For travelers between Taiwan and Mainland China, there are direct flights between the two regions. Direct flights are a relatively new thing. In 2008, the two sides agreed to direct flights between the mainland and Taiwan. There are now more than 550 flights a week across the Straits.
There are direct flights from Taipei to about 100 cities in China offered by many airlines including non-Chinese or non-Taiwanese ones.
For travelers between Taiwan and Mainland China, there are direct ferry services and flights between the two regions. Travel between Mainland China and Taiwan is increasing rapidly since 2001 when three ferry ports on three Taiwanese islands in the Straits were opened to ferry service to Mainland China and Fujian Province. These ferry ports are on Kinmen Island, Matsu Island and Penghu Island.
In 2011, there were about about 1.38 million passenger trips on these cross-Straits ferries. And the number of passengers is increasing by more than 10 percent per year.
The available ferry routes and the prefered method of travel changes almost every year, so you'll need to research beforehand about available services and procedures. However, foreign tourists have difficulty planning their travel and buying tickets because the web pages and information call-in services are mainly in Mandarin or Cantonese.
Direct ferries depart from the Xiamen International Cruise Center in Xiamen (on a small island off the coast of China) to Keelung (a port on the outskirts of the Taipei metro area) or Taichung (a city on the west coast of Taiwan).
Most tourists to Taipei or the western coastal cities of Taiwan will probably find this service the most convenient because it is a direct trip without transfers at an island.
Fares: 510 RMB (80 USD) for standard cabin. 60 passengers share a bathroom.
620 RMB (98 USD or ￡62) for a luxury cabin. 16 passengers share a bathroom.
690 RMB (109 USD, ￡70, or ~3,500 NTD) for a Superior Luxury Cabin. 6 passengers share a private bathroom.
Notice: Details about procedures to buy tickets, service times, when to buy the tickets, or making reservations change frequently. It said if there are not enough passengers at any departure time, the ferry won't leave. So check with us, and let us help you plan your trip.
There is ferry service between Fuzhou (the capital of Fujian Province in China) to Matsu Island (about 50 km east). The ferry costs RMB 350 (55 USD).
There are also ferry services between Xiamen and Quanzhou on the mainland and the Taiwanese Kinmen Island.
Taiwanese intercity buses are known for their comfort and cleanliness. There are both government-run and private bus companies that offer intercity bus services.
Taipei and Taichung: Dragon Bus and Taichung Bus offer bus service between Taipei and Taichung. The cost is about about 210 (7 USD) to 270 NTD depending on the day.
Taichung to Kaohsiung: Taichung Bus offers bus service from Taichung to Kaohsiung. The cost is about 210 (7 USD) to 270 NTD depending on the day.
The Taiwan tourist shuttle is a government organized travel service that is available for tourists. Their buses connect with many of the major train stations, and they offer direct services to many of the tourist sites. You may be able to find their English language route guides at tourist information desks or at the bus stations.
Taiwan has a modern highway and road network, and most signs are written both in English and Chinese, so this makes driving easier with those with a valid drivers license.
There are 901 kilometers of national highway, 4,700 kilometers of provincial highway, and a total of 21,000 kilometers of highways and freeways in general.
Since urban driving can be chaotic and there is heavy traffic, it is suggested that foreign tourists drive mainly in the countryside between cities unless they have a lot of experience driving in Taiwan.