Visitors/Student Visa Renewal Trips out of Taiwan
Okay so you came in on a landing visa and need to buy some more time because you haven't quite got the job yet. Or maybe you are on a visitors visa and have another semester coming up that wasn't' exactly planned for. Or maybe even you just feel like sticking around for the pool parties coming up this summer whatever it may be, you're visa is about to expire and you need to know your options for a quick fix and renewal. Never fear, we've got you covered with 5 of the fastest and most economical ways to get you a shiny new renewal covered in the here below, take a look.
Number 1: Gambling Ferry Cruises To Japan Over Night Cruises
A not so well known option to a majority of those who are in Taiwan only the short term (less than a year) stay, is the Star Cruises that are run out of Keelung slightly north of Taipei. Keelung is home to the largest seaport in the north of Taiwan, and rightfully so also serves some of the larger cruise liner ships.
Special cruises run over night trips that take you out to sea into Japanese waters and returning the next morning. This essentially takes you out of Taiwan so you can re-enter on a new visitors visa stay. These cruises tend to be gambling cruises and a majority of the passengers will be Taiwanese looking to head out to sea in search of big winnings at the Mahjong table. Expect everything else on the cruise to cost money, from meals to water bottles, as the door price (that can be as low as $120 USD) will get you only the very basics, or in other words, you get what you pay for.
The liner to check out here is Star Cruises (www.Starcruises.com.tw) and especially their Taiwan Libra Super Star cruise that departs every Saturday night.
Number 2: Day in Paradise, The Philippines Philippines Paradise
This is a popular option with many English teachers in Taiwan as it gives you the chance to get to a new country on the cheap and get a fresh new entry on your visitor's visa. There are two airline companies that run some very inexpensive flight routes to several locations in the Philippines directly from Taipei if you are willing to loose some sleep over it.
These flights have a departure time of around 1 a.m. and arrive in Manila around 4 a.m., so it can be a tough schedule for some to make. On the other hand, if you can stay up, it could end up saving you big bucks as some of the round trip flights can cost as little as $60 USD.
The airline companies to check out are Cebu Pacific Air (www.CebuPacificAir.com) and Air Asia (www.AirAsia.com), with destinations of Manila and Clark Airport (Angeles City). The Philippines is also a very cheap country to travel in, so if you are planning on squeezing in a mini-vacation while taking care of the official visa business, this can be a great choice to keep the budget tight and get some traveling in at the same time.
Number 3: The Hong Kong Day Run Hong Kong Day Trip
The classic trip for a visa run from Taipei is easily a quick flight to Hong Kong. This option can have you eating breakfast in Hong Kong International terminal and back and stamped through immigration in Taipei all in time to make a lunch date with friends. This being said, the airlines are also on to the whole thing and tend to charge a premium for these flights. It is because of this that a quick flight to Hong Kong wouldn't quite be nominated for the cheapest award (Priced typically anywhere between $300 -$600 USD), but the turn around time is easiest one of the quickest.
For flights, just about every major Asian airline runs them direct from Taipei to Hong Kong international including Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, and Eva air. The best fares we've found are mid week, mid afternoon flights, and some of the worst flying out on Friday afternoon/evenings and back on Sundays, as this is prime time for the weekend getaway-ers to head to Hong Kong for some high life entertainment. The upside to this route being so popular is that there is always a seat available on a plane somewhere, so last-minute-ditch-all and procrastinators, this is going to be the option for you.
Number 4: Busan, Korea Business Express Busan, Korea
A great thing we discovered a few years ago were all of the smaller budget airlines flying around Asia. As mentioned in the Philippines escape in option number 2, Air Busan is an alternative to head over for some Kimchi in Korea while getting the visa problem sorted out. These flights can also sometimes be tough to book as there are a lot of Korean business connections in Taipei and they tend to plan ahead more than the average visa runner. This option is best if arranged as far in advance as possible, and can help you make the budget with flights coming in around $100 USD round trip.
To search for flights check them out directly at www.AirBusan.com. Although the search system is a bit crude, and will pop up with a no-frills 'No seats available on selected dates' warning, it can lead you into huge savings with some patience and by searching as many dates as you can.
