From breathtaking landscapes to impressive urban centers, Taiwan is an exciting country with plenty to offer. If you are thinking of packing up your bags and moving to East Asia, there are a couple of things you need to know about this magical place:
1. People are friendly
Taiwanese people are always willing to help the newcomers. So if you are lost, don’t be surprised when someone approaches you and asks if you need assistance. Education is a large part of everyday life in Taiwan. After all, the country has some of the highest-ranked universities in Asia. The majority of people that live in large cities speak English fluently.
Unfortunately, some Taiwanese who live in rural areas don’t speak English. The language barrier will not stop them from helping you. You can connect to the internet and use a translator in these situations. There are public Wi-Fi networks everywhere you go. However, don’t forget to turn on a VPN to secure your connection. There are several networks nearby that you may use, such as a VPN Japan server.
2. Earthquakes are common
Taiwan is nestled right above two tectonic plates in the South China Sea. Therefore, earthquakes are common in this area. More than one thousand earthquakes happen yearly. Most of them are small and rarely cause any damage or casualties. With that said, Taiwan did experience devastating earthquakes in the past.
Luckily, the architecture there is superb. The buildings are built with possible earthquakes in mind, as well as strong typhoon winds. The perfect example is Taipei 101, the tallest building in Taiwan that is earthquake resistant. This architectural marvel set the standards for seismic-proof structures by combining the latest technologies that minimize the possible damage to the building.
3. The food is amazing
Taiwanese people are passionate about cooking. If you are a foodie, you will fall in love with Taiwan right away. It doesn’t matter if you go to a fancy restaurant or grab a snack from a food vendor – you will get a delicious meal unlike any other. Japanese and Chinese cuisine are the major influences.
Don’t miss out on night markets where you may try various Taiwanese snacks in one place. Even The Guardian is fascinated with this phenomenon, claiming that the night markets offer the best street food in the world. The prices are affordable, and you will very likely find your new favorite delicacy. Both locals and tourists enjoy night markets, and you can find them anywhere in the country.
4. Karaoke is super popular
Taiwanese don’t do regular clubbing. Instead, their favorite type of activity is karaoke. This information could be surprising to Westerners. After all, most of them view Taiwanese as shy and reserved. However, the locals don’t have problems with performing pop songs every single week. They usually go out in large groups to karaoke bars or throw karaoke parties in their homes.
You can find karaoke bars almost anywhere, not only in larger cities. Most of them look spotless, with intricate decor and lots of lights. These bars have a hotel-like reception area. A host will welcome you regardless if you have a reservation or not. Larger bars have private rooms as well.
5. Don’t overpack
There is no need to pack fifteen suitcases when moving to Taiwan. You will be able to purchase everything once you land. If you wear larger sizes, you might have a hard time finding clothes or shoes that fit. Of course, it is not impossible if you are moving to Taipei or another larger city.
We have to mention the weather in Taiwan. Typhoon season brings heavy rains to this part of the world, and the humidity is high during this time. So it would be smart to find room in your suitcase for high-quality rain boots. They will be a lifesaver in July and August.
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.