Taiwan is one of my faveorite countries to visit, and I love it’s capital – Taipei. There’s so many fun things to do such as Taipei 101 and the street food is amazing. But data roaming can be super expensive. For example, I’m from the UK and I normally use Three UK when traveling but they charge £3 per MB in Taiwan! Most other networks are the same and data roaming bills can add up super fast especially if you watch a TikTok video or browse Instagram.
No matter where I’m travelling, I like to be able to use apps like Google Maps for navigating, Instagram and WhatsApp. So staying connected is important and that means getting a prepaid sim card or eSim to avoid the high data roaming fees.
In this guide I’ll cover the best sim card options available from Taipei Taoyuan International Airport + Taipei SongShan airport. I also cover the best eSims available, and sim cards you can buy online that work in Taiwan. I’ll also give you some tips on which network to pick.
Things To Know Before Buying a Sim Card in Taiwan
When buying a tourist sim card in Taiwan, you must be over 20 years old and are legally required to register for the sim card using your passport. You will be asked to fill out a form with some information such as your name and address, and they will scan your passport. It’s not hard to do but just something to be aware of so you can allow time for this between your flight landing and your train/airport transfer.
The tourist sim card will work for a set duration before it expires. In most situations you do not have to return the sim card. You can also only have 5 active sim cards registered to your name so if you’re traveling as a group with people under the age of 20 years old, I recommend looking into portable WiFi.
The plus side is, if you buy the sim card at the airport the staff will help you install the sim card. They have the sim card pin ejector to help you install the sim card.
Note for iPhone 14 users: If you’ve purchased a USA model of the iPhone 14 you cannot use physical sim cards as the iPhone 14 only uses eSims. I recommend getting an eSim from Airalo, Simify or BNE. I cover their options further down.
Does my phone work in Taiwan?
Taiwan’s phone networsk all use GSM technology which is supported by most phones. Some networks support 5G and there’s decent 5G coverage throughout Taipei and other cities.
The type of phone you’re using will also determine what network you can use. Before travelling, you should check what network bands your phone supports and then check the list below to find which network you can use.
|Chunghwa Telecom||3G : 2100/900 MHz UMTS, HSPA, DC-HSPA+|
4G : 2100(B1)/1800(B3)/2600(B7)/900(B8) MHz LTE 4.5G : 5xCA B3+B3+B7+B7+B8 (70MHz), 4×4 MIMO, 256 QAM, LTE-A Pro
5G: 3.5GHz and 28GHz
|Taiwan Mobile||3G : 2100 MHz UMTS, HSPA, DC-HSPA+|
4G : 2100(B1)/1800(B3)/700(B28) MHz LTE 4.5G : 3xCA B1+B3+B28 (50MHz), 4×4 MIMO, 256 QAM, LTE-A Pro
3G : 2100 MHz UMTS, HSPA+
4G : 2100(B1)/1800(B3)/2600(B7)/700(B28)/2600(B38) MHz LTE 4.5G : 4xCA B1+B3+B7+B28 (60MHz), 4×4 MIMO, 256 QAM, LTE-A Pro
5G: 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz
Which Phone Network Should I use in Taipei?
If you’re staying within Taipei, then any of the major networks have a good signal. The four main networks that offer prepaid sim cards for tourists in Taipei are Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, T-Star or FarEasTone.
But, if you will be traveling outside of Taipei; even just venturing off to some of the near by old towns such as Jiufen or The cat mining village, I recommend using a Chunghwa Telecom sim card as they have the best network coverage for the remote areas. This is the network I always use, and it works perfectly both in and outside of Taipei.
Chunghwa also has the fastest 5G connection speeds, with T-star being the lowest. I’d recommend considering the networks in this order: Chunghwa, FarEasTone, Taiwan Mobile, T-star.
There are some other smaller networks which are virtual networks, which is where they use one of the main networks infrastructure instead of having their own. But, from my experience these networks restrict your connection speed. Due to that, I’m not going to cover them in this guide as I don’t want to suggest something that I personally wouldn’t use and you end up disappointed. Last thing you need when traveling is to get annoyed or waste your time due to poor quality internet.
Purchasing a sim card at Taiwan Taoyuan Airport (TPE)
When you arrive at the airport, you’ll be able to find sim cards located in the arrivals area of each terminal. Some networks have multiple stores in each arrival area. Most stores are fairly easy to locate, but if you do have any issues finding them, there are some information points where you can ask for directions.
