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Paradise for Aviation Enthusiasts: Airplane Alley in Taipei

Perfect for plane spotting!

· 3 min read

Are you an aviation geek? Or do you really enjoy plane spotting? If so, then you definitely want to check out Airplane Alley on your next trip to Taipei! Airplane alley isn't a typical tourist destination, and it really isn't the most accessible. But if you are an aviation enthusiast, then you might really enjoy it!

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What is Airplane Alley?

Airplane alley, or 飛機巷(Feiji Xiang) in Chinese, refers to an alley near Songshan airport where you can get a great view of airplanes taking off and landing.

Located at Lane 180, Binjiang Street in Taipei City, (台北市濱江街180巷), this alley is a small road that lies at the edge of the runway of the Songshan International Airport.

Rather than an actual attraction, it is more of a renowned spot for aviation enthusiasts. Many hobbyists of aviation photography will gather at the alley to snap the perfect photo of a landing or departing aircraft.

The alley is accessible all day round, and it is free to enter.

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What aircraft can you see at airplane alley?

The Airplane Alley is a great spot for catching flights that are arriving and departing the Taipei Songshan Airport (TSA).

While most people visiting Taiwan will fly in to Taoyuan International Airport, there is actually a smaller airport within Taipei itself — the Taipei Songshan Airport (TSA). The Taipei Songshan Airport primarily serves domestic flights, and short haul international flights (mainly to Japan, Korea, and China). Some of the most notable airlines flying in and out of Songshan Airport include:

  • EVA Airways
  • China Airlines
  • ANA
  • JAL
  • Uni Airways
  • China Eastern
  • Shanghai Airlines
  • T'way
  • Xiamen Airlines
  • Eastar Jet
  • Air China

The smaller airport is unable to accommodate larger aircraft types like the A380. Instead, most of the aircraft that you will find here are the smaller and medium aircraft that will be used on short-haul routes, including:

  • A321
  • A321-211
  • A330
  • A330-300
  • B738
  • B789/B788
  • B787-10

If there is a specific flight that you want to catch, you can check the flight schedules of TSA. You would be more interested in the arrival timings rather than the departure timings.

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What to expect at the airplane alley?

If you are expecting a fancy viewing gallery, you might be disappointed.

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The airplane alley, like its name suggests, is an alley. In fact, it is just a small viewing platform by the edge of TSA's runway. It is surrounded by patches of grass, with signs indicating for you to be wary of venomous snakes.

The alley is out in the open, which means you are subject to the sun and rain. But, it also means you really can see the plane approaching the runway and witness it fly over your heads in close proximity!

In addition, with its close proximity to the runway, you can expect strong winds as a result of the aircraft engines; and the noise can be loud.

How to get to airplane alley

There is no subway station near the airplane alley. The nearest subway station is the Xingtiangong station or the Zhongshan Junior High School station - but both are about a 20 minutes walk away to the alley.

If the weather permits, and if you are up for a 20-minutes walk, walking to the alley could actually be rather therapeutic. You can get some fairly good views on the way. There is also a temple near the entrance of the street, with aviation-related murals painted on the walls.

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Alternatively, there are some bus stops near the alley, but they mostly also require you to walk a distance.

It will be much more convenient for you to drive or get a taxi to help you get to the airplane alley. A good alternative will be to rent a share bike (YouBike in Taipei) and cycle to the alley.

Address: Lane 180, Binjiang Street in Taipei City (台北市濱江街180巷)

Tips for a visit to airplane alley

If you are planing to visit the airplane alley, here are some tips:

  • Bring along some earplugs. The sound can be loud, and while it is bearable, it is definitely not good for your ears. (We forgot to bring some of these and regretted it.)
  • Check for weather conditions. Being out in the open and without any shelter nearby, it is important to check for weather conditions. If rain is forecasted, then perhaps it might not be the best day to visit.
  • Bring enough water. It is important to keep yourself hydrated while out in the open.
  • Bring along a portable chair. If you are planning to stay for long, a portable chair or a stool could come in pretty handy. There are no chairs for you to seat around and plane-watch, so having a portable chair or stool would be useful. Photographers also bring stools so they can elevate their height to get better pictures of the aircraft that is taxi-ing in the airport.
  • Don't bring loose items. The winds can be very strong, and your loose items could fly if you left them unattended. (Trust us on this, we're speaking from experience - we almost lost our bubble tea.)
  • There is minimal lighting at night. Try to visit earlier in the day, as visibility is fairly bad at night. If you are walking in (or out), you will be walking along a quiet stretch of road for quite a bit, so it could feel more dangerous at night.