Taiwan Taoyuan International Flight Hub
Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport hub took 17th place in the 2015 SkyTrax customer poll for World’s Best Airport. 12 Million participants took place in the poll. This ranking is up one place for Taiwan’s airport hub from their 18th spot in the 2015 contest. This is a return on this airport done by the flight hub reviews team. Let us know in the comments how was you visit to this airport.
One of the features of this flight hub that stood out right away is their e-Gate system for immigration. Those of you that have traveled extensively in other countries know if you have a connecting flight, you’d better get through immigration fast! Which is a joke, because immigration is never fast. Except if you use the e-Gate feature. Here is how the system works-First, make sure you are eligible to use the service as this particular expedited immigration is only for Taiwan residents and foreigners that have multiple re-entry privileges. Then, you can enroll in the program right at the airport immigration center or other locations around the Taiwan area and at other airports and seaports. For those that have replaced their passport, you need to re-enroll. After successful enrollment, you just need to follow these steps through immigration:
- Place your valid ID document on the scanner upon entry to e-Gate
- Enter e-Gate and verify your facial image
- If that part fails, you can verify with your finger print instead
- Once these steps are complete, the gate will open and you are free to go
While on layover at Taiwan’s airport hub, you might explore the craft stores that demonstrate the culture and arts of Taiwan. Check out Aboriginal Craft Store, Formosan Aboriginals, National Museum of History and San Tsai Tang all of which have beautiful art works new and historic. Don’t forget the souvenirs for the loved ones back home, there are no less than 9 of these types of stores at the Taiwan Taoyuan airport and who knows you might actually learn something!
Some of the other stores you can find include pharmacies, jewelry and watches, books, clothing and toys among other options. Duty free shops are very popular and sell liquor, tobacco and chocolates. One of the stores that stands out with its nostalgic looking store front and faded sign is the Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor. It’s built to look like an old wine cellar with retro products and packaging. Visit the Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor while at the airport for this unique experience, even if you aren’t looking for alcohol or tobacco at all!
Kids will also love the Hello Kitty themed terminal—the only one in the world. Next door to the terminal is a store dedicated to the lovable little white cat known as Hello Kitty. The store sells airport related Hello Kitty toys and games. The terminal is a welcome change from normal and boring airport terminals. There are Hello Kitty statues and figures, chairs that have the Hello Kitty print on them, even the ATM machines are Hello Kitty themed and passengers eat it up and take dozens of photos while smiling with pleasure and surprise. Not only is the terminal fun and colorful, but it is a child’s dream come true with slides and play things. You’ll have to visit gate C3 in terminal 2 if you want to visit the Hello Kitty terminal but not just at any airport…only at Taiwan’s mega flight hub!
There are six shower facilities at the Taiwan International airport. Showers can be found in Terminals 1 and 2 and in four Departure areas and two Arrival areas. Four of them are open 24 hours.
There are also three medical clinics for those in need of emergency or other types of care. The medical clinics are in addition to the pharmacies that are available in the airport.
The Taiwan airport is in the process of building a third airport terminal. They had meetings last fall with representatives from several countries, businesses, local and foreign architects. The meetings could be considered more like a conference since there were 180 people in attendance representing local and foreign attendees from at least 13 various countries! With Taiwan’s dedication to customer service and excellence in architecture, terminal 3 should be a very special addition to an already great airport.
If on a longer layover and in need of rest, try Novotel, the airport hotel located five short minutes from the airport. There are free shuttles that will take you to and from the hotel, one on each side of the airport on Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. The Novotel is rated Taiwan’s only five star airport hotel and offers classic luxury in style and amenities not to mention its location serves both airport customers and those wanting to visit the Taipei city area and the attractions in and around the airport. Visit Taipei city in just 40 minutes. Back at the Novotel, enjoy the indoor pool and Spa treatments after your long day of trekking around Taipei City.
If you are hungry, then the airport is not a bad place to find some quality food. You can find Asian and Japanese foods, with vegetarian options if you like. There are delicate noodle bowls, savory broths, and hot pots to go. Want to try something a little different? Try Hogan Bakery. What is appealing about this bread and cake shop is the way they make their dough. They don’t rush through the process, they let it slowly rise at a low temperature, naturally. If you know anything about making bread you know you need to keep the dough warm so it will rise. Not this bakery. And, they claim that their process not only tastes better, but also reduces flatulence as well.
You’ll also find Dim Sum, or soup dumplings at the Taiwan flight hub. This is a very tasty but very delicate recipe to make. And Taiwan does it best. Try the Dim Sum at I-Mei Dim Sum for a flavor experience you won’t soon forget! If you are not in the mood for brave new foods, you could try some of the “western” food options. The word western is in quotes because there were no typical western restaurants that the author recognized, but they claim to be western foods. My suggestion? Go with the local foods…you can’t go wrong with a big hearty bowl of noodle soup…what’s not to love about Asian comfort food?