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Taiwan Sim Card: How and where to buy a Taiwan Prepaid SIM Card for Tourist

Last Updated on May 5, 2021 by queenie mak

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 exactly how and where you can buy a Taiwan SIM card for tourist.

Before you visit Taiwan

Before you go to 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 traveller’s tips, transportation around the country, booking accommodations, and much more.

Travelling through Taiwan? See all the best cities in Taiwan in 3 weeks

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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 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 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. 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. 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 Maps can show you exactly how to get from point A to point B with either bus, subway or train.

When you travel on a public bus in Taichung with your EasyCard or iPass, the bus ride is free when your journey is less than 10km. 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, 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. 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 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.

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 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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Taiwan sim card plan for Chungwa Telecom

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)

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.

Taiwan sim card plan for Far EasTone

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:

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.

Where to buy a Taiwan SIM card for tourist

There are many ways to get a Taiwan 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. 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 the 1st Floor 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 Taiwan Mobile SIM Card. For either SIM card, you can select your plan and your pickup location (major airports in Taiwan, including Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung).

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.

Are you going to get a Taiwan prepaid sim card when you are in Taiwan?

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

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.

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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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