Ishigaki Island (250km east of TW) - direct flights 2011

If I was running TransAsia I would consider a once a week visa run special at a price that is attractive enough to get passengers and obviously workable enough to make it work.

Dont know if this figure is 3000nt or 4000nt but if it got more then that people will opt for HongKong as theres lots to do in the kong.

And i would put packages available as well including hotels and stuff. There are day tripper types who would be fine with flying over there and back straight away but there are others who would like packages.

I did quite a few visa runs to the kong with CathayPacific on their 2 nite 3 day tour specials which included a flight there and back to the wan plus 2 nites hotel. Price determined by which hotel you picked and they had dozens to choose from.

They were good deals. Included pickup and drop off in the kong as well.

I think most people on visa runs are allowed back. They either have valid visa good until a certain date for sixty day stays on the wan or they are allowed any number of visa free entries.

If they were wanted by the law they would be nabbed at the airport on departure. And if they were not, i doubt those peeps would want to get back in?

[quote=“tommy525”]If I was running TransAsia I would consider a once a week visa run special at a price that is attractive enough to get passengers and obviously workable enough to make it work.
Dont know if this figure is 3000nt or 4000nt but if it got more then that people will opt for HongKong as theres lots to do in the kong.[/quote]
Well, some realistic market research has to be done to show that the numbers of "wanna-fly"s is large enough to warrant such a program… :slight_smile:

Oh, they have those package deals already: they come with the tickets that cost around NT$10,000 for a 3 or 4-day stay (the transportation ticket alone - attractive to me, since i have a place to stay - is only NT$8600).

I have to admit that i don’t really have a clear understanding of the reasons why people make visa runs - am i mistaken in the assumption that most people who do visa runs are engaged in, uh, activities in Taiwan that are, uh, not officially sanctioned? If that is the case, the idea of a whole planeload of visa-run customers lined up at Hualien airport’s immigration counter makes me wonder whether such an approach (causing a concentration of such people) might not be counterproductive… Any clarifying thoughts on this matter?

Did you not read the link I already provided in answer to your question?

Did you not read the link I already provided in answer to your question?[/quote]
You mean this information, don’t you? (I have seen it, thanks for the link!)

[quote][…] people do visa runs for different reasons:
[…]
(1) those who […] arrive in Taiwan using visa-free entry and want to continue to rely on visa-free entry – they have to leave Taiwan but don’t have to pick up a new visa while abroad.
(2) those who arrive in Taiwan on a non-extendable visa (because that’s what the Taiwan visa-issuing office gave them, for whatever reason) – they have to leave Taiwan and get a new visa abroad if they want to stay longer than 90 60 days (or perhaps six months – see below).
(3) those who arrive in Taiwan on a single-entry visa – they have to leave Taiwan and get a new visa abroad.
(4) those who arrive in Taiwan on a multiple-entry visitor’s visa – they do not have to leave for a new visa. The reason for this is that they already have a valid visa (usually for a year, but sometimes for longer) and so don’t need a new one (unless they change their visa from a visitor’s to a resident visa, and this can be done without having to leave Taiwan). Rather, they’re just using again the visa they already have. But it’s supposed to be just for visiting Taiwan, not living here.[/quote]
That only explains the reasons on the surface, meaning, from reading this one cannot get any information as to the reasons people have for doing any of those things. But there are many things one can imagine or suspect - and i wonder, if i can imagine or suspect something, would the authorities not do the same? That’s what is behind the question at the end of my previous post…

Taiwan allows you to stay indefinitely as long as you leave as required, you can come back. They dont ask too many questions how you can live in taiwan. Some people have the means to do this for lengthy periods of time.

For me before it was because you could work on a tourist visa (not officially but nobody minded back then) long as you paid your taxes and left the island on time you were good to go (and come back).

IF you had independent means you could get a tourist visa (if American) and stay up to sixty days per time for five years (if you got the five year multiple visa many do). Or do 30 days at a stretch on visa free. Europeans and Canadians , and Uk-ians and a few others now have 90 days visa free. Very convenient.

