Taiwan is one of the best places for expats to live, due to its high standard of living, friendly environment for western foreigners, convenience, great food, and amazing sites. In this blog, I will give you the top ten reasons why you should live in Taiwan.
Let's get started.
1. Nice People 人友善
Taiwanese people are some of the most friendly people in the world to foreigners and strangers. This has to do with Chinese cultural values of saving face, as well as the love of other cultures that Taiwan has. This is not to say that they are friendly to all foreigners, but to the typical westerner, they show interest because of you are from a rich country, you know English, and culturally there is not discrimination.
2. Safe 安全
Taiwan is one of the safest countries in the world. Besides effectively containing the COVID-19 pandemic, it was named in the top global peace index and was named the safest country in the world in 2016. People are not allowed to own guns in Taiwan. You don’t need to worry about getting mugged in the street when you are here, being racially profiled by police, or walking alone on the street at night. People here are nice to people they don't know, especially if they are from a vibrant (rich) foreign country. Also, Taiwan is politically stable, even with pressure from China. In addition, Taiwan is environmentally conscious and has good air and water quality.
3. Convenient 方便
Taiwan is one of the most convenient countries in the world. There are almost 10,000 convenience stores, putting them in walking distance for most people. It is hard to tour Taiwan without seeing a 7-11, Family Mart, OK Mart, or Hi-Life everywhere you go. These stores also let people pay their bills with cash, purchase travel tickets, print pictures, ship and receive packages, buy everyday items, and much more.
In addition, Taiwan has some of the most convenient public transport anywhere, from the MRT, lots of buses, to the train and high speed rail.
Also, health clinics are everywhere, and even if you don’t have insurance a checkup is very affordable. A normal checkup is no more than $30 USD, and if you are enrolled in NHI, the copay will range from $2 - $8 USD.
4. Relatively Low Cost of Living 生活費不高
The cost of living in Taiwan is relatively low, and Taiwan has one of the best standards of living in Asia and the world. Take a look at some of the commodities prices in Taiwan here: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Taipei
5. Fun 好玩
Because Taiwan is so convenient and has such a developed transportation system, it is easy to travel and have fun. Two thirds of Taiwan is covered in mountains. It has the highest mountain in East Asia (Jade Mountain), and the world's deepest marble gorge (Taroko Gorge). You can also visit Kenting’s tropical beaches, beautiful beaches and snorkeling locations on outer islands, to Hot Springs in nearly every county, to hot air balloon rides, to night markets and endless shopping. Check out our blog index for more places you should check out.
6. Amazing Food 美食
Taiwan has some of the best local food anywhere. It is sweet, flavorful. We love Taiwan food! Don’t be the expat that eats at McDonald’s for every meal. There is so much delicious food everywhere!
7. Weather 天氣
The weather is nice most of the time throughout the year. Winters are not too cold and summers have lots of sunshine to go around. The Tropic of Cancer lies across the middle of Taiwan, giving Taiwan a humid subtropical climate in the north, and a tropical monsoon climate in the south. Temperatures in the north vary from 14-20 °C (57-68 °F) in the winter and 26-34 °C (78-93 °F) in the summer, while in the south temperatures vary from 16-24 °C (60-75 °F) in the winter and 26-32 °C (78-89 °F) in the summer on average. The most rain falls in the summer time across Taiwan, with Typhoons bringing torrential rains during that time.
8. Beautiful Natural Scenery 大自然美景
Taiwan is full of beautiful beaches, mountains, waterfalls, hot springs, rivers to go river tracing, open fields, canyons, and forests. Also there are hundreds of thousands of waterfalls, and unique geological formations like Moon World pictured above. Two thirds of Taiwan is mountains so there is quite a lot of nature to explore.
9. Learn Chinese 學習中文
Taiwan is a great place to learn Chinese. Not only does almost everyone here speak Mandarin Chinese, it's also a free democratic nation where you can express your views freely. Taiwan also has one of the highest concentrations of universities in the world and is very accepting of foreign students. See our FAQ on student life here.
10. Great Public Transportation 非常好的交通設施
Taiwan has an extremely convenient and efficient public transportation system. In Taiwan it’s easy to go anywhere on the island within hours. There is a railway that encompasses the entire island, as well as high speed rail along the west side connecting the major cities. Most major cities in Taiwan also have airports, with 4 international airports in total. Freeways and expressways also cover most of the island, which makes it easy to get to place to place by car or bus. It is so easy to travel in Taiwan that one can have a business meeting in Taipei in the morning, and travel via high speed rail for a relaxing afternoon on a tropical southern beach.
5 bonus reasons...
11. World Class Healthcare 世界級的健保
Taiwan has recently received a lot of press for its great response to the Covid-19 outbreak. But Taiwan has had a world class universal healthcare system for decades, known as National Health Insurance (NHI). People have long been coming to Taiwan for "medical tourism," due to Taiwan's low cost and high quality medical care. In this article we will answer common questions about Taiwan's healthcare system and why it is perhaps the best in the world. For more info, check out our healthcare FAQ here.
12. Amazing Beaches 超美的沙灘
Taiwan has some amazing beaches. It's a tropical island, and sandy beaches can be found all along the coastline. Popular water activities include surfing, snorkeling, diving, kite surfing, paragliding, etc. There are also many coral reefs, sea turtles, giant clams, and tons of tropical fish to explore in the ocean waters near Taiwan. Some of the best beaches and ocean views are also on Taiwan's outer islands.
13. Mountains 山景
Two thirds of Taiwan are filled with mountains, and Taiwan has the highest mountain in East Asia (Jade Mountain). Due to constant rain and Typhoons, Taiwan has thousands of rivers and waterfalls to explore, and river tracing is a popular sport here. Also Taiwan is home to the world's deepest marble gorge (Taroko Gorge). There are also countless high mountain trails, including 100 peaks over 3000 meters, and countless other minor peaks that are worthy of hiking.
14. Cultural and Historical Sights 文化及歷史景點
Taiwan is full of interesting and amazing historical buildings and sites. In a short 400 years, Taiwan has been ruled by the Dutch, Koxinga, Qing Dynasty, Japanese, and the ROC, each leaving a unique historical record behind. Also, Aboriginal peoples have been living in Taiwan for many millennia, with their own unique history, customs, cuisine, and culture. Taiwan provides a lifetime's worth of cultural sights and history to explore.
15. Support Free Democracy 支持自由民主
Another great thing about Taiwan is it has free democratic values that you cant find in other places in Asia (*cough* China). It has free speech and freedom of press. It was also the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. It is a free land of the free. So support freedom and democratic values by choosing to live here rather than in China.
For more pertinent information for foreigners new to Taiwan, check out our foreigner survival guide here.
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We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.