Taiwan is probably my favorite country in East Asia.
During the whole pandemic, the Taiwanese government was nice enough to keep extending my visa while the world was crazy.
Whereas life was close to normal – as a result, I had a full year to explore the country, which I certainly did!
What you should not do, in many cases, is roam internationally in Taiwan.
International roaming can be expensive, which is why using local and travel eSIMs is recommended to save money.
Imagine if I roamed for a year – I would be bankrupted 🗿.
And if you get a travel eSIM, you do not have to deal with the SIM card registration bureaucracy and skip the queues in Taiwan.
How much will a local or travel eSIM for Taiwan cost you?
You can get an eSIM for Taiwan for as little as 7 USD, with 1 GB of data for 7 days, up to 99 USD, with unlimited data for 90 days, from Airalo (Xie Xie 謝謝), Holafly & Nomad.
Those are some generous data allowances, right?
And you can even get unlimited data if you want.
See how much it would cost you to use 10 GB while roaming – much more than what Holafly would charge you for unlimited data for 90 days!
In this guide, I will go over the eSIM options offered by the Taiwanese mobile operators, Airalo, Holafly & Nomad. Let's do this.
Original publication: 24th of August 2022. Last updated: 25th of August 2022.
Table of Contents
eSIMs offered by the Taiwanese Mobile Operators
To get the best service available, in terms of reception and speeds, you want to go with the local mobile operators directly instead of with a travel eSIM.
That is because you will have a higher priority on the network in case of network congestion.
However, that does not mean travel eSIMs will always be slow.
In fact, some mobile operators throttle (prepaid) on select plans or all plans for “optimization” reasons (read: we cannot be bothered to invest in our network).
Anyway, which Taiwanese mobile operators offer eSIMs to prepaid customers?
You have several options for getting an eSIM for your trip to Taiwan: Airalo (with Xie Xie 謝謝), Holafly & Nomad.
Not only can you set up these eSIMs before arriving in Taiwan and activate them upon landing, but you can also avoid Taiwan's SIM card registration scheme, which is mandatory for anyone using Taiwanese SIM cards and eSIMs.
While mobile data is already affordable in Taiwan, getting a travel eSIM will not break the bank – not at all.
Plus, I have plenty of experience with Airalo, Holafly & Nomad, and I can assure you they work well – and other Phone Travel Wiz readers also had pleasant experiences with them.
So let's see what these travel eSIM providers have to offer in Taiwan, right?
Airalo eSIMs for Taiwan (Xie Xie 謝謝)
If I could only get a travel eSIM during my trip because I do not have the time or opportunity to buy a local SIM card or eSIM, then I would always get an eSIM from Airalo.
Airalo has eSIMs for around 190 countries, offers eSIMs at the lowest prices (on average compared to the competition) & has good service.
Airalo usually partners with the local mobile operator with the best coverage, the fastest speeds, or both.
And if it needs to partner up with multiple mobile operators, it does so, allowing you to have the best reception at all times.
Anyway, you can get an Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIM for as low as 7 USD, with 1 GB of data, up to 31.50 USD, with 10 GB of data.
Those prices and data allowances are not too bad, right?
Especially knowing that the Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIM uses the Chunghwa Telecom network – the best network in Taiwan with the best coverage and the fastest speeds.
So you do not have to worry about reception and speeds with the Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIM, even in remote areas.
The following four Taiwanese Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIM options are available:
- Taiwan/Xie Xie 謝謝 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 7 USD
- Taiwan/Xie Xie 謝謝 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 14 USD (most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers)
- Taiwan/Xie Xie 謝謝 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 21 USD
- Taiwan/Xie Xie 謝謝 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 31.50 USD (most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers)
For Airalo eSIMs, the links above will automatically get you the Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers available – a code is not necessary.
- Check out my Airalo eSIM reviews
Overall, the Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIM gives you fantastic value for your money.
Airalo Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIM Pros
Are there any other reasons why you should get the Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIM for your trip? For sure:
- You can activate your Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIM as soon as you land in Taiwan
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access to Taiwan's best mobile operator – Chunghwa Telecom
- Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIMs are affordable (especially compared to roaming) and have generous data allowances
- You do not have to worry about SIM card registration with the Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIM, saving you time
- Out of data? You can simply top up online on the Airalo website and not worry about language barriers when dealing with local agents
There are many other small pros, but these are the major ones.
It would be disingenuous not to mention some cons, so here we go.
Airalo Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIM Cons
So, why should you not get the Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIM?
- The Taiwanese mobile operators, including Chunghwa Telecom itself, have much more generous data allowances
- While you get access to Chunghwa Telecom's network, the best in Taiwan, your speeds will not be as fast as going with Chunghwa Telecom itself because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- There is no 5G NR access with the Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIM (yet)
- You cannot call or text with the Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
Airalo Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIM Overall Thoughts
Honestly, the Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIM is fantastic.
The plans offered with Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIMs are generous and affordable.