Another reason taiwan overlooked the working on a tourist visa part was that there were many liaison offices of major companies operating in taiwan and often overseas managers would even be stationed in taiwan and spend quite some time on the wan as well as travel around. My manager was just the such. Lived in tienmou and worked half the month on the wan and half the month outside the wan. He never paid any taxes.

There are also many businessmen making biz trips lasting a few days to a week . For these people Visa Free entry is great. They used to have to get tourist visas but now can just go into taiwan and do their biz trip and get back out with ease.

Taiwan overlooks people making biz trips , although technically they are “working” while they are on the rock. And taiwan didnt want to make liaison offices unworkable because a lot of these liaison offices enable a lot of business for many taiwan firms. Many of them are suppliers of raw material or components or are Buying Offices enabling a lot of export (dollar earning) from Taiwan.

Thanks for the various explanations…!

I have to admit that i still don’t understand the matter (especially since there are also older threads on this BBS -
like one even from 2006 - that explain why visa runs are no longer necessary), but since i don’t want to clog up
this thread with that tangent i’ve taken this topic to a different thread:

:slight_smile:

Sorry Yuli, you seem to be the only one who doesnt understand visa runs. Those that do them know why they do them. :smiley:

Yep. I said so… :smiley:

I’ve just received information that 2 direct flights from Hualien to Ishigaki have been scheduled for July

Thu 07-07
GE6812 dep Hualien 16:25 arr Ishigaki 18:40 (J time)
GE6811 dep Ishigaki 19:30 (J time) arr Hualien 19:50
Sun 07-10
GE6812 dep Hualien 16:25 arr Ishigaki 18:40 (J time)
GE6811 dep Ishigaki 19:30 (J time) arr Hualien 19:50

There are also connecting flights from/to Taipei on those days.

Possibly of interest to people who need to do a visa run: recently it has been possible to fly and return on the same day for a reduced fare (this works like a standby ticket, i.e., there is no advance sale and tickets can only be had at the airport shortly before the flight) - you will get your passport stamped leaving Taiwan and entering Japan and then again leaving Japan and entering Taiwan.

For tickets please contact one of the following agencies:

大榮 (Daiei) [strike]http://www.daiei.com.tw/[/strike] gogojp.com.tw/
Taipei 02-2522-3219
燦星 (Star Travel) startravel.com.tw/
Taipei 02-8178-3000, 02-6608-8155 / Shinbei 02-8919-9518 / Hsinshu 03-578-5377 / Taichung 04-3600-6799 / Tainan 06-293-3200 / Kaohsiung 07-969-6618
易飛網 (EZFly) ezfly.com/
Taipei 02-8161-1919 轉 4/5 台北市八德路三段2號14樓 / Taichung 04-2313-2006 台中市西屯區青海路一段129號 / Kaohsiung 07-291-1887 高雄市前金區中華三路73號
詠莉旅行社 (Wintour) wintour.ittms.com.tw/
Hualien 03-835-9477 花蓮市建國路286號

According to what has happened to someone, it might be possible that depending on when you call and who you talk to an agent may tell you that you cannot buy a transportation ticket (i.e., a ticket for transportation only, not one that includes accommodation, etc.) but will have to buy a tour ticket (package) - but closer to the departure date it should be possible to get a transportation ticket provided there are seats left (in the past i have bought such tickets from 3 weeks in advance to 3 days in advance).

I don’ t know what the fare for air transportation tickets will be, but in April it was NT$8500 for a regular return flight and NT$500 (five hundred) for a same-day return flight.

And trips by cruise ship seem to have become affordable, too (for the time being):
See Ishigaki Island (250km east of TW) by ship (2011)

[quote=“yuli”]I’ve just received information that 2 direct flights from Hualien to Ishigaki have been scheduled for July

Thu 07-07
GE6812 dep Hualien 16:25 arr Ishigaki 18:40 (J time)
GE6811 dep Ishigaki 19:30 (J time) arr Hualien 19:50
Sun 07-10
GE6812 dep Hualien 16:25 arr Ishigaki 18:40 (J time)
GE6811 dep Ishigaki 19:30 (J time) arr Hualien 19:50[/quote]

And yet another update… :slight_smile:

Likewise 2 flights for June:
Thu 06-23
Sun 06/26
as well as 2 additional flights for July:
Thu 07-14
Sun 07-17
(all flights with the same times)

The connecting flights are:
GE011 dep Songshan 1500 arr Hualien 1535
GE016 dep Hualien 2030 arr Songshan 2110
although the airline reserves the right to change those

The June flights make it possible to attend the music festival that is scheduled for June 25 in Ishigaki - more about that in the next post.

