Getting there by Air
There are two major Taiwanese airlines that operate most domestic and international flights: China Airlines and Eva Air. Eva Air is relatively new - it started operation in 1991.
Travel time is approximately 18 hours from New York (including stopover), 13 hours 15 min from Los Angeles, 14 hours from London.
Main Airports in Taiwan
Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) - located 40 km (25 mi) south of downtown Taipei. Transportation to and from the airport by taxis or buses to the city center, domestic airport (Songshan), the main railway station and high-speed rail Taoyuan Station. Airport facilities include: duty-free shop, bank, exchange office, post office, tourist information and car rental.
International airlines that operate flights to Taipei include: Air Canada, Air China (Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing), Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong, Incheon, Fukuoka, Osaka Kansai), Delta Airlines, Japan Airlines (Tokyo, Osaka Kansai, Nagoya), KLM Asia (Bangkok), Jetstar Airways (Singapore, Osaka Kansai), Korean Air (Incheon), Malaysia Airlines (Los Angeles, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabaru), Philippine Airlines (Manila, Kalibo),
Singapore Airlines (Singapore), Thai Airways (Bangkok, Incheon), US Airways, United Airlines.
Kaohsiung International (KHH) - located 9 km (4 mi) from the center of the city. Transportation to and from the airport by buses or taxis. Airport facilities include: duty-free shop, bank, exchange office, post office and car rental.
Airlines that operate international flights to Kaohsiung include:
China Airlines (Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Manila, Taoyuan, Nagoya, Ho Chi Minh City, Bali), Eva Air (Macau), Uni Air (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Shen Zhen), TransAsia Airway (Macau, Hang Zhou), Japan Airlines (Tokyo), Dragon Airlines (Hong Kong), Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur), Viet Air (Ho Chi Minh City), Air Macau (Macau), Mandarin Airlines (Hong Kong, Incheon), Xiamen Airlines (Fuzhou, Xiamen).
Getting there by Water
There are daily ferries linking Matsu (Taiwan) with Fuzhou (China). There are also cruise services operated by Star Cruises between Keelung and Kaohsiung to Hong Kong and Japan. Ferry services from Okinawa, Japan to Keelung and Kaohsiung were suspended in 2008 and are currently not in service.
Getting around by Air
The main carriers operating domestic flights in Taiwan are Mandarin Airlines, UNI Air and TransAsia Airways. There are frequent flights from Taipei Songshan airport and Kaohsiung airport to other domestic airports. It is usually not necessary to book a domestic flight ticket in advance.
Getting around by Train
Taiwan has a very good, efficient and reliable train system that makes train a very competitive mode of public transportation between cities. Train stations are often located in the centers of most cities and towns.
Most trains are run by the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) and there are several types of trains to choose from - the fastest is Tzu-Chiang that has assigned seating, air conditioning etc, and the slowest is Pingkuai that is the least expensive but stops at all stations and the air conditioning is available only on some routes/trains. Booking in advance is recommended, particularly for longer routes and on the weekends.
In addition the the regular train service, Taiwan has now a 345 km (215 mi) route from Taipei to Zuoying, operated by Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) and a bullet train that covers this distance in just 90 min and stops along the route at Banqiao, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi and Tainan.
Getting around by Bus
Both local and long-distance bus and coach services are available in Taiwan.
Services are considered comfortable, punctual and reliable.
The intercity buses are called keyun, the local buses are called gongche. Long distance coach services are provided by government-owned and private companies, the latter being usually more luxurious and more expensive. Major companies include: Guo-Guang Bus Corporation, Union Bus, Dragon Bus, Free Go Bus Corporation and Aloha Bus.
For longer trips it is best to book a ticket a week or two in advance.
Taxis in Taiwan are all metered and relatively inexpensive. When driving at night (between 11pm and 6am) the fare is higher by about 20%. There may also be a surcharge for taxi ordered through the dispatch center or for luggage put in the trunk. In Taiwan drivers are not allowed to take tips.
Note that most taxi drivers don't speak or read English. If you don't speak Mandarin, you would usually need to have the address of your destination written in Chinese and show it to the driver.