Finding a reliable SIM card in Taiwan can seem like a daunting task for travelers visiting the country. With so many mobile carriers and different plans to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. This guide aims to provide up-to-date information on Taiwan SIM cards to help you pick the best option for your needs.

best taiwan sim card detailed guide

I. Should I Buy a New SIM Card for My Taiwan Trip?

For most travelers, getting a local Taiwan SIM card is highly recommended. Relying solely on public WiFi or international roaming can be unreliable and very expensive. With a Taiwan SIM, you’ll have constant access to mobile data and can use services like Google Maps to navigate the cities. SIM cards are very affordable in Taiwan and plans are quite flexible. The top three carriers – Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, and FarEasTone – all offer prepaid SIMs perfect for short vacations. Unless you plan to mainly stay in your hotel, a local SIM card is worth getting in Taiwan.

II. Taiwan SIM Card Types – Which One is the Best for Tourists?

The main options for visitor SIM cards in Taiwan are:

  • Prepaid SIM Card – This pay-as-you-go SIM has no contracts and allows you to top up data packs as needed. It’s the most popular choice for short tourist trips to Taiwan.
  • Rental SIM Card – Some shops offer short-term rentals of 1-7 days. These come with an allocated data allowance. Good for very short trips but pricier than prepaid.
  • Contract SIM Card – Requires either an ARC (Alien Resident Certificate) or long-term proof of address in Taiwan. Not a viable option for most travelers.

For tourists, prepaid SIM cards are undoubtedly the best pick. They give you full flexibility over how much data you need and many prepaid plans offer unlimited talk time and text messages. The top three providers (CT, Taiwan Mobile, FarEasTone) all offer prepaid tourist SIMs at stores across Taiwan.

Not sure which Taiwan mobile operator to choose for your trip? Click here to learn more about the top 3 mobile networks in Taiwan and find the best option for travelers.

III. How Much Data is Enough for a Prepaid Tourist SIM Card for Taiwan?

For light users relying on WiFi at hotels, 2GB is generally enough for short trips under 1 week in Taiwan. With moderate use, 5GB can last for up to 2 weeks. Heavy data users are advised to get an 8-15GB SIM card for a trip duration of 2-3 weeks across Taiwan.

Keep in mind that many Taiwan SIM card plans throttle speeds after the base data is used up. So it’s better to purchase more than you need so you always have high-speed 4G LTE data.

As a benchmark, here are some common data usage activities:

  • Using Google Maps for navigation: 50MB per hour
  • Streaming YouTube video: 500MB per hour
  • Making video calls on FaceTime: 300MB per hour

Adjust your data pack based on your expected usage for your trip. Also note that free WiFi is available in nearly all cafes, restaurants and hotels in Taiwan’s major cities.

IV. How Much Does a Taiwan SIM Card Cost?

Price-wise, Taiwan SIM cards are very budget friendly for visitors. Here are average costs:

  • One-time activation fee: NT$100 ($3 USD) for prepaid SIM
  • Data packages:
    • 1GB data valid for 7 days: NT$150 ($5 USD)
    • 5GB data valid for 15 days: NT$500 ($16 USD)
    • 10GB data valid for 30 days: NT$800 ($25 USD)
  • SIM card deposit: NT$100-200 ($3-6 USD), refundable when you return the SIM

The three major carriers (CT, Taiwan Mobile, FarEasTone) have comparable rates. You can easily find prepaid tourist SIMs for under $10 USD including activation fee and a 7-day data pack. Just top up more data as needed during your trip.

V. Taiwan eSIM – Alternative to Physical SIM Cards

While most visitors still use standard plastic SIM cards, Taiwan does offer eSIMs as a digital alternative compatible with many unlocked phones such as newer iPhones and Google Pixel. The benefit is not having to insert a physical card, which allows dual SIM functionality.

The downside is eSIMs are only available from certain providers in Taiwan. At the moment, Taiwan Mobile has the greatest eSIM support for tourists.

One great place to get an eSIM for Taiwan is by GIGAGO. Our clear website lets you browse reasonably priced plans starting at just a few dollars for short trips. Plans range from 5-30 days so you can surely find one that fits your stay.

Plans that may interest you

Taiwan eSIM 5 Days
Taiwan eSIM 5 Days
From $4.00
Taiwan eSIM 10 Days
Taiwan eSIM 10 Days
From $4.90
Taiwan eSIM 30 Days
Taiwan eSIM 30 Days
From $5.50

Once you pick a plan, all you have to do is quickly complete the online order. The friendly team will instantly send you the activation details via email. No waiting in lines or solving puzzles!

Upon arriving in Taiwan, setting up your eSIM is a breeze. Simply open the email, click the link, and watch your phone do the rest. Voila – you’ll be connected to WiFi calling and data nationwide! If any issues arise, stay calm. The customer support team is available on WhatsApp to assist day and night. We want your trip to go smoothly, just like you.

how benefits you
How benefits you

So whether exploring Taipei or relaxing in Kaohsiung, an eSIM from is a hassle-free way to stay online abroad. Quick setup means more time for fun – now that’s what I call an ideal vacation!

Upgrade your Taiwan
Choose, choose beyond limits!

