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How and where to buy a Taiwan SIM card

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

Sometimes when I travel by myself, I don’t bother with getting a local SIM card because I like to stay offline and disconnect for a while.

But my last two trips to Taiwan, I spent over two months in the country both times. And staying offline would be nearly impossible. So I purchased a Taiwan prepaid SIM card both times.

Honestly, buying a data SIM card in Taiwan was one of the best decisions I ever made. It helped with navigating in the city center, travelling to another city, 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 all about it.

 

 

 

Before you visit Taiwan

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

 

 

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There are many telecommunication retail stores across different cities in Taiwan. Look for either Chunghwa Telecom or Far EasTone.

There are many telecommunication retail stores across different cities in Taiwan. Look for either Chunghwa Telecom or Far EasTone.

Why you should get a data SIM card while travelling in Taiwan

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. Affordable prices and uninterrupted services

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

And buying a prepaid SIM card in Taiwan is very affordable. It is not as cheap as some of the 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 was able to use my phone in cities, small towns, high up in the mountains and deep into the hiking trails. There wasn’t any disruption at any point.

 

 

2. Easy navigation when using 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. To see all the details in Google Maps, you will need to be online.

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

 

3. Searching for public transportation

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

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

And in Taichung, when you travel on a public bus with your EasyCard or iPass, the bus ride is free when your journey is less than 10km. I use Google Map 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, the only place that didn’t give me enough information was in Yilan. Google Maps didn’t show the exact time since the bus schedule is a bit elusive and not as frequent as other cities.

 

 

4. Order Uber car rides

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

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

Moreover, when you set up your account with a local number, it is easier to communicate with the driver. The driver may or may not call you at your local Taiwan number. But it is good to have just in case.

 

5. Use free internet at Starbucks

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

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

 

6. Use your smartphone as a mobile hotspot

If you are travelling with friends and family, you can set up your smartphone as a mobile hotspot and let other mobile devices use your data. This is especially great when you have unlimited data for your plan and multiple people can use the data.

Or you can tether your laptop and use your mobile phone as wifi. The speed is quick and reliable. I’ve done this many times when the hotel internet is intermittent.

But when you do that, the battery life of your cell phone will drain quickly. So make sure you are aware of that and be near an outlet or have a portable power bank.

 

 

7. Staying connected with friends and family

And if you are travelling solo, you don’t have to feel you are all by yourself. You can keep in touch with friends and family through texts, emails and social media.

 

 

One of the mobile phone centers at Taoyuan International Airport.

One of the mobile phone centers at Taoyuan International Airport.

Taiwan telecommunication service providers + tourist SIM card prices

Many telecommunications providers in Taiwan sell tourist SIM card. 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 of these companies. 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 absolutely no problems with either service providers. I didn’t have any interruptions, the connection was fast, and I got cell phone coverage everywhere in Taiwan.

 

 

Tourist prepaid SIM card prices for Chunghwa Telecom.

Tourist prepaid SIM card prices for Chunghwa Telecom.

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.

Each plan includes unlimited 4G data and credit for domestic/international calls and texts. They have a 24-hour service hotline just in case you run into any issues.

 

 

 

Chunghwa Telecom has the following tourist prepaid card plans:

  • 3 Day Pass for NT$300 (with NT$100 voice and text credit)
  • 5 Day Pass for NT$300 (with NT$50 voice and text credit)
  • 5 Day Pass for NT$500 (with NT300 voice and text credit)
  • 7 Day Pass for NT$500 (with NT$150 voice and text credit)
  • 10 Day Pass for NT$500 (with NT$100 voice and text credit)
  • 15 Day Pass for NT$700 (with NT$100 voice and text credit)
  • 15 Day Pass for NT$800 (with NT$250 voice and text credit)
  • 30 Day Pass for NT$1,000 (with NT$430 voice and text credit)

 

Prepaid SIM card rates at Far EasTone, which is similar to Chunghwa SIM card plans.

Prepaid SIM card rates at Far EasTone, which is similar to Chunghwa SIM card plans.

Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET) (遠傳電信)

Far EasTone is the third largest telecommunication company in Taiwan, 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 4G data and credit for domestic/international calls and texts.

