how long you stay in Taiwan. Consider getting one when you arrive in Taiwan.

I hope you like this post and find it useful for your next solo trip to Taiwan. If you have any other questions, leave a comment below.

Thank you for reading my Taiwan SIM card post

You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Taiwan:

Introduction to Taiwan
Northern Taiwan posts

Like this blog post? Pin it on your Pinterest board!

About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 20+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

21 Comments

  • Shirlene
    January 19, 2023 at 11:35 pm

    Hi, my friends and I will be arriving in Taipei at around 2AM in the morning this coming February, i was just wondering if the mobile phone centers and money changer kiosk will be open this early in the morning?

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      January 21, 2023 at 12:10 pm

      Hi Shirlene, it looks like the currency exchange is open 24 hours (according to the airport website). However, the mobile phone centres are open until about midnight or so. But there are many places in the city to get a sim card. Hope this is helpful!

      Reply
  • Cliff
    February 9, 2023 at 2:22 pm

    Hi, I’m hoping you can help me out as I am finding conflicting information everywhere.

    I read that to get a tourist prepaid sim card, I only need to bring my passport and maybe driver’s license. However, companies like CHT insist I need an ARC? That is confusing as ARC are for residents. Then they try to sell me a $4000NTD card for 6 months.

    I guess it is a bit confusing for them bc I am a US citizen with a dual Taiwanese passport. They say if I use Taiwan passport, I need a resident card? If US passport then ARC? But I just want a simple prepaid card where I can add to it when I need to. I’m not sure how long I will stay, 3-6 months.

    Is there any information you can give me about this topic? What is the best way to get a prepaid sim card for someone who is staying 3-6 months? Taiwan Mobile has an offer for $100TWD prepaid card, but I’m not sure if a tourist can get it.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      February 10, 2023 at 9:54 am

      Hi Cliff,
      I went on Chunghwa website and found this “Secondary ID may be one of the following: Entry Permit issued by Taiwan National Immigration Agency, Visa, Tourist Visa, AR, or Internatioanl Student Card. If none of the above is available, the subscriber may use his/her official Photo ID (such as Social Security Card, Identity Card, or Driver’s License”
      Seems like the second ID requirement is new? I don’t recall providing this before. Do you have a drivers license or another to verify?
      I also checked just now that a 30-day prepaid sim costs $1000NT. If you are not sure how long you will stay, perhaps get 1 month prepaid at a time. I’ve done that in the past. But seems like the deal you were offered is quite good.
      I’ll be visiting Taiwan in the soon future so will update my post. Hope this is helpful.

      Reply
  • Cliff
    February 15, 2023 at 12:37 pm

    Hi,

    Thank you for your reply. I may have information to help you out. TWM was most helpful. So … to a sim card, they require proof of address on some sort of document. This is to prevent abuse of sim cards as most are aware. My problem was using a Taiwanese passport. If you use a foreign passport, you can use your foreign address. So if I used my USA passport, I can use my USA driver’s license.

    But since my entry was with a Taiwanese passport, I needed an address here in Taiwan. Not being a resident here, I do not have a permanent address, that was the issue. In this case, they recommend that I get a friend or family that lives here to get me a card.

    I also found out that TWM has prepaid sim cards that allow top up, or refill. This is something CHT and others did not offer. For $300NT, you get unlimited data for 3 days. However, the paid phone minutes are for 6 months. So this is good for travelers who do not really need 4G data, just needed a phone. Then you can refill it with monthly packages with both data and minutes, I think the lowest is $300NT.

    I think in my case it is unique b/c I’m staying for months and have already rented a wifi router for home use. That’s why I do not need so much data. But I would think other visitors may want deals with more data for their stay.

    Anyways, thanks for replying. Hope this has been helpful.

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      February 18, 2023 at 8:34 am

      Hi Cliff,
      Thanks so much for all the info. It really helps to have updated info as things change quickly (as we have seen the last few years). I’m also going to Taiwan this year so when I come across new info I will update it on my blog as well. But always helpful to have useful insight from travellers in Taiwan at the moment. Enjoy your time there and thank you again for all the info!

