Living In Taiwan As An Expat part 2 – Part one is here.
Interesting Things to Know About Taiwan
1. Taiwanese Are Obsessed With Food
Taiwanese people have a deep passion for food, and they consume almost everything edible. For example, night markets are very popular in Taiwan, where you can find great food at cheap prices.
You would be wise not to eat before going to one so that you will have room because the options available are endless (and very likely delicious). Taiwan has more Michelin-star restaurants than any other country, and you will find it difficult to even walk around the city.
2. People Are Extremely Polite
Even though Taiwanese people are busy with their own lives, they make time for others to be friendly and offer help. If you’ve ever needed something (directions, help with shopping bags), you can count on at least one person offering assistance, even if it is just directions. Try asking for help in the street sometime!
3. They Are Self-Conscious About Bullying
Though there are many rumors about bullying in Taiwan, it is actually not as common as people make it seem. Some people will gossip about it, but almost everyone you meet will laugh at the rumors or be very defensive of Taiwan. Taiwanese people are aware that Western media portrays them as bullies, and they want to show the world the truth instead.
4. People Like To Queue Everywhere
Taiwanese people like lining up for everything – from going to a restaurant to getting coffee at a cafe and even just walking down the street. Taiwan is also home to many 24-hour restaurants because of how important food is for Taiwanese people – almost as much as lining up.
5. Taiwanese Are Extremely Family-Oriented
Though it may seem like an exaggeration, Taiwanese people are family-oriented. The majority of people you meet will mention their parents or siblings in some way, and they often talk about how much they love them.
Taiwanese people treat their elders with the utmost respect, and there is a general sense that all Taiwanese are extremely close to each other because of shared cultural experiences.
6. There Are Two Official Languages
Taiwanese has become the official language of Taiwan by law, but that’s not all there is. Many Taiwanese still speak Mandarin because it was the official language prior to being recognized, but that doesn’t mean all Taiwanese are fluent in it.
The majority of people you will see in Taiwan who work in business and customer service will be fluent in both languages (and occasionally one more), although many cannot speak English. If you encounter a Taiwanese person who is not fluent in Mandarin and does not want to speak Taiwanese, you can always try English.
7. It’s Easy For Westerners to Get Around Taiwan
Taiwan has a public transportation system that covers the entire island, and most places of interest will be easily accessible by bus or train (although you may have to transfer to another bus or train). You will also find taxis everywhere, and it is relatively cheap (depending on your bargaining skills) to get around by taxi.
If you are not near a bus stop or train station, don’t fret; scooters/mopeds are very common in Taiwan and can be easily rented. However, it will be difficult for westerners to get around Taiwan by scooter/mopeds because of the traffic laws, but I’m sure you can figure that out if you try.
8. Taiwan Has a Thriving Nightlife
Taiwanese people love going out at night, and it’s very popular in Taiwan to go bar hopping in the city. This is especially true on the weekends, where you will find people out until early in the morning (or even all night long).
Taiwan is also home to many clubs and lounges, and they usually require a small fee for entrance that includes one or two drinks. Clubs/lounges in Taiwan are generally westernized and cater to westerners, so it shouldn’t be difficult to get in or figure out the dress code if you’re a foreigner.
People from around the world visit Taiwan every year to explore five most visited places in Taiwan. It’s a beautiful country with a rich history and culture that is surprisingly not well-known outside of Asia. Most of these top attractions are located on or near the island’s western coast, while some lie further east.
7 Most Visited Places in Taiwan
Living in Taiwan is relatively easy as an expat. If you’d love to visit this this country, it’s crucial you know the best places to visit. Without further ado, below are the seven most visited places in this wonderful country.
1) The Taroko Gorge
If you visit Taiwan, put the Taroko Gorge on your list of places to see. It’s an 18-kilometer long canyon cut deep into marble rock with cliffs that tower more than 300 meters above the gorge floor. The stone walls lining the paths are marbled with visible swirls of colors, including white, black, purple, and yellow. The area is so beautiful it’s been designated as a national park.