You get fast speeds and access to Taiwan's best network, Chunghwa Telecom, without standing in queues or dealing with SIM card registration bureaucracy.
And everything, purchasing and topping up, can be done online on the Airalo website or Airalo app (downloading the app is recommended).
Unfortunately, you cannot call or text with the Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIM, as it is a data-only eSIM.
Nomad eSIMs for Taiwan
Another travel eSIM provider I recommend is Nomad.
In fact, I have been in close contact with Nomad as soon as I partnered up with them.
For example, upon my recommendation, it started offering the Nordics regional eSIM – an eSIM that can be used in Denmark, Finland, Sweden & Norway.
Yes, I really try to get the best offers and deals for you 🥰.
Another thing I have been pushing Nomad for, and Airalo and Holafly (to be discussed next) for that matter, is lowering its prices or increasing its data allowances.
In June, Nomad started offering a 2 GB eSIM variant upon my request for various Asian countries (because Phone Travel Wiz readers asked for such an eSIM) at competitive prices.
In August, Nomad dropped its prices again for its China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand & Vietnam eSIMs (which are even cheaper than Airalo – that is remarkable on its own!).
So yes, Nomad is looking out for you 👁👁.
Anyway, in Taiwan, it uses the Truphone network, which uses a combination of local networks, allowing your eSIM to switch to the network with the best reception automatically.
This way, you will always be connected!
You have the following three options with Nomad for Taiwan:
- Taiwan 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 20 USD/20 EUR/17 GBP/26 CAD
- Taiwan 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 48 USD/47.50 EUR/40 GBP/62 CAD
- Taiwan 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 54 USD/53.50 EUR/45 GBP/69.50 CAD
Even though Nomad dropped its prices for Taiwan eSIMs, you can still get 3 USD off your first Nomad purchase by using code ADU123!
- Check out my Nomad eSIM reviews
Of course, going with Nomad has some pros and cons, so let's go over them.
Nomad Taiwan eSIM Pros
So, why should you get a Nomad eSIM? Because:
- You can activate your Nomad Taiwan eSIM as soon as you land in Taiwan
- You do not have to worry about SIM card registration, saving you time
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access on all Taiwanese networks, allowing you to have the best reception at all times
- You can avoid expensive international roaming fees
- Out of data? You can simply top up online on the Nomad website and not worry about language barriers when dealing with local agents
But it is not all good news with Nomad though – there are some disadvantages.
Nomad Taiwan eSIM Cons
So, why should you not get the Nomad Taiwan eSIM?
- The Taiwanese mobile operators have much more generous data allowances and cheaper plans
- While you get access to five networks, your speeds will not be as fast as going with the Taiwanese mobile operators themselves because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- There is no 5G NR access with the Nomad Taiwanese eSIM
- You cannot call or text with the Nomad Taiwanese eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
Nomad Taiwan eSIM Overall Thoughts
Overall, the Nomad Taiwan eSIM is a great premium eSIM.
You will always have the best reception because the Nomad Taiwan eSIM automatically switches to the best network at your location.
However, just like the other travel eSIMs mentioned in this guide, you do not get a (local) phone number with the Nomad Taiwan eSIM.
Moreover, you can only get up to 5 GB of data.
Luckily, you can top up your Nomad Taiwan eSIM with more data if you want.
Holafly eSIMs for Taiwan
The last travel eSIM provider I recommend is Holafly.
In June 2022, Holafly introduced something that no other travel eSIM provider had done by that time.
You can now get unlimited data plans for Taiwan, several other Asian countries, almost all European Union member states (except for Liechtenstein) & a few other countries, like Canada and the United States.
And that is super exciting!
Now, I have to say that the unlimited data plans offered by Holafly are more expensive than the Airalo Taiwan eSIM or the eSIMs sold by Nomad.
But if you do not want to worry about data allowances, Holafly is the one to go for.
The Holafly eSIMs use the Chunghwa Telecom (as well) & Taiwan Mobile networks.
You have the following seven Taiwan eSIM options with Holafly:
- Taiwan unlimited data eSIM for 5 days, costing 19 USD/19 EUR/19 GBP
- Taiwan unlimited data eSIM for 10 days, costing 34 USD/34 EUR/29 GBP
- Taiwan unlimited data eSIM for 15 days, costing 47 USD/47 EUR/44 GBP
- Taiwan unlimited data eSIM for 20 days, costing 54 USD/57 EUR/49 GBP
- Taiwan unlimited data eSIM for 30 days, costing 64 USD/69 EUR/59 GBP
- Taiwan unlimited data eSIM for 60 days, costing 84 USD/87 EUR/77 GBP
- Taiwan unlimited data eSIM for 90 days, costing 99 USD/99 EUR/87 GBP
Based on the emails I have received, the 20-, 30- & 60-day plans are popular because those who buy Holafly eSIMs tend to stay in Taiwan for a prolonged period to explore the country.
