Taiwan State of Mind

Taiwan’s visa-free program has extended for another year—you know what to do

Manila Bulletin
Date: July 7, 2019
By: Kaye Estoista-Koo

Sunset at Alishan

Taiwan is becoming a visa-free destination of choice for Pinoy travelers, with reports from the Taiwan Tourism Bureau showing a jump of over 44 percent from 290,784 in 2017 to 419,105 arrivals in 2018. This 2019, they are targeting 500,000 Philippine arrivals, making Taiwan a perfect weekend getaway. Taoyuan International Airport, the one closest to Taipei, is just two hours away.

Beyond the stinky tofu, F4, Meteor Garden locations, and milk tea, Taiwan offers much more—all it takes is one very fast, comfortable, high-speed rail. Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) connects Taipei in the Northwest to Kaohsiung in the South. It’s like Japan’s Shinkansen and has 12 stops. For just 1500TWD, you’re in Kaohsiung in less than two hours.

Acquaint yourself with the unique charm of South Taiwan via cities like Kaohsiung, Tainan, and Alishan. Taipei has its personality and quirks but for a plot twist to your travel, go South. No regrets, guaranteed.

Sacred is 1,000 and up in Alishan

Alishan National Forest Recreation Area in Chiayi is home to sacred trees—sacred because they are at minimum a thousand years old. The most majestic one, Xianglin Sacred Tree, is 2,300 years old.

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