If you’re looking for a WiFi rental, you can also pick these up in the airport. These are available from: JETFI, Unite Traveler, T Star or ezfly Hifi Travel To Buy. These stores also sell either easy cards, iPass or other travel cards/tickets, so you could buy your WiFi rental + travel cards/tickets at the same time.
Terminal 1 Sim Card Stores:
Chunghwa Telecom – Terminal1-1F, open from 7am until midnight.
Chunghwa Telecom – Terminal1-1F, open from 8am until 10pm.
Chunghwa Telecom – Terminal1-3F, open from 9am until 8pm.
FarEasTone – Terminal1-1F, open from 7am until midnight.
FarEasTone – Terminal1-3F, open from 9am until 8pm.
Taiwan Mobile – Terminal1-1F, open from 7am until midnight.
Taiwan Mobile – Terminal1-3F, open from 9am until 8pm.
Unite Traveler – Terminal 1-1F open 24 hours a day.
JETFI – Terminal 1-1F open 24 hours a day.
T Star – Terminal 1-3F open 10am until 7pm.
ezfly Hifi Travel To Buy – Terminal 1-1F open 7am until 11pm.
ezfly Hifi Travel To Buy – Terminal 1-2F open 9am until 9pm.
ezfly Hifi Travel To Buy – Terminal 1-3F open 7am until 11pm.
Terminal 2 Sim Card Stores:
Chunghwa Telecom – Terminal 2-1F open from 7am until 10pm.
Chunghwa Telecom – Terminal 2-3F open from 7am until 7pm.
FarEasTone – Terminal 2-1F open from 7am until 10pm.
Taiwan Mobile – Terminal 2-1F open from 7am until 10pm.
Unite Traveler – Terminal 2-1F open 24 hours a day.
JETFI – Terminal 2-1F open 24 hours a day.
T Star – Terminal 2-2F open 10am until 7pm.
ezfly Hifi Travel To Buy – Terminal 2-1F open 7am until 11pm.
ezfly Hifi Travel To Buy – Terminal 2-2F open 9am until 9pm.
ezfly Hifi Travel To Buy – Terminal 2-3F open 7am until 11pm.
Sim Cards Available from Taipei Taoyuan Airport
There are a few sim card plans available at the airport including unlimited data plans.
The unlimited data plan sim cards work for a set amount of time (e.g. 5 days) and they cannot be refilled, so you need to pick one that’ll cover the amount of time you’re in Taiwan or register multiple sim cards. You also have to purchase them using cash. All sim cards are priced in New Taiwan dollar (NT$), and you’ll need to use NT$ when buying the sim card.
Some of the sim cards listed below can be purchased online through Klook and then picked up at the airport. This lets you pay in your local currency and guarantees your chosen sim will be available. Klook is also cheaper than the airport in most cases!
Here’s a table showing the plans they currently offer, all of these sim cards can be purchased on Klook for pick up at any of Taiwan’s airports.
|Sim Card||Plan||Duration||Price in NT$|
|Chunghwa Telecom||Unlimited 4G Internet + Voice Credit||3 to 30 Days||NT$ 280 to 1000|
|Chunghwa Telecom||Unlimited 5G Internet + NT$50 Voice Credit||3 days||NT$ 500|
|Chunghwa Telecom||Unlimited 5G Internet + NT$100 Voice Credit||5 Days||NT$ 600|
Another good phone network to consier is Taiwan Mobile. As with Chunghwa, these sim cards sare sold in NT$. As of September 2023, Taiwan Mobile has these sim cards available at Taoyuan airport. They cannot be ordered online:
|Sim Card||Plan||Duration||Price in NT$|
|Taiwan Mobile||Unlimited 4G Internet||3 to 30 Days||NT$ 300 to 1000|
|Taiwan Mobile||Unlimited 5G Internet||3/5//7 Days||NT$ 500/600/800|
Another network I recommend considering is Far EasTone Telecom. These sim cards are available to buy at the Taipei Taoyuan Airport and Klook. Prices shown are for the airport, Klook is normally a bit cheaper.
|Sim Card||Plan||Duration||Price in NT$|
|Far EasTone||Unlimited 4G Internet||3 to 30 Days||NT$ 300 to 1000|
|Far EasTone||Unlimited 5G Internet||3/5//7 Days||NT$ 500/600/800|
The last mobile network in Taiwan is T-Star. Although I don’t personally recommend using T-Star as they have the slowest speeds, and worst coverage of all of Taiwans mobile networks. T-Star does have the benefit of offering long term plans if you’re in Taiwan for longer than 30 days, you might find getting a sim card from them more conveneint.