The homepage for the free concerts on June 26:

begin1990.com/utanohi/ (unfortunately not available in English - but people who can read Chinese will get the important points from the Japanese)

Other pages with related information (only in Japanese, sorry):

blog.fmyokohama.jp/ryukyu/2011/05/in-03ea.html
headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20110 … minkei-oki
ameblo.jp/jioi/entry-10857228993.html


And something unrelated that i accidentally came across: information in English about the traditional dragon boat races in Ishigaki on June 5:
okinawa-information.com/cont … e-ishigaki (our races are traditionally held on the 4th day of the 5th month of the soli-lunar calendar, which is, i think, one day earlier than the races in Taiwan)

TransAsia has announced an additional flight in August, which means the current schedule for their package tours looks like this:

leave, return (stay)

6/23, 6/26 (3 nights)
7/7, 7/10 (3 nights)
7/10, 7/14 (4 nights)
7/14, 7/17 (3 nights)
8/4/, 8/7 (3 nights)

If all you want is a ticket, you can negotiate your flight dates based on seat availablility…

Flight times on any of the scheduled days (Thursdays and Sundays):
GE6812 dep Hualien 16:25 arr Ishigaki 18:40 (J time)
GE6811 dep Ishigaki 19:30 (J time) arr Hualien 19:50

There are also connecting flights from/to Taipei - these are scheduled to arrive in Hualien at 15:35 and to leave Hualien at 20:40.

Return fares (flight ticket only) are said to be NT$8900 from Taipei and NT$8700 from Hualien; hotel package rates will depend on the selected hotel

For tickets please contact one of the following agencies:

大榮 (Daiei) daiei.com.tw/
Taipei 02-2522-3219
燦星 (Star Travel) startravel.com.tw/
Taipei 02-8178-3000, 02-6608-8155 / Shinbei 02-8919-9518 / Hsinshu 03-578-5377 / Taichung 04-3600-6799 / Tainan 06-293-3200 / Kaohsiung 07-969-6618
易飛網 (EZFly) ezfly.com/
Taipei 02-8161-1919 轉 4/5 台北市八德路三段2號14樓 / Taichung 04-2313-2006 台中市西屯區青海路一段129號 / Kaohsiung 07-291-1887 高雄市前金區中華三路73號
詠莉旅行社 (Wintour) wintour.ittms.com.tw/
Hualien 03-835-9477 花蓮市建國路286號

[quote=“yuli”]TransAsia has announced an additional flight in August, which means the current schedule for their package tours looks like this:

leave, return (stay)

6/23, 6/26 (3 nights)
7/7, 7/10 (3 nights)
7/10, 7/14 (4 nights)
7/14, 7/17 (3 nights)
8/4, 8/7 (3 nights)
[/quote]
Add to that the following now:
8/18, 8/21 (3 nights)
8/21, 8/25 (4 nights)
8/25, 8/28 (3 nights)
:slight_smile:

An update on available flights:

leave, return (stay)

7/28, 7/31 (3 nights) <- recently added information
8/4/, 8/7 (3 nights)
8/18, 8/21 (3 nights)
8/21, 8/25 (4 nights)
8/25, 8/28 (3 nights)

The fare has gone up slightly (the summer holiday season on both sides of the water puts upward pressure on fares):
I just paid NT$10,000 for a return ticket for the early August flight…

TransAsia’s agent in Hualien keeps telling me that the flight dates for September are not yet available, and TransAsia’s homepage has not yet been updated, either.
OTOH, Daiei in Taipei has on their website the flight dates for direct flights from Hualien to Ishigaki (with connecting flights from/to Taipei Songshan):

leave / return - length of stay

09-15 (Thu) / 09-18 (Sun) - 3 nights
09-18 (Sun) / 09-22 (Thu) - 4 nights
09-22 (Thu) / 09-25 (Sun) - 3 nights
10-13 (Thu) / 10-16 (Sun) - 3 nights
10-16 (Sun) / 10-20 (Thu) - 4 nights
10-20 (Thu) / 10-23 (Sun) - 3 nights

