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Report From Taiwan

By Val Ellis last modified May 19, 2009 03:10 AM

Published: 2009-05-19 03:10:00
Countries: Taiwan

Taiwan April 2009

We made initial contact by email to [email protected]

giving information on our yacht....size, draft, colour, name, country of origin, names and nationality of crew, our ETA and Port of Entry. We received an email from Kaohsiung Port confirming our information. We left all form filling until we arrived.

Yachts must enter Kaohsiung Port through the North entrance. Once inside the main port proceed to the security wharf (port side). You will not miss it, all the personnel wear vivid orange overalls. After tying up, they requested permission to board the yacht and do a security search. We agreed and it was a very brief, very polite affair.

The Immigration, Quarantine and Marina officials arrived.

Immigration. We were given a 30 day visa. To stay longer we were told we would have to apply to our embassy in Taipei.

Quarantine. Our temperature was taken and we were declared healthy.

Marina Official. This official came on board for the short trip to the marina. He organised all our marina paperwork, took us to the bank for International ATM, organised a SIM card for our phone and arranged for us to have access to a company with WiFi internet connection. Marina costs in Kaohsiung are done on vessel tonnage. The marina official and his office decided that our 53 foot steel yacht weighed 15 tons!!!!!!!!!!!

IMPORTANT POINT - If a boat or ship weighs over 20 ton they must have a pilot to exit or enter Kaohsiung. This applies to local and foreign vessels.

Hobihou Marina
Look for security wharf on starboard side on entering. The staff were more interested in taking photos than helping us tie up. Immigration officials drove from Kaohsiung to stamp our passports. We are not completely sure but we now believe our 30 day visa was for one port only.

Security wharf on starboard on entering. Look for the orange overalls. Kaohsiung Marina had contacted the Hualien Keelboat Association (they have one yacht) who had let the officials know of our arrival. After security we were directed to the opposite side and tied up at the commercial wharf. Immigration officials met us here and this is when we learnt that in Kenting we had been stamped as if we were exiting the country. However they were happy to give us a 7 day ships' crew pass.

English was widely spoken and great delight was shown at our attempts to speak Chinese.
Do not rely on the security guys to tie your ropes.
Orange overalls are worn by Security and the Coastguard.
Coastguard boats/ships came close to take our photo and say hello. We believe they do not have VHF radios.
Bring any books on sailing or sailing magazines. They are like hens teeth here.

We understand that it is only in the last 10 years or so that foreign yachts have been welcome here and the number that officially visit is very small. Because of this they are still finding there way as to how to handle us yachties. All the officials we met were friendly and helpful and usually one has been able to communicate in very good English.

The areas of Taiwan that we have been fortunate to visit are beautiful and the people very friendly. We felt very safe here.

So we hope you can use this info. We are now in Ishigaki, Japan. We are happy to answer questions via our email if anyone wants more info.

Brian and Carol Boswell
New Zealand yacht Charioteer
[email protected]