It's no secret Taiwanese people love foreigners in general. Taiwan is one of the most foreigner friendly countries on earth, especially when it comes to western foreigners, and it has constantly been named one of the best places in the world for expats. Here we will list the main reasons why Taiwanese people love foreigners.
Before we get started, please note that this list is not scientific in nature and is written from the perspective of a long term American expat in Taiwan. If you have any different viewpoints or comments, please leave them in the comment section below.
Let's get this list started.
1. Learning English 學英文
Taiwanese people don't have a good English learning environment yet and many of them can't speak English well, even though they want to learn in order to improve their career development. In addition, the most common job for western foreigners in Taiwan is English Teacher, and learning English is a big business in Taiwan. Taiwanese people love to practice their English with and learn from foreigners.
2. Physical Appearance 外觀
Taiwanese people love the appearance of foreigners, from the clothes they wear to their physical traits such as big eyes, big noses, light skin, dark skin, body hair, or any physical characteristic that are different from their own. You get bonus points if you look even remotely similar to any Hollywood movie star.
3. Foreign Food 外國食品
Taiwanese people love food, and they are willing to travel to your country just to try your delicacies. There are also many foreign restaurants in Taiwan that do quite well. But this author wishes there were more Mexican food options here.
4. Travelling to foreign countries 出國玩
For some reason, Taiwanese people love to travel to foreign countries. Before the pandemic, international travel in Taiwan was booming. The main holiday vacation for people in Taipei was not a trip down south to the countryside, but a trip to a foreign country.
5. Money and opportunity 賺錢,工作機會
Another reason Taiwanese people like foreigners is if they think you can help them get rich, or find opportunities overseas. Many Taiwanese people have a dream to go overseas "崇洋媚外" because they think there are better education programs and jobs overseas, which may be true. However I wish more Taiwanese people would realize that Taiwan actually has a great standard of living now compared to other countries and it is only getting better.
6. Foreigners are open and honest 外國人很開放
In general foreigners are open and honest about their feelings and thoughts. This can be good or bad, but when interacting with Taiwanese friends, it can be seen as a unique trait because the education system in Taiwan teaches students to be more passive and subordinate. Many of my Taiwanese friends have told me that they appreciate my open and honest way of communicating.
8. Foreigners are frank and passionate 外國人很老實,熱誠
Going along with point number 7, foreigners can be frank. Compared to the average Taiwanese person, they like to complain and say what they are thinking on the spot. At the same time, passionate foreigners are also well beloved by Taiwanese. Even if you say something really offensive, Taiwanese people seem to be more forgiving to foreigners, and they especially value feedback from foreigners.
9. Foreigners are creative and expressive 外國人很有創意
Unfortunately, the Taiwanese education system is not good at teaching students to be creative and expressive. Asking questions in the classroom is usually not allowed. Children are not encouraged to think outside the box. These are traits that some people in Taiwan lack, and foreigners in Taiwan are helping to fill the gap, like my friend here in the photo above who is trying to teach more people how to surf and enjoy the waves in Taiwan.
10. Foreigners love eating stinky tofu 外國人愛吃臭豆腐
There is nothing that will garner the love and affection of Taiwanese people faster than scarfing down some Stinky Tofu and shouting that you love Taiwan. Stinky Tofu is the most beloved delicacy of the Taiwanese, and any well meaning Taiwanese person will take their foreign friends to try it. If you pass the test by eating the poop flavored fermented tofu and shouting "Taiwan #1!" then you have made friends with most of the people in Taiwan. Bonus points if you make a YouTube video of your family trying it.
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.