So you’re planning a trip and you’re wondering how to buy a SIM card in Taiwan. It can be a little confusing for foreigners who don’t speak Chinese.
Not to worry.
It’s a lot easier than you think. There are many different ways to get a SIM card in Taiwan, but the easiest is probably to do it at the airport.
Most of the people who work at airports speak some English, so chances are it will be easier for you to set it up there.
Why Do You Need a SIM Card in Taiwan?
Buying a SIM card in Taiwan makes your visit so much easier. I mean, they’re really cheap and the internet is great, there’s no good reason not to use one.
In addition, you need a phone number to create a YouBike account. On top of that, everyone in Taiwan uses the LINE app, and you’ll need the internet to use it. Very few people call each other anymore.
How to Buy a SIM Card in Taiwan:
When you arrive and make it through immigration, enter the arrival hall and turn right, walk straight, and there will be a store on your right.
1 – Buy at Taoyuan (or Songshan) Airport
I recommend buying a SIM card at the airport. They sell all kinds of packages here, from prepaid cards with no internet, to set plans and whatnot. Best ask about these things.
Here’s a picture of some packages:
These are prepaid SIM cards with data, so it has everything that you would need. Most of the deals at the airport are decent.
But if you forget to buy a SIM card at the airport, because you have just been flying for hours and your brain is jelly, don’t worry.
Taiwan has the highest density of convenience stores in the world, and they all sell SIM cards.
2 – Buy a SIM card at a convenience store
Once again, most of the people who work at convenience stores don’t speak great English (unless you’re lucky!) but it shouldn’t be too hard.
If you forget to do that, there are plenty of phone stores on every corner, where you can probably find what you need.
3 – Use Taipei Free Wi-Fi
Or if you want to forget about sim cards altogether, Taiwan has plenty of free Wi-fi hot spots, the main being Taipei Free Wi-Fi.
Ironically, to create an account you do need to log in with your phone number and password.
But there are guest options too.
Overall, connecting to the internet in Taiwan is incredibly easy, so you needn’t worry.
4: Leach off Your Friend’s Hot Spot
Don’t want to waste your cash on the internet here? No worries! If you have a friend, convince them to leave their mobile hotspot on for you.
Leach off of their internet. Easy. Most people have unlimited data plans anyway.
If you don’t have a friend, then… well, welcome to the club.
Personally, I recommend getting a SIM card at the airport to get it out of the way.
And that should answer your question about how to buy a SIM card in Taiwan.
How Much Data Do You Need?
Luckily for you, the mobile network internet in Taiwan is incredibly fast, and there are some great data packs. It’s very cheap too.
You can find lots of unlimited data SIM cards, and most of the day passes offer unlimited Data.
My recommendation: Get a fixed data plan with no time period. You’ll get more than enough data and it won’t expire. I’m on a monthly contract and I pay 599 TWD a month for 6 GB of data.
If you’re traveling in a group, there’s also the option to rent a Wifi router, and you drop it off a the same place when you head back.
Here’s the booth at the airport:
How Fast is Taiwan’s Mobile Internet Speed?
I’m happy to say Taiwan’s mobile internet speed is great. I usually get 20 MBS downloads on Speed Test.
There were only a few times I lost the 4G connection, and it’s very rare to completely lose the connection. Even on MRTs, the signal is great.
The only time you might notice a dip in speed is when you travel on the outskirts of Taipei or the mountains. I noticed the signal dropped a bit during our trip to Sun Moon Lake, specifically at the farm. But it works at all the nearby beaches!
Here are the results of my 4G speed test:
Everyone uses mobile internet here, so it’s a necessary part of people’s lives. Nowadays, most people don’t even use Wifi because the internet on their phone is good enough. You’ll almost always have 4G active in any city or town.
So you really don’t need to worry about losing a mobile internet connection, it’s fast and reliable.
Can Foreigners Buy a SIM card in Taiwan?
Foreigners are actually quite limited in what they can do in Taiwan, but buying a prepaid SIM card should not be a problem. You’ll probably need to show some sort of ID like a passport and enter some other information.
On the other hand, if you want a contract, that’s a different story. Overall though, a Prepaid SIM card with data should be more than enough to enjoy your time in Taiwan and stay connected.
Good luck and happy travels. Hopefully, now you know how to buy a SIM card in Taiwan.
Hope to see you chugging beer in front of 711 soon!
Leave a comment if you have any other questions.