I found the following information on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation:

  1. Дополнительные рекомендации с учетом особенностей страны

Во всех аэропортах острова, кроме тайбэйских, категорически запрещено фотографирование.

which translates to (via Google Translate):

  1. Additional recommendations based on country specifics.

At all airports of the island, except Taipei, photography is strictly prohibited.

I wasn't able to find any source for this. Is this indeed the case? If so, is there a specific reason for that?

  • 3
    I don't know about this specific rule, but typically these restrictions are due to a general ban on photography of military installations. Perhaps the Taipei airport is the only one on the island that is solely civilian. Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 2:34
  • Given political and military sensitivities with mainland China, I wouldn't be surprised. Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 6:16
  • Funnily enough, Taipei's second/domestic airport Songshan is a military airbase as well! Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 14:28

3 Answers 3


Although I had not seen that exception to Taiwan, I had previously read that photographing airports is prohibited and nearly always avoid taking photos in airports but I see people do it often and there are plenty of photos of airports around.

One of the few times I took photos in an airport was in Panama and I was stopped after taking 3-4 photos. They then took me to a room where I got interrogated by 4 guards who asked me questions, asked to see the photos before sending me onward with a warning saying that it is not allowed.

Since then, if I see something worth capturing, I wait for a security personal to pass and ask them permission. They say no more than half the time. I imagine the legality is potentially different in every country, so I do not think there is a single answer to your question, but generally airports are considered sensitive areas. I know of a few people who got stopped taking pictures in the direction of an airport while not in the airport too, even if it was a civilian airport exclusively.

  • You were probably using a DSLR though? That's usually what triggers the bored security guards to take action. If you're just using a phone you'll probably be fine everywhere.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 18:12
  • 3
    This 100 % contradicts my experiences from many different airports. I started taking pictures of the plane I was flying on from the terminal building back in 2017, often with a DSLR and wasn’t ever stopped or asked. I also took a number of photos of interesting sights within an airport without any such problems. (I don’t, however, take pictures of the security checkpoints or immigration/customs desks where there are usually no photos signs.) For reference, I have pictures of airports in D, DK, UK, CN, TW, JP, AUS, NZ, SK, FIN, SIN and some I forgot.
    – Jan
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 6:05
  • @JonathanReez - Indeed, I use a DSLR for most photography and I've tried a mirrorless in an airport to see if it gets that much attention. Even with the DSLR, I did get a few yes but more times it's no because that I ask less frequently now, unless it's a really standout architecture that is worth the bother.
    – Itai
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 16:26

I cannot give a personal account because I have only been to Taoyuan airport (where nobody objected to me taking pictures—in fact, nobody ever objected to me taking pictures at airports even with a DSLR camera).

However, I will note that Kaohsiung airport, the second-largest airport in Taiwan, advertises its observation deck for plane spotting and other activities on its website. It specifically mentions plane spotting as a reason for its existence and its terms of use (same page) do not mention any prohibition on taking pictures (while it does mention, e.g. no vandalism, no smoking, no loud noises, no betel nut chewing).

In addition, I found no mention of photography, pictures or photo (outside photocopy machines); neither by searching the entire site by the search bar supplied, nor in the FAQ section.

This leads me to strongly assume that the claim is not generally true.

That said, it is always a good idea to abide by the following:

  • adhere to any signs that prohibit photography. Try to look out for them so that their presence doesn’t surprise you
  • do not take pictures of security installations, like the passenger screening facilities
  • do not take pictures of security personnel
  • do not take pictures of any military installations or equipment or personnel (applies especially if the civilian airport is adjacent to a military air base)
  • do not take pictures of customs or immigration
  • exercise common sense when judging whether it is permissible to photograph other travellers

That is not truth, visit TPE on google maps, there's thousands of pictures upload by visitors. And at least, I never heard anyone get into trouble because taking photos in air port :)


ok, you can also check other air port in Taiwan,

  • RMQ (Taichung)
  • KHH (Kaohsiung)
  • or TSA (the air port actual locate in Taipei)

I think making life log is totally fine, but you will need a request for commercial photographing (Apply for a film permit)

You can also send the request on line, but I can't find it in English version... link

  • 7
    The quote specifically excludes Taipei
    – mdewey
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 13:28
  • The fact that people take pictures does not mean this is actually allowed. On the other hand, even if photography is not allowed, there may be a limited scope to that (e.g. not allowed to take pictures of planes on the tarmac, of specific installations, or on the contrary a full blanket ban). Also, it is generally not allowed to take pictures at least in immigration/customs areas.
    – jcaron
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 9:29
  • This answer troubles me, in that you say "I (have) never heard of anyone get into trouble" and "I think making.. is totally fine" ... The problem here is that if a visitor to Taiwan is detained and arrested, they cannot use "but Tyr said it on travel.se so it is all OK, you can let me go now. If it is not allowed by rules, regulations or laws, it doesn't matter whether or not people have done it and gotten away with it. My luck is such that I would not. If it is allowed, on the other hand, providing actual proof of that would be very useful.
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 15:25

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