Dienstag, 30. Juni 2015

The Trip from Xiamen to Taiwan via Jinmen in 2015

Also known as the “mini-three-link” (xiaosantong 小三通 in Chinese, which could also be translated as "Little Mistress Link"). Since I did it a lot in my two years in Xiamen, I have been asked a lot and the lot of the information on the net on this is outdated, so I decided to make an easy step by step manual about it. In this particular case the journey: Xiamen-Jinmen-Taizhong or, in the Taiwanese transliteration: Amoy-Kinmen-Taichung.

The advantage of this trip is, that there are several flights a day to every major city of Taiwan from Jinmen. It is fun and you get to see this historically very interesting island on the forefront of the "Taiwan Strait Issue"

Wherever you are on the island of Xiamen, grab a cab and say: “Wutong matou (五通码头).” That is where the ships leave for Jinmen. Taking a cab is the easiest and fastest way. Depending on where you are on the island (it is quite big), it might cost up to 70 Yuan which equals a half an hour ride; still no better way to get there.

You’ll be droped off here.

Get in and go to the desk...
...and say: “Wang Jinmen (往金门).“

There are boats every half hour. Tickets are issued one hour before departure and it can be crowded. You need a valid passport and to check, whether you need a visa for the Republic of China, Chinese from the mainland can travel to Jinmen without a visa! You’ll get two tickets:

They cost 140 or 150 Yuan depending on the boat.

Wait a little.

Get on the boat.

maybe it's boat A

or boat B

The journey takes 40 to 50 minutes.

arrive safely at Kinmen

You'll need New Taiwan Dollars (NT$) now. You can change money in the departure hall, where are also ATMs. It is next to the arrival hall. If you take the trip the other way round, this is where to buy your tickets to Wutong matou in Xiamen as well. The name of the Kinmen wharf is Shui-tou matou(水頭馬頭).

The price is 650/725 NT$ depending on the boat. Be aware when you’re planning, that the last boat for Xiamen leaves at 18:30 the latest and you should be there at least an hour ahead. 
Ok, but we want to go to the airport now. We have two choices: taxi or bus.  

Right outside the arrival hall are nice and friendly local taxi drivers eager to drive you to the airport, it's the easiest and by far the fastest way. It costs around 310 NT$ and needs roughly 15 minutes to the airport. Turn left and you'll get to the arrival hall, turn right and you get to busstop and the ferry terminal to "Little Kinmen". And if you have plenty of time and enjoy a bumpy ride through the picturesque countryside of Kinmen, do it. It takes a little more than an hour and cost 24 NT$ :) So, turn left and you see this:

take bus 7A to 金城 (every half an hour) for 12 NT$

get off, here at 金城 (Jincheng).

change to bus 3 to Shanwai (山外) 12 NT$

  schedule of bus nr. 3

the airport of Kinmen, arriving one hour before departure is enough

get in and go straight ahead...

...to the ticketing area

board the turboprop to the city of your liking

arrive safely


Another nice thing is, for example when you go on taking the Taiwanese highspeed train after landing, you will have utilised almost every variety of travelling machinery within one day...
it's cheap, convenient, runs until late, every half an hour and is fast

Further pointers:

I haven't done it, but I suppose one could do the trip without any prior preparation, it is that easy. There are flight agencies everywhere, and the prices are stable around twothousand something NT$ for a single trip. I often saw open seats for same day flights.

airline counters at the wharf in Kinmen

at the airport of course in Taichung

the airport in Kinmen
And there are visitor information centers everywhere, with friendly and helpful staff.

at the port in Kinmen
Finally, it is possible to get the tickets for the boat leaving in half an hour and be at the gate in under 15 minutes, but I do not recommend it :)

Please let me know whether this was helpful to you and