🛂 Visa - Post Covid (Q4 2022 onwards) visa runs

Since the visa-exempt rules have been reinstated, I believe (hope?) it might now be possible to try living here utilising the old ~90-day cycle system again. I’m currently in school but most likely won’t apply for another semester and so would have to do a visa run around the end of November, when my current extension ends.

Was wondering what are your thoughts on possible routes and their eligibility, and also returning here, since it all got shaken up during Covid. And while most countries are much more open now, possibly some residue obstacles still remain (especially in this region).

I used to do HK runs before, but am not quite sure what the status there is now - just for transit (not leaving the airport). From a quick look it seems like it might be ok again. I’m also thinking about Philippines. Overall ticket prices for roundabout to these locations seem rather high, going around 260-300 USD.

Another question would be coming back here - I believe the quarantine is now officialy gone, with only some self-monitoring left in place?

Any other caveats one should take into account you might think of?

Manila is easier IMO.

Bangkok is $300 US ish also. And you can have some fun.

1 Like

Thai budget carrier Lion Air (?) is beginning cheap flights to BKK

1 Like

I looked at that Lion Air but they don’t seem to have any Taiwan flights going.

Does anybody know which nearby airports are 100% ok to go to without any Covid hassle - just as a transit passenger?

Just use Skyscanner or Google Flights and see what’s cheapest. Wherever you go, I’d stay at least a night or two if I were you - may as well enjoy the expensive forced trip, and it looks less suspicious to immigration than flying out and back on the same day.

I think this isn’t really “transit” at most airports either, especially with budget carriers. You’re most likely going to need to pass through immigration (twice).

Personally I think Philippines and then Thailand as both are open and welcoming to most passports.

Budget airlines will start opening up more more flights for example Lion Air in December.

Staying day or two is not an option. It’s an added big expense for me, and also then you definitely have to face whatever covid laws are in the place. From what I remember from my HK trips, I was in “transit” as I didn’t have to go through immigration, and that simplifies things a lot.

I’m trying to research this atm, but wading through the write ups on assorted websites can be a real pain so I was hoping somebody has direct info. But I guess it’s perhaps “too soon”.

About the “suspicious” angle, I think that Taiwan customs know pretty well what the score is with these trips, so staying a day or two won’t make any difference. If it was few weeks, maybe.

@tango: ah the Lion resumes on Dec 17. Two weeks late for me, but otherwise it looks a good deal. Phils seems increasingly what I will have to do, but I think they still have quarantine in place, so I must make sure the airport “transit” stay is ok.

Ideally would like to go to HK as well and the flights are also cheap, just bit worried it might be a bit sketchy at the moment.

I think HK was an exception for doing this, even pre-COVID. If you want to try doing it somewhere else though, I guess you could. I don’t like your chances without going through immigration, but you can try.

My point is that you’re going to be paying a couple to several hundred USD for the same-day return trip either way, assuming that you can avoid it or get through it and back in time, so an extra 10-20% for a cheap hotel in the Philippines or Thailand plus dinner isn’t going to make a big difference. :man_shrugging:

It will be more expensive than that, for assorted other reasons.

I remeber reading about this a lot some years ago when I was doing this, and do not recall the same-day trips being mentioned as a problem at immigration. But this is all anecdotal data, so if anybody has some concrete examples or links then I’m all ears.

I’m still mulling this over, in case anybody has some new info/ideas. The major problem is that every time I decide on destination I find some new small print restriction or contrasting info which throws things into disarray. This is mostly Covid related, since while most destinations are somewhat open, they still do have some caveats.

At the moment a rough sketch of the situation looks like this (prices for roundabout flights around end of this month):

OKINAWA (220 USD) - short and direct, but the Covid procedure seems complex: you need test before flight then download apps, and so on and on.

HK (220 USD) - in theory I think it’s possible to do a one day “airport run”, as in not going through customs and retain in-transit, thus avoiding the impossible Covid obstacles for entry. But it seems too risky a proposition overall, what with all the turmoil.