VI. Where to Buy a Taiwan SIM Card?

It’s quite easy to purchase a prepaid Taiwan SIM card. Here are some recommended options:

  • At Taiwan airport arrival halls – All 3 major carriers run counters here with short-term SIMs targeted at tourists. Prices are fair and you can set up right after landing.
  • Operator retail stores – Often found in malls and major transport hubs. Provide the widest selection of SIM plans.
  • Convenience stores like 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, and Hi-Life – Recharge SIMs only, so you must first buy the SIM card itself from a provider store, airport, or online.
  • Online purchases – Sites like KKday let you buy Taiwan SIMs in advance and pick up at your hotel or a store.

When shopping around, always verify:

  1. Prepaid SIMs have no contract obligations.
  2. The included data and validity fits your trip length.
  3. Confirm the SIM size – nano (4FF) size for iPhones.

Stick to reputable stores or chains to avoid any scam prepaid SIM cards with hidden fees.

Interested in buying SIM cards at Taiwan airports upon arrival? Check out our guide:
SIM Card at Taiwan Airports: The Definitive Guide

VII. How to Use Taiwan SIM

Using your new Taiwan is very straightforward:

  1. Insert the SIM card into your unlocked phone. For iPhones, be sure to use the ejector tool to access the tray.
  2. Power on your device and the SIM will automatically configure your mobile settings.
  3. You may need to restart your phone for the SIM to fully activate.
  4. Top up your SIM as needed by purchasing data packages, either via the operator app, online, or at convenience stores.

If you face any issues, do not hesitate to ask shop staff for assistance in setting up mobile data or international roaming services.

VIII. Best Taiwan SIM Cards for Travelers

Taiwanese carriers offer a variety of affordable prepaid mobile options to meet different needs. Plans range from under $5 to around $35, providing data and call time allowances suitable for both short-term visitors and local users.

Carrier Plan Price (USD) Data Call Time Validity Pros Cons
GT Taiwan Mobile $499 $16.80 1 day unlimited data 100 mins N/A Cheap daily plan Only 1 day
$149 $5 N/A N/A N/A Very cheap No data or call time
$699 $23.30 5GB 0 mins N/A Large data for price No call time
Chunghwa Telecom 100 $3.40 1GB 100 mins 30 days Cheap with call time Small data
300 $10 3 days unlimited data 300 mins N/A Good for short trips No long term use
500 $16.80 4.4GB 3000 mins 60 days Good value for money Higher price
1000 $33.70 24GB N/A 185 days Large data for price No call time
Taiwan Mobile 599 $20.30 24GB 50 mins 60 days Large data and validity Higher price
999 $33.70 60GB 100 mins 30 days Huge data at low cost Shorter validity
999 $33.70 Unlimited for 30 days (then 10Mbps) 100 mins 30 days Truly unlimited data Only 30 days validity
FarEasTone 300 $10 Unlimited 100 mins 72 hours Cheap unlimited plan Very short validity
500 $16.80 3GB 50 mins 120 hours Good data forValidity Short validity
800 $26.80 7GB 300 mins 168 hours Large data and call time Higher price

IX. Tips for Saving Data for Taiwan SIM Card

To reduce your mobile data usage in Taiwan, follow these tips:

  • Connect to free WiFi whenever available – cafes, restaurants, malls, and hotels offer it.
  • Download offline Google Maps to limit navigation data usage. Also use GPS only mode.
  • Avoid bandwidth heavy activities like video streaming when not on WiFi.
  • Enable data saver mode in your phone settings to compress data.
  • Turn off background auto-updates for apps like social media.
  • Minimize roaming outside Taiwan which incurs expensive data fees.
  • Consider getting a portable WiFi router to share data if traveling in a group.
  • Monitor your data usage and upgrade your plan if needed. Most carriers allow easy top-ups.

With some data saving habits, you can easily make even a 1GB SIM card last over a week in Taiwan.

Knowing more about using your phone in here, you can visit this article: Using a Cell Phone in Taiwan – How Can I Do It?

X. FAQs about Taiwan SIM Cards

Do I need to show my passport when buying a Taiwan SIM card?

No passport is required, just visit any provider shop with your unlocked phone. Purchase is hassle-free as a tourist.

Can I use mobile payment apps with a Taiwan SIM?

Yes, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay all work normally with a local SIM. Convenient for using transit cards.

Is there a maximum duration I can use a prepaid SIM in Taiwan?

No limit, you can continue topping up and recharging the SIM as long as needed during your stay.

Can I use my Taiwan SIM in other countries?

Yes, but roaming charges apply outside Taiwan. Check with your provider on roaming rates.

Can I purchase a Taiwan SIM card at the airport upon arrival?

Absolutely. All airports have 24/7 SIM card counters right as you exit the arrival hall. Very convenient.

XI. Final Words

Getting a prepaid SIM card in Taiwan is highly recommended to stay connected throughout your trip. Data plans are reasonably priced and the network coverage and speeds are excellent with any major provider you choose. With this guide, you can shop for the right SIM plan hassle-free. Just pop in your new SIM when you land and have instant access to maps, travel info and calling services during your travels across this amazing country!