Cheap Flights From Taiwan

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Taking off from Naha Airport on a Peach flight back to Taiwan.

This guide features a list of cheap, direct flights from for planning visa runs and inexpensive vacations. Most non-Taiwanese simply fly across the Strait to to file paperwork but I prefer spending a few days wherever I go to make up for the needless hassle and bureaucracy of international air travel. I have put a lot of work into compiling and updating various lists of potentially low-cost routes to destinations in East and Southeast Asia so I figure I may as well share my findings here.

All routes on this list should have return flights for under USD$300 or so—with most clocking in around $200 and several as low as $100 depending on when a booking is made. Since the cost of air travel changes from day to day and month to month it isn’t possible to rate each of these routes but I have highlighted some of the more reliable options in bold. Most of the airlines listed below are low-cost carriers so you will typically have to pay extra for checked baggage, in-flight meals, and the like. If you can last a week with nothing more than a small backpack these routes will serve you well—but if you tend to check in luggage you may find that these flights aren’t quite as thrifty as they appear. More research into the cost of staying at each destination will be required in any case—this list is only meant as a starting point for trip planning.

Landing at the old LCCT outside of Kuala Lumpur.

For what it’s worth, my budget airlines of choice have been Peach, Tigerair, AirAsia, and HKexpress, due in no small part to the fact that most have readily accessible low-cost calendars or promotional offers on their web sites, which makes it way easier to find the cheapest fares. Certain other airlines offer great rates if you don’t mind digging—but I usually get rather tired of mucking about with horrid user interfaces in search of a fare perhaps $20 lower than someplace else. For reference I have purchased return flights for as low as 3,000 NT (taxes and fees included) on several occasions with the information contained within this guide.

Of course, much of this information may be out of date by the time you read this. Airlines, especially those dealing in low-cost fares, regularly modify routes and fares in response to changing market conditions. If you’d like to search for your own I suggest consulting this list of low-cost airlines in Asia and the homesites of the various airlines you find there—or search for news on Airline Routes. Most of the usual flight searching tools (Kayak, Skyscanner, etc.) do not include low-cost carriers or fail to display the absolute lowest fare and won’t be of much use. There might be better tools out there but I’m not that much of a travel hacker—I like to keep things nice and easy if I can. And besides, there are plenty of inexpensive routes to choose from below.

If this list is of use to anyone please let me know in the comments—that way I’ll be more motivated to update it now and then. Oh, and one last thing worth noting: I don’t make a dime off of any of this and there are no affiliate links below.

Departures hall at Taoyuan International Airport, by far the busiest in Taiwan.

Taipei

Taiwan’s biggest international airport is located in , about 45 minutes from by bus. Here are some of the cheapest routes departing from Taoyuan International Airport (TPE):

Nation Destination Airlines
(HKG) Dragonair / Hong Kong Airlines
Macau (MFM) Air Macau / Tigerair
Fukuoka (FUK) Cathay Pacific / Tigerair
Hakodate (HKD) Tigerair
Nagoya (NGO) Tigerair
, (OKA) Peach / Tigerair / Vanilla Air
Okayama (OKJ) Tigerair
(KIX) Peach / Tigerair / Vanilla Air
Tokyo (HND) Tigerair / Peach
Tokyo (NRT) Scoot / Tigerair / Vanilla Air
(BKI) AirAsia
(KUL) AirAsia
Cebu (CEB) Cebu Pacific
(MNL) Cebu Pacific / Philippine Airlines
(SIN) Scoot / Tigerair / Jetstar
(PUS) Jeju Air / Air Busan
Daegu (TAE) Tigerair
(ICN) Jeju Air / Scoot / Jin Air
(DMK) Scoot / Tigerair
(CNX)
(HAN) VietJet
Ho Chi Minh (SGN) Vanilla Air / VietJet / Vietnam Airlines

Note: TPE-HKK is the world’s busiest international air travel route so there are many other deals to be found if you go looking.

