Located 13 miles from downtown San Francisco, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is a major entry and exit point for flights to Europe and Asia. There are four terminals at the airport with flights San Francisco (SFO) to Taipei (TPE) with EVA Air taking off from Terminal 4. With an extensive range of services including plenty of opportunities for drinking, dining, and shopping, travelers will find it easy to pass the time while waiting to board their flight.
Among the world's top ten busiest airports, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) is where flights from San Francisco land. The airport is located 19 miles from the center of Taipei, and also has a wide range of eateries and stores available for travelers.
The direct distance between the two cities is 6,468 miles but, of course, planes have to use designated flight paths and the overall journey from San Francisco to Taipei will take anything from 14 hours for a direct flight to 19 hours or more hours where connections are required. The two main transfer points are Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Whatever the schedule and budget, travelers will find EVA Air has a choice of flights and departures to suit, with at least eight departures a day on a timetable that is similar seven days a week. At least one of these flights San Francisco (SFO) - Taipei (TPE) with EVA Air is direct. Flight departures are spread throughout the day with direct flights usually taking off in the early hours of the morning.
EVA Air stands for Evergreen Airways, and this Taiwanese carrier has its headquarters at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei. Largely privately-owned and in operation since 1989, EVA Air serves 40 destinations in Asia, North America, Europe, and Australia. Interestingly, it was this airline that brought Premium Economy to the world in 1991. Its main passenger fleet is made up of Airbus A330, Airbus A321, Boeing 787, and Boeing 777 aircraft while in 2018 it took delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
The airline operates with a green and orange livery and uniform and at the moment, its marketing tag is 'Flying into the future'. Onboard there are three cabin classes available on long-haul flights. These are 'Royal' or 'Premium' Laurel (Business), Premium Economy, and Economy.
EVA Air's baggage policy on North American routes is a generous two pieces of luggage (50lb) in Economy, two pieces as well but up to 60lb in Premium Economy, and two pieces weighing no more than 70lb each in Royal or Premium Class. Travelers can also take one or two small suitcases (depending on your cabin class) plus one personal item onto the plane with you as carry-on luggage.
If you have a Business Class ticket or are a Diamond, Gold or Silver card-holder with InfinityMileageLands you can relax in the dedicated EVA Air Lounge at San Francisco Airport. Star Alliance Gold members can also use this lounge. At Taipei Airport, EVA Air has no less than four flagship lounges. Depending on your cabin class and frequent-flyer program, travelers can spend time in The Garden, The Infinity, The Star or The Club by EVA Air. Lounge services typically include complimentary food and drink, WiFi, reading material, business facilities, and showers.
Once onboard flights San Francisco (SFO) to Taipei (TPE) with EVA Air passengers can enjoy individual satellite phones (payable by credit card), touch-screen entertainment systems, power sockets, USB ports, purchasable WiFi, and a menu of both Eastern and Western cuisine.
From San Francisco, travelers can hop onto the BART and Caltrain rail systems to reach the airport or choose one of the many bus routes that link the two. At the other end of the journey, frequent buses or the MRT rail service will whisk travelers from the airport to various points in the city. Shuttle services can also be pre-booked that deliver passengers and their luggage right to the hotel door. Taxi ranks, car parking and a good choice of car hire providers are available at both airports.
Travelers from the United States will find driving quite comfortable in Taiwan as they drive on the right-hand side of the road. To rent a car, travelers need to be over 20 and have a valid driver's license from their home country, supported by an IDP (International Driving Permit). Travelers will also need a valid passport and credit card.
As long as travelers aren't staying for more than 90 days, they don't need a visa to visit Taipei, just a valid passport.
Mandarin Chinese is the official language spoken in Taipei, but in tourist areas English is widely spoken. Travelers should remember to change the time on their watch en-route, as Taipei is 15 hours ahead of San Francisco. In winter, the weather in Taipei is warmer than San Francisco but just as wet while in the summer months temperatures in Taipei can reach 35°C (95°F), considerably warmer than in San Francisco. Travelers who visit during the summer monsoon months of May to September should prepare themselves for heavy rain. For currency, travelers will need to exchange American dollars (USD) for New Taiwan dollars (NTD) at an exchange rate of roughly one USD to 29 NTD.
The Taiwanese people are very friendly and polite with a formality in their approach. They appreciate politeness and good manners in return. Greet new people with a smile or handshake but remember to hold business cards by both hands when exchanging them.
Travel up Taipei 101
Designed to resemble a giant shoot of bamboo and the jewel in Taipei's tourism crown, Taipei 101 is the perfect place to get a bird's-eye view of the city. Ride the world's fastest elevator to reach the top of one of the world's tallest buildings.
Shop in the Old Town
For history, shopping, and dining take a tour of the Old Town and Ximending Shopping District. Enjoy local and traditional Taiwanese cuisine before enjoying some retail therapy in local spice shops and clothing boutiques.
Visit the National Palace Museum
Explore the world's largest collection of Chinese art in the beautiful surroundings of the National Palace Museum. This excellent museum showcases over 700,000 pieces of Chinese art and antiquity and is one of the largest collections in the world.