As I recently started my collaboration with Holafly, you can get 5% off each purchase whenever you use code PHONETRAVELWIZ – awesome, right?
- Check out my Holafly eSIM reviews
Of course, there are some pros and cons with going with Holafly, so let's go over them.
Holafly Taiwan eSIM Pros
So, why should you get the Holafly eSIMs? Well, because of the following:
- You can purchase and set up your Holafly Taiwan eSIM before arriving in Taiwan (and activate it upon landing)
- You do not have to worry about SIM card registration, saving you time
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access on the Chunghwa Telecom & Taiwan Mobile networks
- You do not have to deal with data caps because you get unlimited data (89 GB – here I come!)
- You can avoid expensive international roaming fees
But it is not all good news with Holafly though – there are some disadvantages.
Holafly Taiwan eSIM eSIM Cons
So, why should you not get a Holafly Taiwan eSIM?
- While the Taiwanese mobile operators do not offer unlimited data plans (yet), their plans are much cheaper than Holafly
- While you get access to the Chunghwa Telecom & Taiwan Mobile networks, your speeds will not be as fast as going with Chunghwa Telecom & Taiwan Mobile itself because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- There is no 5G NR access with the Holafly eSIM
- You cannot call or text with the Holafly eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
- Holafly is the most expensive travel eSIM provider in this guide
Holafly Taiwan eSIM Overall Thoughts
Overall, the Holafly Taiwan eSIM is an excellent eSIM for those who do not want to deal with data caps because you get unlimited data.
Even then, you will still get fast speeds and 4G/LTE reception.
However, Holafly is the most expensive option in this guide and may not be the best for budget travelers.
Best eSIMs for in Asia (not just Taiwan)
Unfortunately, you cannot use your Airalo Xie Xie 謝謝, Holafly Taiwan, or Nomad Taiwan eSIMs in any country than Taiwan.
However, the three eSIM providers have eSIMs covering several East Asian and Southeast Asian countries.
I highly recommend these Asia/APAC eSIMs if you plan to visit multiple East- and Southeast Asian countries to save money!
Airalo recently heavily improved its Asia eSIM, which used to offer a meager 4 GB of high-speed data before allowing for unlimited data at snail speeds, following the popular Eurolink eSIM for 39 European countries.
The Eurolink eSIM is the most popular eSIM for Phone Travel readers, and I have no doubt that the Asialink eSIM will be popular too.
Just like in Europe, many readers tend to visit multiple Asian countries, so they would rather have a travel eSIM covering multiple countries than just one (like Taiwan).
The Asialink eSIM can be used in the following 14 countries:
Below is an overview of how much each Asialink eSIM costs:
- Asia/Asialink 1 GB eSIM for 1 day, costing 5 USD
- Asia/Asialink 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 13 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Asia/Asialink 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 20 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Asia/Asialink 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 37 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Asia/Asialink 50 GB eSIM for 90 days, costing 100 USD
- Asia/Asialink 100 GB eSIM for 180 days, costing 185 USD
Holafly & Nomad eSIMs for Europe
Because of Airalo's previous Asia eSIM, I used to recommend Nomad's APAC eSIMs instead (to be used in 8 countries).
This eSIM can be used in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore & Thailand (1 GB/7 days/15 USD – 20 GB/30 days/69 USD).
As you can see, this eSIM cannot be used in Taiwan, so it would be useless here but useful in the aforementioned countries.
The Holafly Asia eSIM has only one variant: 8 GB for 30 days, costing 47 USD/49 EUR/34 GBP.
This eSIM can be used in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand & Vietnam.
Basically, the same countries as the Airalo Asialink eSIM with just fewer options (1 variant (8 GB) vs. 6 variants (1 GB/3 GB/5 GB/10 GB/50 GB/100 GB)) and much more expensive.
So yeah, the Asialink eSIM is superior, I would say.
Remember, the Airalo links above will automatically offer you the best deals.
Overview of the Best eSIMs for Taiwan (Airalo vs. Holafly vs. Nomad)
In this guide, I went over various eSIMs for Taiwan: Airalo (Xie Xie 謝謝), Holafly & Nomad.
Below is an overview of my recommendation order:
- Airalo's Taiwan Xie Xie 謝謝 eSIM (best value for money)
- Airalo's Asia Asialink eSIM (best value for money when also visiting other East- and Southeast Asian countries)
- Nomad Taiwan eSIM (excellent performance)
- Holafly Taiwan eSIM (truly unlimited data plans at premium prices)
- Holafly Asia eSIM (to be used in 13 countries)
Remember to use code PHONETRAVELWIZ for Holafly eSIMs and code ADU123 for Nomad eSIMs – a code is not necessary for Airalo eSIM purchases.
Buying a SIM Card in Taiwan
Want to just use a SIM card but not your current one because roaming will be criminally expensive?
Consider getting a Taiwanese SIM card instead – local SIM cards are the cheapest way to stay connected abroad.
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