      Reply
  • George
    May 24, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    Is it cheaper at 7-eleven than the airport? I can’t believe how many blogs write a 20 page post on buying a sim card but dont have the only basic info i actually want

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      May 25, 2023 at 12:24 am

      Hi George,
      Perhaps there isn’t a lot of online info about SIM cards at 711 because there are many service provider outlets for buying SIM cards all over Taiwan, even in small towns and off the beaten path places.
      On Taiwan 711 website, it says they sell 5-day ibon mobile 4G prepaid card for NT$350. This is another service provider other than Chunghwa Telecom, Far EasTone, and Taiwan Mobile.
      So to answer your question, for the the same 5-day 4G plan, it’s not cheaper at 711.
      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • Christian
    August 15, 2023 at 4:22 pm

    Which format do tourist prepaid SIMs have? Is it a physical SIM card or an eSIM? I have a phone with SIM + eSIM. I am using a physical SIM card at home. Should I switch to eSIM before arriving in Taiwan?

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      August 15, 2023 at 5:33 pm

      Hi Christian,
      The prepaid SIM cards I mentioned in this post are all physical SIM cards. You will have to buy it and insert it into the SIM slot on your phone. eSIM is a different product. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • Christian
    August 15, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    I am a bit confused regarding the “credit for voice calls and texts”. Is this credit for calls to Taiwanese mobile and landline numbers? How much is a minute? How much is a minute to Europe?

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      August 15, 2023 at 5:35 pm

      Hi Christian,
      The credit is for calling and texting.
      Chunghwa Telecom website says you can make locals and international calls with a prepaid card. But they didn’t say the rate for local or international calls. You can dial 928 from your mobile phone (with your Chunghwa prepaid card) for more info.
      I used the prepaid card but never use the calling and texting credit. I’ve used the data plan to talk on WhatsApp and the connection was great.
      Hope that helps!

      Reply
  • Philip Fernandez
    September 2, 2023 at 11:48 am

    HI, Thank you for this post. I am new in Taiwan and I bought a 10 Day sim because I was hoping to buy another one because I will be staying here for around 2 years. Where can I possibly buy another prepaid card that I can use for around 2 years? and what would be the requirement? Hoping you can answer me with my query. Thanks!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      September 3, 2023 at 9:55 am

      Hi Philip,
      I was in Taiwan 2 months ago and didn’t see any prepaid phone plans for 2 years. The longest I’ve seen is 6 months. Both Chunghwa or Far EasTone have 6 months prepaid plans but cannot be extended. Would buying multiple sim cards at 6 month intervals be an option?
      Or someone else in the comment section mentioned that Taiwan Mobile has prepaid phone plans that allows top up. I looked online and checked this is actually possible but it didnt mention anything about the plan being extended when you top up. Perhaps this is something you could check or use?
      I plan to check out Taiwan Mobile next time im back in the country. Hopefully I can share more info then but in the meantime, hopefully you found this useful. 🙂

      Reply
  • Betty
    November 22, 2023 at 6:41 am

    Hi there! How do you switch back the Chunghwa SIM card when you leave Taiwan? I need to put my original T-Mobile SIM card to return to the United States from Taiwan. Please help me with any information.

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      November 22, 2023 at 1:30 pm

      Hi Betty,
      Chungwa SIM card is a physical SIM card. So you’ll have to physically put in the card in your phone but make sure you keep your T-Mobile SIM card somewhere safely so you can swap it back in when you are on your way home. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • Tihomir
    January 8, 2024 at 5:30 pm

    It would be helpful to clearly date your posts, so the readers can get an idea of how old the information is.

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      January 8, 2024 at 7:23 pm

      Hi Tihomir,
      I agree – the date for all my posts are under the main title. Perhaps it’s a bit hidden? I’ll try to see if that can be shown somewhere else.
      Thank you for your comment.

      Reply
  • Ignatius Chin
    May 14, 2024 at 8:32 pm

    Hi Queenie,
    I will be heading to Taipei for 10 days and wondering if the 4G Unlimited Data SIM card for tourist allows hotspot use, coz I thot of sharing the data with my travelling companion so that we both can have access to data to do google search or even do postings. If not, please advise and recommend one provider or SIM card that allows for 4G phone.

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      May 15, 2024 at 3:48 pm

      Hi Ignatius,
      Yes, you can set up your mobile hotspot and tethering on your phone with the 4G unlimited data SIM card. I did that before when I was with a friend in Taiwan. The only thing is it drains your mobile phone battery quite quickly. Enjoy your Taiwan trip!

      Reply
  • Ignatius Chin
    May 15, 2024 at 8:17 pm

    Thank you very much for the quick reply. We may bring along a mifi along with extra backup battery in the event we need that extra juice. thank you once again.

    Reply

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