Number 5: Get a Job ESL Jobs in Taiwan
We've heard this one before and perhaps you have too. If you're hear no a visitors visa and enjoying the time so much, why not apply for an easy job and convert that 30/60/90 day renewal hassle into a nice new shiny blue Alien Residency Card and a once a year painless renewal.
The easiest way to go about this and keep as much if your free time as possible is to teach English. There are ton's of afterschool 'cram' schools that are looking for foreign English teachers that pay anywhere from $18 - $25 USD per hour and provide very relaxed schedules that will have you only working a few hours a day. These schools will be able to help you convert your visa into a yearlong alien residency card so your renewal problems will be a thing of the past, and as a bonus you can earn some extra cash on the side. Keep in mind however; you must have a bachelor's degree from university in order to qualify for this option, as the government requires it for all foreign teachers.
Check out a few websites such as tealit.com, hess.com.tw, and davesesl.com to search around for job current listings and positions.
We wish you all the best in trying to buy your self some extra time in Taiwan, and do keep in mind that all of the above suggestions are dependent on your current visa status/nationality, so be sure to check with the immigration office before relying on any home-made backup plans.
Want to find a wonderful place for day trip? Want to ride the bike along the coastal line and enjoy both water sports and classic old streets? Chinshan County is your perfectly awesome choice where you can find lots of fun!
1. PARADISE FOR BIKERS - Chinshan Bike Path
It's got one of the most gorgeous coastal views in Taiwan. Along the bike path are traditional fishing ports and villages. Also, the special environments here have always attracted eco-enthusiasts to come.
2. PARADISE FOR SURFERS - 中角Seashore
Clean beaches, rolling waves and beautiful sunshine make Chinshan a popular holiday destination.
3. PARADISE FOR GOURMANDS - 金包里Old Street
For the present north coast, it's the only remaining Qing Dynasty street. It was the distribution center of agricultural products during that time, and now. some old traditional stores have still handed down like hardware store, drapery, barber shop, grocery store selling antiques...
This is definitely the coolest street in northern Taiwan. A gourmand can never miss this place when travelling here. When you come, don't forget to try the duck and traditional snacks such as pineapple cake, taro, meatloaf, sweet potato balls...
4. PARADISE FOR HOT SPRING - 八煙野溪Hot Spring
What makes this hot spring spot so special is that beneath the 八煙 stream buried the white lahars, giving people high class free beauty service. The great sauna and the natural geothermal resources on the cliffs offer you a smoked bath, which is also the public's favor.
This post was written by MTSA Student Representative Grace Yen.
A half-day in Houtong Township
Houtong is a small town full of history. For those railway fans, this town offers a few good spots to watch trains going to or coming from the eastern part of Taiwan. For those traveling with cameras, you will find dozens of cats to shoot at in this town.
Getting to Houtong from Taipei
All you need to do is to purchase train tickets to Houtong from any train station in Taipei.
You can buy tickets either from the automated machine or from the teller. The cost of a single ticket is no more than 100 NTD. It will take about 1 hour to arrive at Houtong. Please beware of the railway timetable!
If you depart from Taipei City, people suggest that you should first take the train to Ruifang Station, which is an interchange station for your cat heaven, Houtong. There are more trains and buses taking you from Ruifang to Houtong and vice versa.)For Further information about Taiwan Railways time table, please check this website http://126.96.36.199/TWRail_EN/index.aspx
When you arrive Houtong, you can take pictures of the railway or visit the Cat Town.
There are dozens and dozens of cats roaming the town, you can fed them and play with them.
If you’re hungry, there are many local restaurants. You can try pork rice(魯肉飯), mifen(米粉), and other Taiwanese food. You can also visit the Houtong Coal-Mine Ecological Park, from here you will find the history of Houtong and enjoy the beautiful scene. Houtong Station offers a variety of cat-related gifts and souvenirs. And the journey through Pinxi Line has just started...
This blog article was brought to you by MTSA student rep and 小老師 Alice! Check out more about who we are...
Full Spring schedule is available on the dedicated page for:Language Exchange Nights
MTSA Language Exchange Nights have been resurrected and will be being held once again starting next Tuesday night!! With the start of the semester for 台大，政大，和師大 comes along a new season of opportunities to meet fellow classmates and some new Taiwanese friends. There is no better way to improve your language skills than by actually engaging in conversation with fluent native speakers and making some new friends at the same time.