Their sim cards can be purchased at Taoyuan Airport but they’re not currently available on Klook.
|Sim Card||Plan||Duration||Price in NT$|
|T-Star||Unlimited 4G Internet Short Term Card||3/5/7 Days||NT$ 250/250/450|
|T-Star||Unlimited 4G Internet Long Term card||10/30/90 Days||NT$ 450/950/2700|
|T-Star||Unlimited 5G Internet||3/5//7 Days||NT$ 600/700/900|
Buying a sim Card at Taipei Songshan Airport
Taipei has 2 airports, Taoyuan being the larger of the two. Songshan is smaller and has really limited selection of sim cards. If you want to get a sim card at Songshan airport, you’ll need to head to the Chunghwa Telecom Service Center. You can order sim cards and portable WiFi devices off Klook, for pick up from this the Chunghwa service center.
This is located in the departure hall, between exit E and D by the baggage service. Here’s a map to help you find it:
Buying a Prepaid Sim For Taiwan Online
Another great way to get a prepaid sim card is to order one online as this way you can get online soon as you land and avoid the hassle of needing to show ID or being over the age of 20.
As mentioned before, you can order some sim cards and hire portable WiFi from Klook. But this does require you to pick up the sim card or WiFi at the airport.
There is a selection of prepaid sim cards available online, that can be shipped to most countries. Some of these sim cards only work in Taiwan but quite a few cover other areas of East Asia and South East Asia so if you’re doing a multi-country vacation you can easily save money by buying one sim card online.
- SnailMobile – 8-Day Unlimited Data Sim Card for Taiwan
- Travel Asia SIM – 6GB Internet for 10 days, works in Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Singapore & other countries
- Mewfi Taiwan Sim Card – 20GB data for 30 days
Prepaid International Sim Cards
Alternatively, you could choose to pick up an international sim card. These sim cards tend to be a bit more expenisve but work in most countries. You can top them up so you can keep them and reuse htem for future vacations.
There’s a lot of internatioanl sim cards available and I go into more depth over which is the best one in my international sim card guide here. But for Taiwan (and other countries in Asia such as Hong Kong) I’d normally recommend considering the OneSimCard.
OneSimCard has different prices based on zones. Taiwan comes under Zone A. Zone A costs the following:
- 500MB for 30 days – $15 USD
- 1GB for 30 Days – $20 USD
- 2GB for 30 Days – $38 USD
- 3GB for 30 Days – $55 USD
- 5GB for 30 Days – $90 USD
eSim Cards for Taiwan
Instead of getting a sim card you could get an eSim. eSims are digital sim cards that are downloaded onto your phone, and most phones made since 2020ish support eSims. You can check if your phone is supported here, but I also recommend confirming with your carrier some restrict which eSims you can use.
If you’ve purchased a new iPhone 14 in the USA, you’ll only be able to use an eSim.
There are a few different eSim providers I recommend considering for Taiwan: Airalo, Simify and BNE. All 3 of these offer data-only plans so you cannot use them to make/receive calls or send/receive texts.
Airalo eSims for Taiwan
Airalo offers the following eSims for Taiwan:
- 1GB Data, valid for 7 Days
- 3GB Data valid for 30 Days
- 5GB Data valid for 30 Days
- 10GB Data valid for 30 Days
Airalo also offers regional sim cards that cover 14 countries in Asia including Taiwan.
- $5 USD – 1GB data for 7 Days
- $13 USD – 3GB data for 30 Days
- $20 USD – 5GB data for 30 days
- $37 USD – 10GB data for 30 Days
- $100 USD – 50GB data for 90 days
- $185 USD – 100GB data for 180 days
Airalo also offers worldwide eSims, that cover 84 countries including Taiwan and a range of other countries in Asia. These worldwide eSim plans start at $9 and last for up to 180 days.
