Travelling to Taiwan


E-Gate for Immigration

While immigration at Taoyuan Airport usually doesn’t take long to get through, it is possible to get through even faster if you are a legal resident. Taiwan offers an e-gate immigration option for legal residents. To sign up for e-gate, you can apply at the National Immigration Agency when obtaining your ARC or you can apply at the airport. The application process only takes a few minutes and requires a photo scan and fingerprints.

Once registered, you can breeze through the e-gate immigration lines when departing or arriving. To use the e-gate, you scan your ARC to open the first gate, and then wait for the facial recognition to confirm your identity. If it cannot recognize your face, it will ask you for fingerprints. You will not need to get a stamp on your passport when passing through immigration.

In the event that there is a problem with the e-gate, the airports always have staff ready to assist.

If you are in need of passport photos, the best option is to find a photo booth. Make sure you dress according to the requirements for your particular situation. The photo booths are inexpensive and fast. In Taipei, they are available at some MRT stations as well as the National Immigration Agency.

Online Shopping

In general, most Taiwanese still shop in brick-and-mortar stores, but e-commerce is growing. Most online shopping is through PChome. There are other sites and services from which you can order products, but PChome is considered the top choice for its selection and prices.

You should, however, check the price on items such as electronics. Around the national holidays most stores will have deals on home appliances and electronics to attract customers who would otherwise shop online. E-commerce websites in Taiwan are only in Mandarin. Some, like PChome, will allow you to pay cash on delivery. However, it does require a Chinese name and address for delivery.

Grocery Shopping

There are plenty of grocery stores around, and Taiwan still has morning markets for anyone looking for early morning bargains on produce and meat. To get those deals you need to get to your local market before 8 am.

There are other street markets that are open throughout the day, but the prices are usually higher. There are also produce shops, some of which are open 24 hours. The produce shops may have lower prices on some items than the grocery stores. They also will have bargain bins for fruit and vegetables that are about to expire.

There are a few local grocery store chains, including PX Mart and Jason’s. Jason’s is considered the higher-end grocery store with a larger selection of imported goods. For foreign markets, there are Carrefour and Costco. The latter store requires a membership, and US members can use their cards there. However, most Costco stores are not conveniently located, and a car or taxi is recommended to shop there. Carrefour, the French hypermarket, has more locations around Taiwan, especially with its Express stores that have a limited selection.


Tipping is not a custom in Taiwan. There are many cafes and bars that will have tip jars, but you do not need to leave a tip. Many restaurants and bars will also tack on a 10% service fee to the bill. Most of these establishments will have a note on the menu about the fee, but not all will.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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