PHILS (240USD) - interesting option but you need to be vaccinated. I am, but I don’t think I have the proof with me and also not sure whatever their exact definition of being vaccinated is (I only had basic 2 shot sequence long time ago).

VIETNAM (180 - 250 USD) - atm one of the two Fully Open countries - means you don’t need anything Covid related. For a moment I nearly went for DaNang 3 day beach hotel stay, because prices are silly (like under 10 usd per night) even though flights are more expensive. But there is a bit of extra cost and faff with getting a visa, bringing it on the level with Thailand. Also, weather apparently not that great for beach lounging at this time of the year.

THAILAND (220 USD) - fully open and perhaps will go there, but have just stumbled upon “need inusrance” contrasting info within the same page on a website. Also, saying something about PRC test. Dear Lord…

1 Like

I been to Thailand twice this fall. The airlines asked for Vaccinations proof though I am not sure if there was an option or not. In Thailand itself there was nothing different from precovid.

Definately give HK a miss.

And for your sake, not ours (we enjoyed reading the “travelogue” that he wrote upon his eventual return to Taiwan), do not be a “tight ass” in respect to accommodation - as @bojack did in March 2020.

His Visa run to Singapore turned into an expensive 5 week marathon trip to the USA and back.

It’s old info. You don’t need either. I wasn’t asked about vaccination when I came here yesterday either.

Long way to go for a day trip though, and you might need a visa on arrival depending on your nationality (I haven’t checked to see if you specified that above).

1 Like

Yep, figured it out later…it’s one of these annoying sites which dress up as an “official government source” and is anything but.

So, I hope you don’t need the insurance for Thailand either? Or vaxx cert for the hotels (seems to be a thing in many Vietnamese ones)?

I’d really love to go and stay for a week or so, and really be a tourist, since I haven’t had a holiday for years (ever?) but it’s really not an option atm seeing as I’d be losing out on school and also other stuff.

Since y’all scared me a bit and I want to minimize risk as much as possible in this crazy period I now do intend to stay for 1-2 nights, but that’s max. I really don’t think longer period would change anything, since the good people at Customs must know what the deal is anyway. And that Bojack story seems like an extreme misfortune - but even so, I’m either visa exempt or will have a regular 30 day visa (Vietnam) in these places, so can always regroup there should something bad happen here in TW.

I will sleep on it and really, finally, pull the trigger tomorrow. Seems it’ll be Thailand BKK after all, though I’d really love to see a picturesque tropical beach, even if it’s a wind/rain swept December one (that’s DaNang still on my mind).

Sort of related, but does anyone know where to find info about cruises from Taiwan to maybe Okinawa or really anywhere else outside of Taiwan? I found something about Taiwan reopening to cruises last week, and some tealit article from 2007, but nothing recent.

Keep us updated! Cheapest flights from TPE to Bangkok that I’ve found is via Tigerair.

Last Friday I flew to Bangkok and have returned on Monday morning. Both ways with Tigerair. I have an EU passport and am visa-exempt in both TW and TH. Thankfully, I had no problems (covid or legal) whatsoever on either end.

The only isuue is the cost, which in my case was around ~350USD, all expenses included (~ 240 flights + 60 hotel + living). This is a lot, compared to old times. Somebody with full vaccination proofs could go to Phils, I suppose, which would be somewhat cheaper.

Hopefully in the upcoming months there will be more options for cheaper flights and more surrounding countries relax their Covid restrictions.

1 Like

Thanks for bringing this up and following up with what you went through. I’m facing a similar situation real soon now a month after your follow-up.

On that, does anyone have any further updates and/ or more of a breakdown on what one needs to line up to do a visa run currently?


Quick gander on Kayak shows that ticket price situation is pretty much the same: KAYAK Explore

Phils is the cheapest (marginally) but if you’re not fully vaxxed with proofs you will need a test which is a hassle and also pretty costly here, far as I understand. So Thailand / Vietnam still are valid options.

Apart from that what you will need depends on which country you’re from and what entry rules the country you choose has.