If you want to stay connected during your trip to Taiwan, you must get a pre-paid sim card. Even though Wi-Fi is readily available on the island, sometimes the connection can be slow. Having a pre-paid sim card in Taiwan is incredibly useful to look up directions, restaurants and more.
Getting a sim card in Taiwan is fairly straightforward and simple, each time I’ve visited Taiwan I got a sim card so I can keep up with emails and tether the Internet to use on my laptop. So if you’re like me and need to be connected, here is all you need to know about buying a pre-paid sim card in Taiwan.
How to Get a Sim Card in Taiwan
Which Company to Use?
There are several phone companies in Taiwan but I always use Chunghwa. Even though T-mobile in the United States gives free unlimited data with Taiwan Mobile, it is very slow and is good for only checking emails. Chunghwa Telecommunications is the largest telecommunications company in Taiwan so they have a huge range and excellent coverage.
Where to Buy a Sim Card
You can get a sim card at arrivals at the Taoyuan International Airport but if you arrive too early or too late, you will have to go to an office to get one. Luckily, you can find Chunghwa Telecommunications offices pretty much everywhere since they are the biggest company.
Once inside, someone will ask you what you need help with and hand you a ticket with a number on it. When your number is called, head to the kiosk.
**They usually have someone who speaks English to help translate. If you say “sim card,” they will probably be able to understand you since it is very similar in Mandarin Chinese. You can listen to it on Google Translate if you want to hear the correct pronunciation, you’ll be surprised at how close it is to English!
What Plan Should You Get?
Chungwa has many different pre-paid sim card plans so that you can get credit for data, calls and texts. Which plan you get will depend on how long you will be in Taiwan for. Here are the plans they have.
Remember that 1 USD is around 32 NTD so a 10 day pass with unlimited data and $100 in calls and text credit is $15.79. Not bad considering that the Internet is incredibly fast!
I got the 10 day pass since we were only in Taiwan for 9 days and last time, I got the 30 day pass.
What is Required to Get a Sim Card in Taiwan
You MUST bring your passport. Not a photo copy, not a picture. Your original passport.
Second, it is best to pay in cash. Taiwan is a big cash society and it is much easier to pay in NTD.
And lastly, your phone. Your phone must use a sim card and must be unlocked in order to use an international sim card and they have both micro and nano sim cards. For this trip, I used my Samsung Galaxy S7. My phone is unlocked through T-Mobile so make sure you check with your carrier if your phone is unlocked as ours took 90 days from purchase. My uncle uses Verizon and since Verizon doesn’t use sim cards, he was unable to get a pre-paid sim card.
The last time I went to Taiwan, I used my Google Nexus 5 which I bought unlocked.
Once you pick your plan and pay it, they’ll have you sign some forms and then you are good to go! They will give you an envelope to put your old card in and tape your Taiwan phone number to the back. Don’t lose it!
How to Recharge
If you find yourself needing to recharge your card, you can visit one of the offices to add more credit.
I don’t remember exactly how fast the Internet was, but it was super fast. I tethered Internet from my phone to connect my laptop and I was able to do everything I normally do for work such as uploading photos, checking emails, uploading videos on Youtube and more. My mom, uncle and cousin all used the internet so at one time, I had 6 devices connected and it still worked great!
Tip: If you use a Samsung Galaxy S7, they don’t have a free tethering option like my Google Nexus did. Instead, I downloaded the app FoxFi and paid $7.99 for the unlimited access so I could tether as much and as long as I wanted.
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As you can see, getting a pre-paid sim card in Taiwan is super easy and definitely worth the money if you need to be connected!
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