2) Kenting National Park
Taiwan is home to many gorgeous beaches with powdery sand, swaying palm trees, and clear blue water that feels wonderful against your skin. One of these hot spots is the sandy beach of Kenting National Park, where you can enjoy surfing, sunbathing, and swimming. The plentiful sunshine here makes the area a hot spot for water sports, while a popular night market offers a wide range of delicious snacks.
3) Sun Moon Lake
Sun Moon Lake is known as the “Most Beautiful Waterfall Under Heaven,” and that’s definitely true. Lush forests and towering cliffs surround this mountain lake. You can get there by taking a cable car up the steep face of Jade Mountain, or if you prefer to avoid heights, buses run regularly from Shueishe in Nantou County at the base of Jade Mountain.
Nestled in the mountains of Ruifang District, there’s a small town called Jiufen. The village was once a hotbed for gold mining and is home to some wonderful tea houses where you can sit down and enjoy a cup while admiring the lovely views of nearby peaks.
Visitors come here to enjoy the unique atmosphere of Jiufen, but also to take the easy walk up to Gold Ecological Park, where you can see some beautiful flowers and ponds.
5) Cingjing Farm
You’ll find Cingjing Farm in Nantou County near Sun Moon Lake. Visitors come for three main reasons, including sightseeing, tea tasting, and lunch. There are plenty of animals to see, including goats, sheep, llamas, and even emus. You can also enjoy some great food, including beef noodles, bread bowls filled with meat stew, and oden, which is Japanese fish cake soup.
While not exactly a major tourist attraction, Maokong is worth mentioning since many people visit for tea tasting. Taipei has dozens of teahouses that offer delicious drinks that will rejuvenate you. But aside from the tea, Maokong is home to beautiful mountain views and fantastic hiking trails where you can get away from all the city’s noise below.
7) Penghu Islands
Located in the Taiwan Strait, Penghu is a group of islands belonging to Taiwan Province. This area has many beaches, and the sea is calm enough for water sports like surfing. It’s also a great destination for enjoying seafood, especially scallops, which are very popular here.
Frequently Asked Questions about Living in Taiwan
What is there to do in Taiwan?
Taiwan is a small island with plenty of adventures waiting to be discovered by the intrepid traveler. While you can’t go wrong with an evening spent wandering through one of Taipei’s lively night markets or a day spent hiking up Elephant Mountain, it would be a shame not to venture around the island and see what else Taiwan has to offer.
What is the work culture like in Taiwan?
Taiwan’s work culture can be best summed up by one word: busy. A common joke among Taiwanese people is that everyone works until they die. And while that might not be quite true, it doesn’t seem far off for most people who are employed full-time. Most of Taiwan operates on a 40 hour work week with at least one day off.
What is the cost of living in Taiwan?
Taiwan has a reputation as an expensive country, but with careful planning and budgeting, it’s possible to save some money. Accommodation will eat up a large portion of your expenses, so if you can stand living with roommates, there are ways around spending thousands on rent each month.
What is public transportation like in Taiwan?
The Taiwanese love their conveniences, and if it can be done with less effort, they’ll do it for you. This is reflected in the public transportation system, which consists of trains, buses, and taxis that run everywhere throughout Taiwan. The train system is especially good because it is cheap and runs up to Taipei’s northern suburbs, where many expats live.
What does the average Taiwanese person look like?
Taiwan is one of the most ethnically homogenous countries in the world (Japanese occupation during WWII didn’t help either). Most people who live here are Han Chinese, so if you’re looking for diversity, Taiwan might not be your place. That being said, there are some pretty awesome things about living in a place where everyone looks the same.
Living in Taiwan can be a great experience. It is the only country in Asia where most people speak Mandarin, and it’s easy to find cheap food and drinks as well as English-speaking locals. Meanwhile, if you’d like to know more about what this country offers, follow this platform.