Taichung Airport 台中航空站

Taichung international airport departures hall on Chinese New Year
The departures hall at Taichung international. No line-ups, no hassles.

Taichung Airport 台中航空站 is the smallest of Taiwan’s three international airports but also one of the most convenient for visa runs to Hong Kong 香港, among other places. Technically it is located in Shālù 沙鹿, somewhat out of the way from Taichung City 台中市 proper, but not terribly inaccessible.

My reason for flying out of Taichung was simple and straight-forward: I bought an incredibly cheap flight on HKexpress, a low-cost carrier that serves only Taichung. Of course, getting to the airport required a bit of research as there isn’t a lot of English language information out there apart from “take a taxi”, which didn’t suit the purpose of my trip: a visa run on a tight budget. Why buy a cheap ticket if you’re going to spend just as much on a cab ride getting there? And so I opened up Google Maps and started to figure out how to get there on the cheap.

In the end I took the train to nearby Qingshui Station and walked to a public bus stop about 10 minutes away. The first bus that passed by brought me up the hill to the terminal without any hassle. I paid with my EasyCard.

The terminal itself is clean and modern. It was almost completely empty when I arrived, though in fairness I was flying during Chinese New Year. I stopped to eat at the only restaurant in the departures hall, not knowing if there were any other options, and was surprised to find that despite the upscale look of the place the prices weren’t massively inflated. Later on I had wonton soup at the same restaurant on the other side of the security checkpoint. Also not bad—for airport food.

Passing through airport security was a breeze. There was only one channel, no line-up, and the guards were quick and efficient despite having nothing else to relieve their boredom. Immigration was also a snap; no questions asked.

Beyond the cursory security check at Taichung international airport
The usual assortment of bland luxury offerings on the far side of the security check.

On the other side I was happy to find plentiful outlets, a charging station, and free internet terminals, not that I have any need for such a thing. There were also shelves stacked with design books in Chinese to pass the time.

In short, it was everything that a budget-conscious expat on a visa run wants out of an airport experience: a cheap flight, decent food, a place to charge electronics, and zero hassles.