 

Far EasTone prepaid card plans are quite similar to Chunghwa Telecom:

  • 3 Day Pass for NT$300 (with NT$100 voice and text credit)
  • 5 Day Pass for NT$300 (with NT$50 voice and text credit)
  • 5 Day Pass for NT$500 (with NT300 voice and text credit)
  • 7 Day Pass for NT$450 (with NT$100 voice and text credit)
  • 8 Day Pass for NT$450 (with NT$50 voice and text credit)
  • 10 Day Pass for NT$500 (with NT$100 voice and text credit)
  • 15 Day Pass for NT$700 (with NT$100 voice and text credit)
  • 30 Day Pass for NT$1,000 (with NT$430 voice and text credit)

 

 

 

If you want to see Taiwan with a tour, check out some of these tour ideas:

 

 

Bring your passport and money to any mobile phone center and get your Taiwan prepaid SIM card right away.

Bring your passport and money to any mobile phone center and get your Taiwan prepaid SIM card right away.

How to buy a Taiwan tourist SIM card

Buying a prepaid SIM card is simple. Once you have located the mobile phone counter at the airport or any retail store, make sure to have your passport with you. You will need your travel document to register for buying a SIM card.

Also, make sure to have cash with you (especially if you are buying the SIM card at the airport). Most places will ask for cash as payment.

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

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

Also, take a photo of the helpline phone number just in case you need any 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.

 

 

 

Chunghwa Telecom service counter at Taichung International Airport.

Chunghwa Telecom service counter at Taichung International Airport.

Where to buy a Taiwan prepaid SIM card for tourist

There are many ways to get a tourist SIM card. 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. Advanced online purchase 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 Taichung International Airport or Kaohsiung International Airport.

 

Taoyuan International Airport

Taoyuan International Airport has several cellular service centers in different parts of the airport. Both Chunghwa Telecom and Far EasTone have several counters throughout the airport.

Chunghwa Telecom: Terminal 1 1Floor (2 locations), 3Floor, Terminal 1Floor and 3Floor

Far EasTone: Terminal 1 1Floor and 3Floor, Terminal 2 1Floor

 

Taichung International Airport

If you are flying into Taichung International Airport, they also have mobile phone counters in the arrival hall. Both Chunghwa Telecom and Far EasTone have counters at the airport. Look for either counter after you exit immigration and customs.

 

Kaohsiung International Airport

A few international flights fly into Kaohsiung International Airport. If you are arriving in Kaohsiung, you can get a Chunghwa SIM card on 1Floor in the international terminal.

 

 

 

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

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

First, locate a retail store, like Chunghwa Telecom or Far EasTone. Then make sure to bring your passport and cash (just in case they do not accept any other payment), and you will get your prepaid SIM card right away.

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

 

 

 

3. Advanced online purchase through Klook

If you want to take the hassle out of doing everything after you arrive in Taiwan, you can order a Taiwan SIM card from Klook before your trip. 

Klook has several Taiwan SIM cards to choose from. You can order a Chunghwa SIM card or a Far EasTone SIM card. For either SIM card, you can select your plan and your pickup location (major airports in Taiwan, including Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung).

Or you can select another SIM card from Klook where you can pick up the SIM card at Hong Kong International Airport. Choose either a 5-day plan or a 10-day plan.

After you complete your order, Klook will send a confirmation email and a voucher to you.

When you pick up your SIM card, you will need to provide the voucher (hard copy or mobile voucher), your passport, and your Taiwan boarding pass.

 

Klook.com

 

 

 

Travelling solo is easy and fun! And if you get a tourist SIM card during your time in Taiwan, it will make it that much easier.

I hope you found everything you need to know about Taiwan prepaid SIM cards in my post. Getting a SIM card is an easy process, especially when you don’t have to set it up yourself. All you need to do is bring your travel document, money and find a mobile phone center.

 

 

For more travel planning resources, check out my Amazon picks:

 

 

Where to go in Taiwan

Wondering which city you should visit in Taiwan? Check out my solo traveller’s guides to the best cities to visit in Taiwan.

solo travel guide hualien taiwan  solo travel guide kenting taiwan

solo travel guide tainan taiwan

solo travel guide taipei day trips 

 

 

 

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 18+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

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