These would also be afternoon/evening flights. Will keep trying to get more information…

Was able to confirm the dates today - even though they are not yet shown on TransAsia’s homepage, i was told that they are as shown above.
Departure and Arrival times as follows (note that Japan’s clocks are set one hour ahead of Taiwan’s clocks):

Connecting flight from Taipei:
GE0011 Dep TSA 14:35-15:00 - Arr HUN 15:10-15:35
Taiwan to Ishigaki:
GE6812 HUN 16:00-16:30 - Arr ISG 18:10-18:30 (subtract 1 hour from calculated travel time)

Ishigaki to Taiwan:
GE6811 Dep ISG 19:00-19:30 - Arr HUN 19:10-19:30 (add 1 hour to calculated travel time)
Connecting flight to Teipei:
GE0016 Dep HUN 20:10-20:40 - Arr TSA 20:50-21:15

Note: Depending on who i talk to and which flyer i see, the departure and arrival times differ within a range of about 30 minutes, so i can post here only a range for departure and arrival times, not exact times. In addition, based on my experience with well over a dozen flights now, the actual times often differ from the posted times (without an explanation being given): for example, the departure time posted at Hualien airport for the flight i took in early August was 16:30 at the counter and 16:05 at the gate, but we did not start boarding until about 16:25 and left at 16:40. And it has also happened that the scheduled flight time of 80 minutes turned out to be only 55 minutes - the plane (ATR 72) is relatively small, and it seems the plane’s load and the wind conditions have a stronger influence on the flying speed than they would in the case of a larger jet plane - whatever happens, it’s best to quickly adjust to “island time”…

Here are the TransAsia agents i know of in Taiwan:

詠莉旅行社 wintour.ittms.com.tw/
Hualien 03-835-9477 花蓮市建國路286號
大榮 gogojp.com.tw/
Taipei 02-2522-3219
燦星 startravel.com.tw/
Taipei 02-8178-3000
Shinbei 02-8919-9518
Hsinshu 03-578-5377
Taichung 04-3600-6799
Tainan 06-293-3200
Kaohsiung 07-969-6618
易飛網 ezfly.com/
Taipei 02-8161-1919 台北市八德路三段2號14樓
Taichung 04-2313-2006 台中市西屯區青海路一段129號
Kaohsiung 07-291-1887 高雄市前金區中華三路73號

double post

[quote=“yuli”]leave / return - length of stay

09-15 (Thu) / 09-18 (Sun) - 3 nights
09-18 (Sun) / 09-22 (Thu) - 4 nights
09-22 (Thu) / 09-25 (Sun) - 3 nights[/quote]
I just received a notice that a travel agency in Ishigaki has been advertising their October schedule where they mentioned an additional flight on October 2 - that would suggest the possibility of additional short-term trips:

09-25 (Sun) / 09-29 (Thu) - 4 nights
09-29 (Thu) / 10-02 (Sun) - 3 nights

[quote]10-13 (Thu) / 10-16 (Sun) - 3 nights
10-16 (Sun) / 10-20 (Thu) - 4 nights
10-20 (Thu) / 10-23 (Sun) - 3 nights[/quote]

Today i was able to confirm the schedule for September and October - here it is:
(one flight date is different from what i had posted a few days ago)

leave / return - length of stay

September:
09-15 (Thu) / 09-18 (Sun) - 3 nights
09-18 (Sun) / 09-22 (Thu) - 4 nights
09-22 (Thu) / 09-25 (Sun) - 3 nights

leave / return - length of stay

October:
10-02 (Sun) / 10-06 (Thu) - 4 nights
10-06 (Thu) / 10-13 (Thu) - 7 nights
10-13 (Thu) / 10-16 (Sun) - 3 nights
10-16 (Sun) / 10-20 (Thu) - 4 nights
10-20 (Thu) / 10-23 (Sun) - 3 nights

November:
there could possibly be two flights at the beginning of November, but the airline company cannot give out any related information yet