- $9 USD – 1GB data, valid for 7 days
- $24 USD – 3GB data, valid for 15 days
- $35 USD – 5GB Data, valid for 30 days
- $59 USD – 10GB data, valid for 60 days
- $89 USD – 20GB data, valid for 180 days
Simify eSim Plans for Taiwan
Simify offers two data-only eSim plans that cover 13 countries in Asia including Taiwan. These sim cards can be ordered through their website.
- 6GB Data for 12 Days in South East Asia Including Taiwan
- 10GB Data for 30 Days in South East Asia including Taiwan
Simify doesn’t offer worldwide eSim plans but they do offer a range of eSims that cover different regions. Some of these eSims also include calls + texts (whereas Airalo is only includes data). The other options available are:
- Europe & the UK – includes data, calls and texts
- USA – includes data, calls and texts plus coverage in Canada is available as an addon
- Japan – data only
- New Zealand – Data only
BNE eSim Cards
The last eSim provider I recommend is BNE. BNE offers both pay as you go (prepaid) and subscription plans so if you’re traveling for a long time you can have your plan automatically renew at a discounted rate. Their pay-as-you-go plans also don’t expire so whilst they’re not necessarily as cheap per GB of data as Airalo or Simify, you can make a one off payment and not worry about the data expiring.
They have the following offers available for Taiwan local pay-as-you-go eSims:
- 500MB Data – $2.66
- 1GB Data – $5.95
- 3GB Data – $17.32
- 5GB Data – $27.95
- 10GB Data – $53.55
- 20GB Data – $104.77
Their subscription plans are similar pricing, but a bit cheaper per GB and last either 7 or 30 days. They do autmatically renew so if you go for a subscription plan, make sure to cancel when you no longer need it.
BNEsim also offers Asia regional eSims, which are available as a monthly subscription so they do automatically renew but you can cancel at any time. These are the Asia eSim plans available:
- 1GB Data for $5.05 a month
- 3GB Data for $12.72 a month
- 5GB Data for $19.79 a month
- 10GB Data for $34.94 a month
Pocket WiFi for Taiwan
Instead of getting an eSim or a physical sim card, you could get a Pocket WiFi (also known as mobile WiFi). I personally use this when I’m traveling with my family or friends, as it can work out cheaper.
Instead of buying multiple sim cards/eSim cards we just hire 1 pocket WiFi (or purchase 1 sim card for my pocket WiFi device) and share it between us. This works out much cheaper, as you share 1 plan between multiple people.
If you travel a lot, it can be worth investing in your own Pocket WiFi device. This works out cheaper than hiring one in the long run. Here’s a list of the devices you could consider.
Mobile Wifi Device / Mobile Wifi Plan
|Skyroam||Mobile WiFi Hotspot & Power Bank, works in 130+ countries including the Asia and Europe.|
|Skyroam||Skyroam Pre-Paid Card: 5 Global WiFi Day passes|
|GlocalMe||GlocalMe G3 4G Mobile WiFi Hotspot, with 1.1GB Global data|
|Huawei||Huawei E5573Cs-322, 4G Travel Hotspot – No sim included, but this is the one I use|
|TP-Link||TP-Link M7350 4G LTE MiFi Device (No Sim Card included)|
If you’d prefer to hire a pocket WiFi, I recommend hiring one through Klook which you can pick up at the airport. Such as this 4G Pocket WiFi for Taiwan, which can be picked up in any of Taiwan’s airports and starts at $6.90 per day. The plan includes unlimited 4G data, and up to 5 devices can be connected to the Pocket WiFi device at a time.
Free WiFi with i-Taiwan
I highly recommend registering for free to use the i-Taiwan WiFi HotSpots. There are over 5000 indoor WiFi HotSpots that were setup by the Taiwanese government. They’re not necessarily the fastest WiFi (only 8Mbps) but with over 5000 in the network, it makes it much easier to find free WiFi throughout Taiwan.
The networks can be used by phones, tablets and laptops. You don’t need to register to use the service (as of July 2020), just look out for the i-Taiwan logo shown below and you can sign in, and use the network free of charge.
Safety tip: While i-Taiwan is a government backed scheme, these are still public WiFi networks. You never know who is snooping on your internet activity and have malicious intent. For secuirty, I recommend using a VPN such as Proton VPN. Proton is a do not track VPN so your internet activity won’t be monitored and has a free plan availalbe (although speeds are limited). Even if you think you have nothing to hide, public WiFi is not secure and increases the risk that your accounts get comprimised. I personally use Proton VPN and highly recommend it.