Who: Anyone and Everyone
What: Language Exchange and Friend Meet Up
When: March 6th 8 P.M.
Where: Jamaica Coffee 台北市泰順街40巷36號 師大夜市裡
Why: Practice language skills and meet new friends
MTSA Language Exchange Nights are held with the goal of providing a safe, friendly, and comfortable environment for people to study language in a fair and relaxed fashion.
MTSA holds the Language Exchange Nights to help the foreign student community get more in touch with Taiwanese culture, society, and people. At the same time, we help Taiwanese meet international community friends too! Come by and meet some new people, practice your language skills, and eat/drink something delicious!!!
Check out the poster below for more detailed information.......
IF YOUR ATTENDING PLEASE CLICK ATTENDING ON THE FACEBOOK EVENT!!! (click the logo below)
(Liking our page would also just be too kind of you :-D )
Full Spring schedule is available on the dedicated page for:Language Exchange Nights
MTSA is working hard to bring Mandarin language enthusiasts all over the globe together to learn together. One of the ways we try to build the international community is by having events and supporting groups that are encouraging meet-ups to help build new friendships and connections between people with a passion for the Mandarin language, Taiwanese culture, and Chinese culture. Language is, after all, all about people, community and communication!
MTSA is now a proud sponsor of over 1,700 community active members and citizens based in and around the San Francisco bay area! We'd like to take this special opportunity to show our appreciate for these groups!
Silicon Valley Mandarin-English Toastmasters
The Silicon Valley Mandarin-English Toastmasters club is a group of fun and friendly people that get together to help everyone improve their Mandarin Skills, meet new friends, and improve their ability to speak in front of others. Dear, Silicon Valley Mandarin-English Toastmasters, thank you for your support!!Silicon Valley Mandarin-English Toastmasters
Sonoma County Language and Linguist Group
The purpose of this group is to join all languages and cultures. America was once considered a melting pot, and in our opinion it it still is. We are starting this group because we want to shout out that not all Americans are monolingual. Many of us are bilingual and multilingual. Even if we don't necessarily speak the same native language does not mean that we can't get together and speak the languages we want to learn, teach each other, or practice with others. We will not limit this group to any one language. The purpose of this group is to promote language and culture in general. Some of us go a step further than just learning an extra language, or two, or three, okay or more ... some of us want to compare linguistic differences/similes. This group is to house all people who want to philosophically argue the most rare languages like Romansh or just get together to speak the most common new language to one's repertoire like Spanish, or help people who have English as a second language. English, Spanish, French, Japanese, German, Irish, Portuguese, Basque (either!) ... the list is limitless. All speakers are welcome. Lets band up and find one another! Dear Sonoma County Language and Linguist Group, Thank you for your support!!The Sonoma County Language and Linguist Group
International Group Gatherings and Outings
Originally a network of international students around Santa Clara county set to help its members as much as it can with academic, legal, professional and social issues. We're now expanding our goals to social gatherings, outdoor activities, as well as volunteer works for our communities around the south Bay.
- Anyone with different cultural backgrounds or is fascinated with other cultures should join.
- Despite the different languages, our members should be the people who understand one another most in terms of the challenging experience everyone has to go through coming to the US from all over the world.
- This group is based on a democratic bottom-up structure. Every member is a potential sponsor for one another. Dear International Group Gatherings and Outings, Thank you for your support!!International group gatherings and outings
Welcome to The San Francisco Cantonese Enthusiasts Meetup Group! Meet other local Cantonese Enthusiasts at fun Social Events to practice or learn the Cantonese language! :) Dear Cantonese Enthusiasts , Thank you for your support!!The San Francisco Cantonese Enthusiasts
Bay Area Asian Good Cause Group
We are a group of young Asian professionals in the Bay Area who would come together in San Francisco and other Bay area to raise funds and awareness for any charitable organizations or cause ranging from Cancer Research to natural disaster victims and more. We would also like to organize any events that support good cause we are supporting like Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, American Diabetes Association and more. Dear Bay Area Asian Good Cause Group, Thank you for your support!!BAY AREA ASIAN GOOD CAUSE GROUP
The Red Lantern: Bay Area Asian Cinephiles
The Red Lantern: Bay Area Asian Cinephiles
, based in San Francisco, is the world's largest Meetup for Asian films. In theaters and in private venues, we explore the high, the low and the everything-in-between of Asian cinema, from Woo towuxia
, from Ozu to "Zatoichi." Dear Red Lantern Bay Area Asian Cinephiles, thank you for your support!!!The Red Lantern: Bay Area Asian Cinephiles
Once again, thank you to all of the groups and we hope you can enjoy the special benefits and come and study in Taiwan!!
