Yes, foreigners are allowed on boat to Xiamen from Kinmen

[color=#BF0000]Moderators Note: To cut to the chase, yes, foreigners are allowed on the boat to and from Xiamen-Kinmen. Further details in this thread.[/color]

Someone told me that if you are employed by a Taiwanese business, as a foreigner you can get permission to travel by boat via Kinmen and Xiamen.

Anyone knows any more about that? How to go about applying for that permit, are there other restrictions regarding the business registration, ARC and visa requirements etc?


When I was in Xiamen last year I went to one of the travel agents that organises the boat trips from Xiamen to Jinmen and asked about this. I asked if foreigners could travel by boat to Jinmen and if it would be possible to do it in the future.

Well, it wasn’t possible last year and all they guy could say was he didn’t know about the future, but it was “very difficult.”

Sadly, I think it is a case of so near but yet so far.


Any updates? Anyone know whether it’s possible now for furriners to get the boat to the mainland?

Not legally.

But this is Taiwan.

Don’t even ROC nationals have to be registered as living in Kinmen to take the boat?

Ahh, that would make sense. I was wondering why more people don’t use the ‘three small links’.

I’ve heard that foreigners can get on the ferry, but only if they are registered as residents of Jinmen.

A former roommate went to Kinmen last year. I’ve no idea how he managed it, but he did.

Getting to Jinmen is the easy part; it’s getting from there to Xiamen we’re talking about.

My wife and her whole family are Kinmen residents, and, from them, I have heard the same. However, while in China, we met a number of business people on trains and whatnot who said they entered via Jinmen/Xiamen ferry. Also, there’s an unusally large amount of flights to/from the realtively tiny island of Jinmen everyday to/from many places in Taiwan (20+ perhaps?)…it’s really hard to believe that the very small population of Jinmen and tourists are creating the need for those flights (many of which are medium sized jet-liners). Also, at Jinmen’s airport, there is a shuttle to the Xiamen ferry. This, coupled with that fact that if you google “Xiamen Kinmen Ferry” (or something of that sort) your likely to see a ton of news articles about Businessmen who prefer using this method of entering China over going to Hong Kong or Macau, leads me to believe that we are being duped by a classic case of either a)Taiwanese ignorant of their own laws, or b)Officials unenforcing them.

At any rate, while in China, I had planned on taking the ferry from Xiamen back to Jinmen…but my wife insisted that I would’nt be allowed on. Unfortunately, in China, most websites dealing with Taiwan or ending in .tw are “mysteriously” unavaliable (not very mysterious at all, fucking wacko chinese government), so I took her word for it and went to Macau. I think the best way to find out the truth about this is to go to Jinmen with a few days, and some money, to spare…and just try to get on the ferry. See what happens and be ready for anything (being immideately turned away, being turned away at the Chinese border, getting to China but not being able to get back to Jinmen). If you get stuck in Jinmen for a few days, all is not lost as it’s a beautiful island (though, not tropical at all) with great locals and unbelievably awesome(read, extremely old) architecture and it’s most certainly worth a visit of a few days. Should you get stuck in Xiamen, good luck and god bless…I’d get on the first train to ShenZhen and immidately cross into Hong Kong.

I would think that if you happen to have a valid visa (multiple entry or not) for China you could/should be allowed on a boat to Xiamen. A visa gives you entry to China in any port, airport or border crossing.

To use that crossing does require a special permit. A lot of Taiwanese businesses are located in Xiamen. Taiwanese can get a permit, but I believe they require sponsorship from a business in that region (Xiamen is yet another Chinese special economic zone, and this direct link is a perk).

Some time last year I was told by one of the factories I frequent in Xiamen that a foreigner possibly could get a permit if they are employed by a Tawanese firm who have a business entity in Xiamen. I never enquired further, but would expect it to take a lot of red tape at best, especially as it would require dealing with 2 countries.


In an update to this I hear that as a foreigner you must be employed by a Taiwan entity that also has an entity setup in the XMN special economical zone.

If you are not directly employed by the Taiwan entity it becomes troublesome for them as they need to proove your employment.

However, if you are married to a Taiwanese local to circumvent this I hear it is possible to register the health insurance card of your spouse with the Taiwan company, once registered she will be able to get the permit, once she has the permit you are able to get a permit based on family. This is all heresay at the moment, I am considering trying and will report anything I find out.

The household registry thing is also possible for Taiwan residents, but I am pretty confident as a foreigner you don’t get registered on a household registry, so that route is not possible (unless the same family status would apply).

Well, I’m here in Xiamen as we speak, and thinking about heading over to Taiwan to visit a few friends.

I’d like to make a bit of an adventure of it though, taking the ferry from Xiamen to Jinmen and a boat from Jinmen to Taiwan.

Is that possible? I’m strugling to get any straight answers this side. Would I need a visa for Taiwan? When I went to Penghu from Twn all I had to show was my SA drivers licence, when getting on the ferry.

MY guess is that Kinmen is a part of the R.O.C which includes the island of Taiwan. So you would need a Taiwan visa to get to kinmen in the first place from China. Only mainland chinese dont need a visa for Taiwan to go to Kinmen. But then they cant go on to Taiwan but you can. IN other words going from Kinmen to Taiwan on a ferry or plane your being obviously a foreigner may be enough and you just need to show any valid ID. But a mainlander wouldnt be able to board a plane or ferry to TAiwan.

Thats my guess, but then I have never been to Kinmen so its just a guess.

This all may change when Taiwan is officially open to mainland visitors (not just through a third country as thats legal already). I understand TAiwan is trying to get permission from China for non Taiwanese to board these direct flights too. And if that happens, using Kinmen would be ok too I would imagine.

[quote=“Baas Babelaas”]Well, I’m here in Xiamen as we speak, and thinking about heading over to Taiwan to visit a few friends.

I’d like to make a bit of an adventure of it though, taking the ferry from Xiamen to Jinmen and a boat from Jinmen to Taiwan.

Is that possible? I’m strugling to get any straight answers this side. Would I need a visa for Taiwan? When I went to Penghu from Twn all I had to show was my SA drivers licence, when getting on the ferry.[/quote]

forgeddaboutit…there are so many obstacles to this…you cant get a taiwan visa in china, you cant get a landing visa in jinmen…that alone tells me this is a no go…however you can swim if you want; someone did yesterday

I’m wondering if they treat Jinmen as they do Penghu, where all that’s needed to leave and re-enter Taiwan, at Tainan port, is some form of ID, not necessarily a passport.

If I could get to Jinmen, from Xiamen, then catch a ferry to Taiwan, I’d be sorted. But I’d need to leave Taiwan without showing a passport (with visa).

Where do the ferries for Jinmen depart from in Taiwan? Kaohshiung?

My other alternative is to hop on a prostitute-carrying fishing boat and do a midnight drop off the coast of Taiwan…

(all for the sake of a travelogue, and to catch up with some mateys in Taiwan)

That’s correct, you can freely travel to and from Kinmen with your ARC (or passport), no need for a visa or some kind of permit.
Same applies to Matzu.

I don’t think this is possible.

Yep, Kaohshiung. There migt also be one to / from Tainan, though I can’t confirm.

I’m supposed to be visiting Xiamen, and am wondering if it’s possible to come back on the boat to Jinmen. Thought I’d look for the latest news here, but nothing doing.

I would say almost certainly it’s impossible. I don’t think that they consider that the route crosses an international border, do they? So they wouldn’t be able to stamp your passport.

Please tell me I’m wrong about this!

wow, I planned on going to Xiamen and taking the ferry after going to the Shanghai Expo. Anybody know if that’s possible?