Taoyuan International Airport: Gateway to Taipei, Taiwan

As soon as the captain told us that we were now in final approach to the airport, I readied my camera to video the landing of my first international getaway.

We landed at Taoyuan International Airport around 2 in the morning from Manila.  Majority of the passengers were Filipinos. We were like on a field trip.
Welcome to Taiwan
We followed the signs going to Immigration. Along the way, we could clearly see the aesthetic interiors of the airport.  It was very spacious.  It was culturally inspired with modern touch. Most of the stores were closed that time.
Brochures about  airport in different languages
We passed by the quarantine section, where the travelers were scanned, before we reached the immigration.
At Immigration , we were greeted by big "Taiwan" reminding us that we're really in Taiwan.  As we were in line, we saw the reminder to remove the cover of the passport. We removed ours. The immigration officer asked for my passport and return ticket.  Then my index fingers were scanned. No question was asked. Stamped! And I was good to go.

After the immigration section, was the money changer. We changed immediately the dollars we had to New Taiwan Dollar. They also allowed pesos to NTD.

From Airport to Taipei Main Station

We were advised to take bus 1819 to Taipei Main Station. We were confused where and how to get the ticket. Luckily, a Filipino was able to guide us. We should have bought easy card first. We bought the easy card at the convenience store and loaded it with 400 NTD.
We went back to ticketing machine. We selected English and the bus #1819. Then another confusing options appeared before us. Full or Half fare? What was the difference? We just selected full and tapped the easy card.  The ticket was printed. Then we waited for the bus outside the airport. I also noticed that you could pay via credit card or debit card to get a bus ticket.  You just need to swipe the card.  Later, we found out that the full fare was for adult, and half fare was for student and senior.
Kuo-Kuang Bus to Taipei Main Station
The bus arrived after 20 minutes of waiting.  The driver took my baggage, put number on it, and gave me the claim stub.  At the Kuo-Kuang bus, we were shocked that it had USB charging station on each seat.  I immediately used it.  It had consistent wifi.  We reached the Taipei Main Station after 30 minutes.  The ride was smooth. The bus used the sky way which was higher than the our sky way.  From Taipei Main Station, we took taxi to bring us to the house where we would stay for 5 days.

In a nutshell, Taoyuan International Airport will introduce you on how your life will be in Taiwan, specifically in Taipei.  It will be confusing but surprising.  Here you  will learn the different paying methods (easy card, credit card), and how your commuting will be.

  1. Remove the covering of your passport at immigration.
  2. Buy easy card at convenience store.  Load it. You need it in buying ticket for bus or MRT.
  3. Full fare is for adult. Half fare is for student or senior.
  4. Last trip to Taipei Main Station via Airport MRT is 10:44 pm.  First trip is 6:12 am.  The fare is 160 NTD.
  5. Bus fare to Taipei Main Station is 125 NTD.

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