Event Info:Who: Anyone who's in
What: Taiwan Firework festival
When: Feb 6 thru Feb 7
Where: Taipei travel to YanShui
How Much: 2580 NTD
2 Days All inclusive besides meals and protective gear!!
Check out the event flyer to get a better idea of what this whole trip is about.
On Day 1 you'll take off from Taipei and head down to the unique town where the fireworks beehive festival is held. This festival is unique to Taiwan, and this town in particular, and only happens once a year.
On Day 2, you'll head straight back to Taipei to continue on with your amazing city life!
If you're looking for a story to take home about your experience in Taiwan, this is your opportunity!
Official Partnership and Sign up Site:
The anxious await as progress for Taiwanese citizens to become eligible for visa-free travel to the United States. In this recent news article, progress is reported that Taiwan has now been accepted as a candidate for the United States Visa waiver program.
This would be a great benefit to those Taiwanese looking to travel or do business in the U.S. for up to 90 days, as they wouldn't have to go through the painstaking process that is currently required to obtain a U.S. visa.
MTSA is directly involved in helping the two countries grow ties through cultural exchange programs and is in full support of this nomination. In the education field, Taiwan regularly sends one of the largest groups of students in the world to study abroad in America (usually ranked 6th or 7th) and future development is necessary to keep the positive ties and growth progressing. Looking at the business side of things, the United States is now Taiwan's third-largest trade partner, taking 11.5% of Taiwan's exports and supplying 10.1% of its imports. In 2010, Taiwan was the United States' 9th-largest trading partner; Taiwan's two-way trade with the United States amounted to $61.9 billion in 2010.
The U.S. - Taiwan R.O.C. relationship is a strong, progressive and valuable one that stands to gain even more stability and benefits for the citizens of both nations with acceptance into the U.S. visa waiver program. Of course, in the future, it is hopeful that American's traveling to Taiwan are granted equal privileges, making it even easier to come and study in Taiwan!
Take a look at the full length original article below.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE (source listed below):Taipei, Dec. 22 (CNA) Taiwan's candidacy in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is the best Christmas present, said Foreign Minister Timothy Yang Thursday, shortly after the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) announced Taiwan's long-awaited nomination.
Welcoming the decision, Yang gave a conservative schedule for Taiwan's admission into the VWP, which is likely to take place in the latter half of next year.
Before granting Taiwanese passport holders visa-free privilege, officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will need to visit Taiwan to conduct a detailed review of the island's homeland security and immigration systems, said Yang.
Acknowledging that there is no fixed time frame for the completion of the evaluation, Yang interpreted Taiwan's nomination as an "entry ticket" to the VWP.
Once admitted into the VWP, Taiwanese nationals traveling to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less do not need to obtain a visa, which presently costs about NT$4,340 (US$135).
Eligible travelers who wish to enter the U.S. under the VWP, nevertheless, must apply for authorization online through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and pay an administrative fee of US$14.
Asked by local media whether the announcement of Taiwan's candidacy has any political implications, as the local presidential election is less than one month away, Yang said the public "does not need to make unnecessary associations."
At present, the U.S. has granted visa-free privilege for stays of up to 90 days to nationals of 36 countries, six of which are located in Asia -- Singapore, Brunei, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.
Taiwan, on the other hand, has visa-free entry or landing visa agreements with 124 nations or regions.
2011 Taiwanderful Taiwan Best Blog Awards!
It's that time of year again, time to vote for your favorite Taiwan Blog!