Taipei is also home to Songshan Airport but this airport is more for business travel with flights priced according. Occasionally I notice promo fairs but they’re so inconsistent that it isn’t worthwhile to list any. If you’re interested in you might want to take a look at Eastarjet but that’s all I’ve got for Songshan Airport.

Arriving at Kansai at dusk after flying out on Peach.

Taichung

Taichung International Airport (RMQ) is a pleasure to fly into and out of but there aren’t many options. It’ll make your life easier if you live south of Taipei but there’s use in going way out of your way to catch a cheap flight down south given how much it costs to get there. Departing from :

Nation Destination Airlines
(HKG) HKexpress / Dragonair
Macau (MFM) N/A

Kaohsiung

Kaohsiung International Airport (KHH) is also good if you happen to live down south. I’ve only flown out of here once but the experience was a positive one and the fact that the airport is on the transit line makes it easier to get to and from than the one in Taichung. Departing from :

Nation Destination Airlines
(HKG) Dragonair
Macau (MFM) Tigerair / Air Macau
(KIX) Peach / Scoot / Tigerair
Tokyo (NRT) Vanilla Air / Tigerair
(KUL) AirAsia
(SIN) Scoot
(PUS) Air Busan
(DMK) Scoot

Chinese routes

There are numerous low-cost routes to from but I won’t be maintaining a list of these. Costly visa restrictions typically apply for most non-Taiwanese travellers and there’s such a dizzying variety of routes and carriers that it would be hard to keep up. If you’ve already got a multiple-entry visa you’re set; if not you might be able to wrangle a 72+ hour visa-free stay if you get fancy and book a flight that passes through China on the way to another nation. Consult the visa policy of China for more information. To keep this short here are some airlines to check out for low-cost flights to China: UNI Air, EVA Air, Mandarin Airlines, Xiamen Air, Shenzhen Airlines, Spring Airlines, China Airlines, China Southern Airlines, and Air China. Here, as well, are some destinations to consider: (PVG), Xiamen (XMN), Fuzhou (FOC), Guangzhou (CAN), Quanzhou (JJN), Shenzhen (SZX), Shijiazhuang (SJW), and Wenzhou (WNZ).

Inside the cabin on an HKexpress flight that I scored for under $50.

For very rough estimates of cost-of-living upon arrival consult Numbeo or NomadList. From experience (and a certain amount of common sense), I can say that and are very expensive, and are fairly expensive, is modestly priced, and you can get by without spending much at all in the and .

If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest weeklong trip consider , Cebu, , or maybe . If you don’t mind spending a bit of money after arriving I suggest checking out or maybe . If, instead, you’re just looking to get in and get out (and perhaps get some paperwork done), is the place to go, especially if you skip down to and catch an ultra-cheap flight with HKexpress.

Also for reference: visa requirements by nationality and the specific visa policies of Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Singapore, and Indonesia.

12 Responses

  1. Great info, Alexander. I usually fly cebu pacific to Philippines and have been satisfied with price and ease of website. I’ll check out the other airlines you listed next time.

  2. Great info, thanks for compiling it. It gives me some good ideas for upcoming visa runs. I’ve already seen some great promo fares on that Tigerair TPE-DMK route.

  3. Air Asia recently added a cheap (and direct) flight from TPE to Bali. It looks like the direct (and cheap) flight is only offered 4 days/wk. It is under 7000NT if you fly w/o checked luggage. My flight was just booked for Dragon Boat week (taking advantage of the long weekend).

  4. V Air is cheaper than Cebu Pacific to Manila now, and I got an insane fare (under 3K R/T) from them to Ibaraki, Tokyo’s third international airport, for next week. Also Air Macau has reasonable flights to Hanoi.

  5. Great post! Unfortunatelly, V Air stopped flying on 30. September 2016, so no more super cheap flights to Thailand (and some other countries) :(

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