This My Taiwan Travel Guide is written by my wife - Yulia Karnain. Her journey took place on July 2009.
Recently, I complete a travel to Taiwan. Different from the other trip which usually plan individually, I join the tour this time. Since I travel with my Mom (quite senior), I think that it will be more convenient to use the tour company service.
Finding tour is not an easy job also, let see how it works:
Local package tour (Indonesian tours)
Most of the tour has departed already and the date chosen is not people preference. Taiwan is not too popular destination. Tour company prefers to sell tour to China, quite expensive, price range is about US\$ 1,000 to US\$ 1,200.
Arrive in Taiwan individually then find local tour there.
Taiwan tour usually don’t have an online service, email communication is not a good choice. I find one company but they offer an expensive price since the tour is running privately.
Arrive in Taiwan individually then buy land tours from Singapore
agent (also has considered to join the package tour from Singapore)
Chan Brothers (http://www.chanbrothers.com.sg) :
- Package tours - They offered a lot of Taiwan tours with affordable price, 8 days tour for SGD 1,194 or US\$ 811. Quite interesting here since the agent told me that passenger prefers to stay longer days of traveling. If they only need to travel less than these days, they would prefer much closer cities like Bangkok or Bali.
- Land tour – The price only reduce US\$ 200 (more or less) to compensate the air ticket price. Also, they don’t provide airport transfer if my arrival time is different from the whole group arrival time. The staff replies email in short time. It is convenient to communicate with them.
CTC Travel (http://www.ctc.com.sg) Package tours - Price, itinerary, are almost the same with Chan Brothers. They didn’t reply my email so I have not much to inform you. I decide to make a phone call to Singapore. For Land Tour – they told me to arrive at Kaoshiung and they also don’t provide airport transfer if my arrival time is different from the whole group arrival time.
Misa Travel (http://www.airfares.com.sg) Package tours - Price, itinerary, are almost the same with the two above. They sell land tour package to Taiwan with the preference for 5D, 6D or 7D. It is convenient to talk with them by email too. The 7D tours (my preference) costs me about SGD 438 or USD 297. Payment could made by credit card with 2% additional charge.
- Make sure you know what language will be used during the tour program. If you choose the one that provided by Singapore, it is certain that Mandarin will be used as the main language.
- The tour will provide meals as per mentioned in itinerary. If you are Moslem or vegetarian, make sure you inform the tour guide earlier. They will be happy to provide a replacement food in a separate plate.
- If you choose to use the tour company please note that you would have to prepare tips for guide and driver. For Singapore, the amount is determined already NT 100/day. So, make sure you prepare this amount into your budget.
Next step, would be applying Taiwan Visa. Yes, Visa is need to enter Taiwan for Indonesian, however if you still hold a valid visa to UK or US, visa is not needed. It is still a debate for the existence of Taiwan (or Republic of China) as an independent country due to China’s claim on Taiwan. Therefore they don’t have an Embassy but they have what we call as Consular Office or Trade Office (www.teto.or.id) located in:
Gedung Artha Graha,12th fl.
SCBD Area, Jl. Jenderal Sudirman Kav. 52-53
Postal Address : PO Box 2922 Jakarta Pusat
Phone : (62-21) 515 3939
Fax : (62-21) 515 4626
Visa requirements would be as follow:
- Company Sponsor Letter
- Photo 4x6 cm with red background
- ID Card and KK (Family Card)
- Last 3 month bank statement (for my mother I provide a statement letter confirmed that I shall
- Booking Hotel (I provide tour booking)
- Print out Ticket
- Process day: -/+ 5 days (in my case it took 3 days only)
- Price Rp. 550,000
It is not too difficult to deal with Taiwan Visa; I have done it by myself. If the document required is completed, they would not ask too much questions. Special locket is provided for the TKI so you don’t have to worry for a long queue.
Airplane ticket to Taiwan
Although there are many flights to Taiwan, there is not much preference for cheap flights to Taiwan. If time is not a problem for you, you could consider to use Air Asia or Value Air, both are morning flight so you would need to stay 1 night in KL or Singapore. Since I don’t want to leave my baby girl too long, direct flight is my only choice.
My consideration is between China Airlines or Malaysia Airlines. Since I prefer direct flight, I choose China Airlines although MH will be much cheaper -/+US 100/pax. I didn’t choose MH since we would need to depart from CGK on 5 am which means that I would need to be at the airport at 3 am. Phew…
Luckily, 1 week before issuing dateline, there’s a ticket promo from China Airlines: 50% for the 2nd passenger. The price for 2 persons is USD 820.
After all administration finished, it is time to begin the travel. Taiwan.. are you really really fun as advertised?
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