Every year a great contest is held for those both in Taiwan and abroad to vote on their favorite blog that's been keeping them up-to-date on Taiwan for the past 12 months.
Well, the voting has started (December 10th) and will run until December 30th, so be sure to show your appreciation and get voting!
To vote follow these easy steps:
1) Go to Taiwanderful's Blog Directory here: http://www.taiwanderful.net/taiwan-blogs?page=5
2) Find your favorite blog's listing
3) Click on the small '+' button next to the listing name!
Vote Mandarin Taiwan Study Abroad Here:
Results will be released on December 31st, so be sure to check back and see how we did!
So the weather is incredible, you've got free Sunday, and you think you've done everything in Taipei already huh? Last weekend we felt the same, but lucky a good organizer friend of ours introduced and amazing bike ride on that was a reminder of how in Taipei and Taiwan as a whole... there is always something new to discover...
This is an absolute treat of a bike ride and can be enjoyed by everyone. The path is pretty flat and even the whole way and the signs for directions are clearly marked and obvious. Don't plan on a big one that will strain you out. This ride is a long and leisurely one, great for riding up the beautiful riverside and chatting with friends.
1. Rent a Bike. One of the coolest things about this bike ride is that you can rent a bike in the city and return it once you're in Danshui/Bali. There is a bike rental station at the GongGuan （公館捷運）station and bikes can be rented for only a couple hundred NTD for the whole day (~200 NTD w/drop off service.) Here is a picture of the rental place right next to the river side. The map below also starts from this bike rental station.
From GongGuan - Danshui & Bali Biking Route
2. Follow the pathway and the route posted above. It runs along side the Danshui river through the city all the way up to Bali. The route in all takes a couple of hours, of course depending on how many times you stop for pictures and how fast your riding.
There are some amazing coffee shops with lounge chairs and areas right along the riverside on your way up. They are a great place to get some peace and quite and enjoy the great view of the Danshui river mouth opening up to the sea.
3. Get to Bali and Drop off the bikes. We recommend taking the bike path on the WEST side of the river. It tends to be much less crowded and you can end up in Bali for some lunch and to drop off your bike. Afterward you can take the fairy over to Danshui and stroll around before taking the MRT back home in the evening.
4. Stroll around and enjoy the sight & sounds of the riverside boardwalks.
There is a ton of stuff to do around the boardwalk including arcade games, food stalls, and kite flying.
Some boats taking a rest from the busy fishing season.
Super Mango ice cream cone. Awesome. (This one was considered the small size, the large was about twice the height!)
5. Take the ferry across the river to Danshui. There is a ferry that runs across the river regularly shuffling passengers between the two popular boardwalk areas (Bali and Danshui). You can take it across to the Danshui boardwalk area and continue your strolling/sightseeing/gaming.
6. Take the MRT back to the city at Danshui Station.
The great part is if you're too tired to ride all the way back into the city, you can just hop on the MRT and relax on the way home!
Things to Remember
- Pack plenty of water (there are no 7-11's on the bike path).
- If you're planning to leave your bike in Bali/Danshui, notify the rental place in Gongguan BEFORE you leave.
- Bike Rentals require a deposit of cash and/or Taiwanese ID (health card/ARC)
- There are pathways up both sides of the river, you can choose to ride straight to Danshui if you want.
One of Taiwan's most famous dishes, Beef Noodles, is taking this stage this weekend for the Annual Beef Noodle Festival!
They are selling bowls of beef noodles for only 50 NTD, so get over to Yuanshan and check it out!
Date: November 17 (Thursday) ~ November 20 (Sunday)
Time:10:00 ~ 18:00
Location: Expo Dome at Expo Park, Taipei City (爭艷館)
Address: No.172, Sec. 2, Chongqing N. Rd., Datong District, Taipei City
Transport: Taipei MRT, take the Danshui Line (Danshui-Beitou) to the Yuanshan Station
This cartoon man was on a mission for a free bowl of beef noodles. Eat 300 and get 1 free.
Study Chinese & Learn About Taiwan Beef Noodles
The venue is right outside of Yuanshan station exit number 1, you can see the crowds of people coming in and out with tons of activities and games around to play.
Check out this website for more details: