Cheng Ching lake in Kaohsiung is one of the most beautiful parks in Taiwan. Much of the lake is full of traditional Chinese gardens and architecture. Because of its size, it cannot be properly appreciated by only going there for one afternoon; there are simply too many things to see and do there.
People often don’t realize that Kaohisung has a lot to offer to tourists. Many of the places down south aren’t represented as well as sites in Taipei, which is why we want to help everyone realize what a great place it is. I used to live in Kaohsiung and exercise at Cheng Ching Lake daily, and boy do I miss it! There are many lucky elderly Kaohsiung residents that visit the lake daily for free, and I envy them.
How to Get There:
From the Weiwuying MRT station, you can take the 70A bus straight to the main entrance.
100 NT per person, 50 NT for students, 60/100 NT for cars (there is a discount for cars on weekdays), and 30 NT for scooters. If your ARC or National ID has a Kaohsiung address, you can enter the park for free!
Cheng Ching lake is the largest lake in Kaohsiung . Originally it was only a small irrigation pond, but in 1940 the Japanese diverted water here from the Gaoping River to act as a water supply for the surrounding area. During that time it was called Dabei Lake (大埤湖), however Chiang Kai-Shek (the leader of the ROC) renamed it Cheng Ching Lake (澄清湖) in 1963.
The ROC army used the lake as a base shortly after the Chinese Civil War, and built an underground tunnel and bunker to prevent against nuclear attack, which has now been converted into the Cheng Ching Lake Exotic Marine Life Museum. The lake contains a number of memorials to ROC soldiers, such as memorial plaques, mausoleum, and Fuguo island to commemorate soldiers that fled to the island of the same name in Vietnam during the Chinese Civil War.
The lake is meant to resemble Xihu (西湖, west lake) in Hangzhou, China. Chiang Kai-shek built awinter chateau on the lake, one of 30 guests houses that were built for him in Taiwan.
Surrounding the lake are a number of other notable sites including the Kaohsiung Yuanshan Hotel Resort, Cheng Ching lake baseball field, Cheng Ching Golf Club, Kaohsiung number 7 waterworks station, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, and Cheng Ching Lake Youth Activity Center.
Chengqing lake is also a water source for a large area of Kaohsiung. Because of this (as well as risk of drowning), fishing and swimming in the lake are forbidden.
Now let me take you on a virtual tour of the place. As I said, there are too many sights to fit into one blog (look for our Cheng Ching Lake guide coming in the next few weeks). Below are the top seven sights that you should see.
7 Sights You Must See At Cheng Ching Lake:
Please see the map below to see where the following sites are located:
1. Jhongsing Pagoda中興塔
Standing at 43 meters high, the Jhongsing Pagoda is the highest structure around the lake. it provides the best view of the surrounding area, and one of the best views of eastern Kaohsiung. There are winding stairs to the top, and 360 degree views from all 7 levels. The entire tower is very photogenic, inside and out.
Pagodas originated from the Indian Stupa, and the design spread through Asia as a popular building type for religious worship. Chinese pagodas （八角塔） have eight sides, which has to do with good fortune and dispelling evil.
Location: See the map above.
The pagoda is colorful inside and out. Note that those symbols on the wooden beams are not swastikas, they are Buddhist symbols.
There are hexagonal windows on all levels of the tower for unique views of the surrounding landscape.
To the west you can see the skyline of Kaohsiung city, with the 85 Tower in the center and the 55 storey business center to the right.
To the south one can find view of the lake and bell tower.
To the southwest you can see the Kaohsiung Yuan Shan Grand Hotel, along with Chang Gung Memorial hospital, and sprawling apartment buildings in Fengshan.
To the West you can also see the Cheng Ching Lake Golf Course.
To the north you can see the industrial districts of Renwu and Nanzi.
Finally, to the east you can see industrial Niaosong, and the hills in Dashu, including the E-da World Ferris Wheel. I used to live in the apartments sitting on those distant hills.
2. Cheng Ching Lake Exotic Marine Life Museum 澄清湖海洋奇珍園
This museum was originally an anti-nuclear bunker, and later converted into an aquarium. There a quite a few rare species here, so its worth it to check out if you have time. Pictured above is the largest fish in the whole aquarium.
Price: You will have to an additional fee to enter the aquarium. Adults are 200 NT, children 150 NT, and Kaohsiung Residents are 100 NT.
Location: On Southeastern edge of the lake, left of the Cheng Ching Lakeside resort before Chiang Kai-shek’s Chateau (see map above).
Nautilus feeding on some shrimp.
Sea worms bobbing up and down, waiting to feed on passing nutrients.
A pair of giant eels.
Sea tube worms.
There are also quite a few fossils in the aquarium as well.
3. Nine-Turn Bridge 九曲橋
This is a picturesque bridge over the lake connecting the south and north sides. Built in 1960, the bridge is230 meters in length and 2.5 meters wide.
Nine-sided bridges are popular features of Chinese gardens that began during the Song Dynasty, and allow patrons to slowly enjoy many different viewpoints.
If you are lucky, you can see sparrows land on the hand rail posts. Actually I have seen them on the bridge like this every time I have gone.
Take it slow and enjoy the scenery!
4. Kaohsiung Yuan Shan Grand Hotel 高雄澄清湖圓山大飯
Just outside the lake park is the Kaohsiung Yuan Shan Grand Hotel (not actually part of the lake park), a 4 star hotel that is the sister hotel to the Yuanshan Grand Hotel in Taipei, another similarly built hotel with Classical Chinese architecture. The current building was completed in 1971. The hotel can be seen from many parts of Cheng Ching Lake Park, including the nine turn bridge.
It's like a mini Yuanshan hotel. But it's still huge.
5. Chiang Kai Shek’s Residence 蔣中正舊居別墅
Chiang Kai-shek's former residence still stands next to the lake, and has been turned into a museum open for tours.
I assume you can read this sign, so I won't explain the historical background any further.
On the first floor is a museum in honor of Chiang Kai-shek. I wonder when someone will come in here and throw paint over that photo.
There are a series of historical photos of Chiang on the walls.
There are also a few of his personal affects, including his tea set, bible, journal, etc.
On the second floor there is an art exhibit room that switches around every few months. This time the theme was wood.
Madame Chiang's studio.
Mr. Chiang's living room. Notice the state of the art (at the time) air conditioner at the bottom of the photo.
Not to mention the state of the art television.
The old man's desk.
And what would this tour be without a view of the bed! Seems a bit small for two people.
Outside the house you can pretend to be Chiang Kai-shek and take the same picture next to the same tree that he did 50 years ago.
I think I got pretty close this time!
There is also a very pleasant view of the lake behind the house.
6. Fuguo island 富國島
This is a small man-made island connected by a pedestrian suspension bridge that is about 70 meters long. Constructed in1955, this island holds particular historical significance because it was named after the retreat of the R.O.C. to an island of the same name off the coast of Vietnam. On top of the small island is a white marble plaque memorial to these soldiers.
The Siyuan pavilion lies on the east side of the island, with a 3-part bridge connecting it.
7. Bell tower 澄清湖鐘樓
Close to Fuguo island is the Bell Tower, laying on a forested hill directly across the suspension bridge. The tower was built in 1969, and the bell was replaced again in 1980. It is 5 stories high and holds a bell at the highest level. You can climb to the second level, but the upper level and the actual bell are closed off from the public.
That's it for our listicle, but there are plenty of other sights to see around the lake. We will create a follow up blog with an entire guide to everything on the lake. But for now, we have created a list of all other sights below:
The lake is actually divided into 8 scenic areas:
Area 1: Plum Blossoms and the Dawn of Spring 梅隴春曉
-Main entrance 觀光大門
-Old Aquarium 水族館
-Freedom Pavilion 自由亭
- Magpie Bridge
- Chiang Kai Shek’s Residence (above) 蔣公行館-澂清樓
- Chengching Lakeside Resort 水漾會館
- Cheng Ching Lake Exotic Marine Life Museum (above) 澄清湖海洋奇珍園
Area 2: The Nine Turn Bridge Catches the Moon 曲橋釣月
-Nine Turn Bridge九曲橋
-Tao Ran Court陶然閣
-Feng Yuan Court豐原閣
Area 3: The Willow on the Shore Observes the Lotus 柳岸觀蓮
-Industrial Waterworks Memorial 工業水廠紀念碑
-Boat Pond 原划船場
-Renzhi Pavilion 仁智亭
-Tea Area 泡茶區
-Sister Pavilion 姐妹亭
- Tatsuko Takeshi Fountain 辰子飛翔
-Shuanglian Pavilion 雙蓮亭
Area 4: The Tall Hill Looks Toward the Sea 高丘望海
-Clock Tower 鐘樓 (above)
-Suspension Bridge 吊橋
-Fuguo Island 富國島 (above)
-Siyuan Pavilion 思源亭
-Zhongxing Pagota 中興塔
-BBQ area 烤肉區
Area 5: Deep in the Woods Birds Sing 深樹鳴禽
-Thousand trees forest 千樹林
-100 year old tree 百年合歡
-Lanxiu Building 攬秀樓
Area 6: Pristine Air Flows Over Lake and Mountain 湖山佳氣
-Zhongling Tower 忠靈塔
-Zhengqi Pavilion 正氣亭
Area 7: Three Pvilions Support Victory 三亭攬勝
-Youru Pavilion有如亭 other side of lake
Area 8: Peng Island Pouring out Gold 蓬島湧金
-Deyue Building 得月樓
There is simply too much to blog about Cheng Ching Lake, so we are splitting it up into separate blogs. Look forward to our complete guide on Cheng Ching Lake coming soon, and be sure to like follow on our social media for more updates!
Foreword: Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of questions. This is meant to only give a basic overview of Taiwan's business environment to those who have not yet been to there.
What is the corporate tax rate in Taiwan?
20% as of 2018.
What is the VAT rate in Taiwan?
What is the withholding tax rate in Taiwan?
Typically it is 20% for sending funds overseas. For tax treaties, please click here.
For other types of withholding tax (can be 0.1-15). For further information please consult with a tax adviser, such as Grant Thornton Taiwan.
What is the personal income tax like?
Please find our article on the subject here.
Are transfer pricing reports required in Taiwan?
Yes, if your group entity in Taiwan has made over 300 million NTD total annual revenue. For more information, consult with a tax advisory firm such as Grant Thornton Taiwan.
How do you start a Taiwan business/company?
Please see our article on the subject here. There is also a website and book about this subject here. You can also consult an accounting or law firm such as Grant Thornton Taiwan for a price quote on their company setup services.
How much does it cost to start a company in Taiwan?
As much as you need to cover operating costs. If you need to hire foreigners, your paid in capital should be over 5 million NT.
How do you hire foreigners in Taiwan?
You need to have a company with starting capital of 5 million NT or more.
What business licenses are required in Taiwan?
This depends on the business. For food related products and medicine, Taiwan FDA approval is required.
How do I get FDA approval in Taiwan?
You should consult with a law firm for help on this.
Is a corporate secretary required in Taiwan?
Is bookkeeping/payroll required in Taiwan?
Yes. You can use service from a local accounting firm or other provider such as Grant Thornton Taiwan.
What statutory requirements are there in Taiwan?
Labor insurance, health insurance, and pension.
What is the rate for overtime in Taiwan?
This is complicated, but it is at least time and a half for a weekday.
What are Taiwan labor standards?
Please see our article here on Taiwan’s Labor Standards Act.
Does Taiwan have a good talent/labor market?
Yes, there are many bilingual talented people here, and many are underemployed because of lack of opportunity.
How do I find talent in Taiwan?
The best way is to use your connections, but you can also try Taiwan work finding websites:
The most popular work finding website in Taiwan, although the interface is only in Chinese (sorry), job postings can be in English. Its worth checking out, even if you can’t read Chinese (perhaps you can have a Chinese friend help you out).
This is probably the second most popular work finding site in Taiwan, this websites interface is also only in Chinese, although some job postings are in English.
This is a great English based website for English Teaching jobs in Taiwan.
Linkedin has Taiwan job opportunities that are mostly in English.
Other than these, search Google. Who knows what you’ll find.
What are the biggest companies in Taiwan?
Foxconn, TSMC and Pegatron, Quanta Computer, and Cathay Life Insurance are the biggest companies in Taiwan. Other companies include Acer, Asus, and HTC.
What is Taiwan's economic situation like?
Please see our economic FAQ here.
Please like, comment, and share!
Also, feel free to contact us with any specific questions about doing business in Taiwan.
Foreword: Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of questions. This is meant to only give a basic overview of Taiwan's daily life situation to those who have never been there.
What do Taiwanese people eat for breakfast?
So many things. Super traditional Taiwanese breakfast consists of some type of rice porridge and pork. But, soymilk and baked/steamed buns are also very popular. Also hamburgers, onion pancakes, sandwiches and a ton of other stuff. For more information, check out this blog, or just come to Taiwan and try some yourself!
What do Taiwanese people eat for lunch?
A typical lunch would be a Biandang orlunchbox, which includes a meat patty, rice, and vegetables. Noodles are also a popular lunch choice.
What do Taiwanese people eat for dinner?
Similar to lunch, locals eat biandang and noodles, but also hot pot and red bean soup during winter, along with western foods.
What are table manners in Taiwan?
I would say table manners are somewhat similar as America. If you follow American rules, you will not offend anyone; but be sure to not stick your chopsticks upright in your bowl as this is a symbol of death. Burping and other bodily noises such as slurping are somewhat as long as it is not overtly loud. Holding your rice bowl and using chopsticks is common practice.
What gestures are rude in Taiwan?/ What is impolite in Taiwan?
Showing the bottom of your feet.
Giving things with only one hand
Sticking chopsticks upright in a bowl
Giving someone a clock as a gift
Not looking someone in the eye
For more, check out this blog:
Is Fengshui important in Taiwan?
Yes. But it also depends of the person; many people are more superstitious than others, and some people don’t care. But in general it is an important principle.
Are Taiwanese people friendly?
Yes, they are some of the most friendly people in the world, especially to foreigners!
What is the hotline for foreigners in Taiwan?
Hotline for foreigners in Taiwan: 0800-024-111.
Is the water safe in Taiwan?
Filter or boil water in Taiwan, or buy bottled water. It is not safe to drink from the tap. Taipei has the cleanest water (meaning it requires the least filtration), while more rural areas are hit and miss.
How is the air quality in Taiwan?
Not very good, but better than mainland China. Taiwan has the worst pollution of the four Asian tigers. Taipei’s pollution is particularly bad because it lies in a basin, enclosed on all sides. Power plants and motorcycles give the most pollution. Pollution from China gives tons of pollution to Taiwan during winter. Due to this and lack of rain, winter has the worst air quality during the year.
Is Taiwan safe?
Yes, Taiwan is one of the safest countries in the world according to Prescavve. This is due to low crime and high economic freedom and development.
Is Taiwan pet friendly?
Yes. On theTaipei MRT, “Animals brought into stations or trains should be keep in pet boxes, pet strollers, small cages, or small containers which do not exceed 55cm in length, 45cm in width, and 40cm in height (size limits for pet strollers refer to the pet cabin only, the frame and wheels are excluded).” This is probably good advice whenever you bring your pet into an indoor location.
Are there wild dogs in Taiwan?
Yes. Be careful going to rural places or exploring. If a dog starts chasing you, turn sideways and don’t run away. Pull out a backpack or umbrella and yell; the dog should back away. You may also consider bringing pepper spray if the above fails.
Is Taiwan a good place for cycling/biking?
Yes, Taiwan is a cycler’s paradise! Many people circle the island by bike as a life achievement. All police stations have bike pumps, and there are more than 10,000 convenience stores in Taiwan, making it easy to take a break and get a fresh meal along the way.
Is Taiwan a good place for hiking?
Yes, 2/3 of Taiwan is covered in mountains. There are hiking trails almost everywhere, but higher mountains require hiking permits. For more information, visit this blog.
Is Taiwan a good place for jogging?
Yes, but in the summer it can get hot, so you should drink plenty of water. Also in the winter air quality can get bad, so you might consider wearing a mask.
Are there gyms in Taiwan?
Are there swimming pools in Taiwan?
Is swimming allowed at Taiwan beaches?
Most public beaches will allow only allow this in a designated swimming area. There are usually signs that say no swimming for your safety, but usually swimmers will not give a fine. This is because most Taiwanese people cannot swim. At most a lifeguard will come and whistle blow you. Be careful to not swim too far into the ocean, due to rip tide.
Where can I go river tracing in Taiwan?
Everywhere there is a river! Taiwan is a river tracer’s paradise. The best river tracing is in the mountains up steep gorges. You will likely find less people on the east coast.
Are there churches in Taiwan?
Yes. Christians make up 4.5% of Taiwan’s population. For more information, check here:
What is the best way to get around Taiwan?
I personally think the best way to get around is by Scooter, but bicycle and public transport are also very good. Travelling by car is difficult because there are narrow streets, many scooters, and limited parking.
You have a few options:
For more information, please visit our travel/transportation FAQ.
Where can I buy groceries in Taiwan?
Carrefour, PX mart, Wellcome, Jason’s, and Costco should have all the groceries you need. There are also a few expat stores in Taipei, especially in the Tianmu area.
Where can I buy furniture in Taiwan?
Ikea. And tons of other places.
Where should I buy clothes in Taiwan?
Pretty much everywhere. Cheap clothes can be found at night markets, Net, Uniclo, and Carrefour. If you want more expensive brands, go to an outlet or mall.
Where should I buy electronics in Taiwan?
Online (PC Home and Shoppee), at a night market, at Carrefour, Cankun, or Guanghua Digital Plaza in Taipei.
Have any more questions about daily life in Taiwan? Please leave them in the comments below, and we might just add them to the list!
You can also search Facebook for foreigner groups in Taiwan and ask your questions there.
Please like, follow, and share to help everyone know that Taiwan is a friendly and inviting place for foreigners!
Foreword: Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of questions and answers. This is meant to only give a basic overview of Taiwan's immigration landscape to those who have never been there.
What is an ARC?
Alien Resident Certificate, which is equivalent to a resident permit or "green card" in Taiwan.
How do I apply for an ARC?
Go to the Taiwan immigration office in Taiwan, or contact the TECRO (Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office) in your home country.
What kind of resident permits are there?
According to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, there are 9 different types of resident permits:
CODE-TR: Changing a visitor visa to a resident visa
CODE-P: Touring, visiting relatives
CODE-TS: Foreign spouses
CODE-FR: Studying Chinese
CODE-FC: Overseas Chinese students
CODE-FS: Foreign students
How do I apply for a marriage ARC?
After you get married to a Taiwan national, you then need to apply for a marriage ARC from the Taiwan representative office in your home country or the immigration office in Taiwan. This may require that you leave Taiwan and apply from the TECRO in Hong Kong or elsewhere. This process will likely include proof of marriage and proof that you are single from your home country. For more information, please visit this website: https://www.immigration.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=1091979&ctNode=31674&mp=se05
How do I apply for a work ARC?
Your company should do this, but technically you are supposed to do it from your home country, otherwise there will be extra fees for visa conversion. For more information, please visit the government’s website here: https://www.immigration.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=1090287&ctNode=30085&mp=2
What limitations does my ARC have?
There should be an expiry date before which you have to renew it. If you are working in Taiwan, you have to stay with the same company as stated on your ARC and register any changes. Also, you have to register change of address within 15 days.
When do I need to renew my ARC address?
Within 15 days after you move.
How do I renew my ARC?
Go to the immigration office, take a waiting number, and fill out the form. Click here for a list of immigration office service centers around Taiwan: https://www.immigration.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=1092844&ctNode=32289&mp=2
What is an APRC?
Alien Permanent Resident Certificate.
How do I apply for an APRC?
First you must live in Taiwan for 5 consecutive years if married to a Taiwan spouse, or 7 consecutive years otherwise. There is a Facebook group made specifically to answer questions about the APRC application process here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TaiwanAPRC/. You can join the group and ask further questions if you would like.
How do I apply for dual citizenship in Taiwan?/Can I apply for dual citizenship in?/ Does Taiwan allow dual citizenship?
If you are a foreigner, no. You must reject your original citizenship to become a Taiwanese national, along with fulfilling other educational, residency, and/or work requirements. Only if you are originally Taiwanese can you have dual citizenship. Here and here are specific guides on the subject:
Just Landed Guide:
Does Taiwan need Visas?/ Does Taiwan require a Visa?/ Does Taiwan need Visas?
If you are a foreign national from one of the 46 countries that have Visa free entry, then no. Otherwise, yes.
Does my Country’s passport have a Visa free entry into Taiwan?
Currently there is a total of 46 countries that are visa free to come to Taiwan. They are listed below according to number of days and geographic area:
14 days visa-exempt: Philippines (trial)
30 days visa-exempt countries: Malaysia and Singapore
90-day visa-free countries:
Asia Pacific: Japan
North America: Canada and the United States of America
Europe Region: United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia, Vatican City State, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Andorra, and San Marino (36 in total)
Passport validity should be more than six months. (Formal passports, official and diplomatic official passports are applicable, excluding emergency, temporary, other informal passports or travel documents). However, the validity period of a Japanese passport must be longer than three months. The validity period of a U.S. passport (including the U.S. emergency passport) should only be longer than the planned date of stay.
Persons holding emergency or temporary passports (except for nationals of the United States) should apply for a visa from my embassy or apply for a visa when arriving in Taoyuan or Kaohsiung airport. U. S. emergency passport holders are eligible for visa-free treatment.
Click here for a full list of countries that Taiwanese nationals do and do not need visas to visit.
If my country’s passport does not have Visa Free Entry into Taiwan, what should I do?
First, you should decide which visa type you need. There are four different types of visas:
Fill in the visa application form online at https://visawebapp.boca.gov.tw. Fill in the visa application information and print the application form, then write your signature. You will also need to provide the following (as applicable):
"The Visa Department has the right to refuse and need not explain the reason. Proposed visa applicants regardless of whether or not issued a visa, visa fees paid in accordance with the law is not refundable. For a one time, the visa fee is US $ 50; multiple entry visa fee US $ 100; relative processing fees is US $ 160 (currently only applies to US nationals). Any changes to this statement are subject to the latest information published by the Consular Affairs Bureau website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."
Please check the local Taiwan representative office in you country for the latest information relevant to your home country.
How much is a Taiwan Visa?
Check the local Taiwan representative office in you country for the latest information relevant to your home country. If you are not from a visa free country, for a one time visa, the visa fee may be around US $50; multiple entry visa fee US $ 100; relative processing fees may be around US $ 160.
How much is a Taiwanese Visa in the Philippines?
For a visitor visa, currently the Philippines has a 14 day trial Visa Exemption. Otherwise please check with the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines.
How much for a Taiwan trip?
For a week of vacationing in Taiwan, you can budget for 1000 USD and probably have a few hundred dollars left over. But this depends on what you want to do, what kind of hotels you want to stay in, and what your budget is. For a one week trip for one person, plan to spend about 1500-3000 per night for a decent hotel (10,500-21,000 NT), 100-150 NT per meal for low end restaurants (2,100-3,150), maybe 3,000-5,000 on travel (depending on where you want to go), and 1,000 NT or so to buy small gifts for your family back home. This would be a grand total of 16,600-30,150 NT (553-1005 USD).
I just came to Taiwan on a working visa. Can my dependents get national health insurance?
Yes! New legislation has come into affect as of 2018 so that dependents of foreign workers can be enrolled immediately into the national health insurance system. Before there was a waiting period of 6 months.
I just came to Taiwan on a working visa. Can my dependents start working here?
Yes but they must apply for a work permit through their employer.
Have any more questions about immigration in Taiwan? Please leave them in the comments below, and we might just add them to the list!
Please like, follow, and share to help everyone know that Taiwan is a friendly and inviting place for foreigners!
Foreward: Never do any of the following. This list is simply ironic and satirical, and should in no way be taken literally. Any resemblance to real life people or situations in the satire described below (except number two) are purely coincidental.
1. Never leave Taipei 永遠不要離開臺北
Every expat knows there is no electricity outside of New Taipei, so don’t even try to go anywhere else. Also, with no MRT, how are you supposed to get around? You might be ambushed by hostile natives on an un-kept jungle path. Besides, all those nature sites don’t have a 7-11 on the trail, so you’ll probably starve to death if the natives don’t kill you first. Just stay in the Taipei expat bubble and never leave. The south is full of dirt, crime, pollution, and everything you hate. All the teaching jobs and higher salaries are in Taipei, so just stay there. Also, it’s too hard to leave during the holidays because of traffic, so just stay in Taipei on your days off. After all, Taiwan actually only means Taipei. You don’t need to take part in the good weather, open spaces, sandy beaches, beautiful scenery, and local delicacies down south. There’s probably something similar around Taipei anyway.
2. Get a Taiwan Independence Tattoo on Your Head 在頭上刺青“臺獨”
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out this article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2017/10/23/2003680896
3. Never Learn Chinese 永遠不要學中文
You can’t expect to get your life ruined if you go around learning Chinese. You need to keep your mother tongue locked in a box so that it is not corrupted by the strange Chinese language. You don’t need to talk to your neighbors, make friends, or talk to your Taiwanese in-laws. Street signs are overrated anyway. Anything that is not translated into your mother tongue should be reported to the government and translated immediately, and it is your right as a privileged foreigner to point out those bad translations. The only job you hope to get involves teaching English, so learning anything else is just a waste of time. Chinese is a giant wall that you will never climb up, so just let it fall on top of your feeble body.
4. Pretend You Know Chinese, Even Though You Don’t 雖然你不會中文，假裝你會
Nothing will make you seem smarter to other expats and Taiwanese people if they think you know Chinese. If they ever speak to you in Chinese, smile and nod, and reply in English. If they ask why you don’t reply in Chinese, answer by stating that you don’t want to brag about your Chinese skills. If you are in a restaurant and the waiter/waitress gives you an English menu, throw it back in their face while praising your own Chinese ability. Then correct all the bad English grammar on the menu, which should give you an idea of what to order. If you see an expat conversing in Chinese, don’t hesitate to say that they are using incorrect Chinese grammar. No explanation is needed because criticizing others will automatically make you look better than them. Which leads to the next point…
5. Put Others Down to Make Yourself Look Good 批評別人來讓你自己看起老更好
Nothing will make you look more like an expert than making fun of amateurs. Even if the amateurs have accomplished more than you, and happen to be more talented, motivated, and passionate, it’s important to shove them down. Once you do this, their achievements suddenly become yours, and you can gloat in all your fake accomplishments.
6. Drink all night…and all day 整夜喝酒…整天也喝酒
Drinking helps you forget about those childhood memories, past marriages, girlfriends/boyfriends, or former jobs that are haunting you. The more you drink the more closer you will be forgetting about your ruined life, until you wake up in the morning and remember it again. To solve this problem, keep drinking all day.
7. Take Personal Responsibility for the Grammar Mistakes of Everyone in the Entire World 承擔全世界的文法錯誤
People have been correcting your grammar all your life, now its time to return the favor on the world. If you’ve been teaching English for your entire adult life, this is an easy task. It’s all the more fun to alienate yourself from other expats by correcting their English. It doesn’t matter if you are right or not, because only the English from your home country is the correct form of English. It is your personal duty to purge the earth of all English that does not conform to your standards, no expat can be spared.
8. Don’t Make a Crappy Blog/Vlog 不要做一個很爛的部落格或主播
Making a crappy blog is easy, but it is too constructive of an activity. Just don’t make it to begin with. If you absolutely have to make a blog/vlog, make sure it only has one or two posts or videos that are a few years old, and never get into a routine of making regular posts. This will give you too much sense of accomplishment and self-confidence. You need to procrastinate every creative thought you have until your death bed.
9. Complain About How Taiwan is Worse Than Your Country 抱怨臺灣比你國家爛
Nothing will help you slip into the pits of despair faster than comparing every flaw and strange thing to your home country and complain about how things are so gross, weird, unsafe, and stupid. Never try to put yourself in the shoes of a Taiwanese person. Chopsticks, Chinese characters, and stinky tofu are all just an excuse to alienate foreigners, and so is everything else. You need to complain about everything and make sure everyone knows how things are run in your glorious mother country.
10. Take Offense to Everything 被所有的事情得罪
This goes without saying. The moment you accept you are wrong the same moment you might learn something, and that’s exactly what you’re trying to avoid. If someone tries to start a constructive conversation, respond with an attack on their world view and stereotype them as your enemy. Also, attack their grammar whenever possible. You want to keep your whiny expat bubble as fresh and clean as possible. You can’t let any of those people affiliated with the opposite political bubble invade your news feed without a fight. It is your duty to assume everyone is out to get you and you must assume guilt before innocence. This way you can spend most of your time angrily spatting on your social media instead of engaging in constructive conversation that you might be enlightened from.
11. Troll Other Expats Online for Fun 當別的外國人的酸民
Never lose any online arguments with other expats. You are the ultimate expert on this country, and no one can tell you otherwise no matter how long they've lived here. Fight those happy, go lucky expats to the death, because Taiwan is full of unsolvable problems. After you are blocked, make fake accounts and keep the attack going behind their back. After this, make fake parody accounts of your enemy. This will not only make you more miserable but also make everyone watching roll their eyes and eventually unfollow you. That’s okay, because the ultimate goal is isolation and misery. You want to try to create an expat bubble in your social media where your only friends are other whiny expats.
12. Make enemies wherever you go 到處變成大家的敵人
You’re never going to be truly miserable unless you make enemies and burn bridges, not just a few bridges, but every bridge you can find. In order to complete this goal, you must deny any criticism and fight back with more criticism and even some lawsuits. It doesn’t matter if the lawsuits have any merit, you just need to make the other side scared and paranoid. Never compliment anyone, and never admit a mistake. Make sure you throw the words please, thank you, sorry, and I forgive you out the window. Those will not help you achieve the goal of becoming miserable. Oh, and go ahead and lie, cheat, steal, get in fights, and otherwise break the law. You do not want the Taiwanese authorities to have a good impression of foreigners. If you do enough bad stuff you might just get yourself and every other foreigner sent home to your mother countries!
13. Complain About Air Quality 抱怨空氣污染
If you see smoke coming out of a bus or scooter, don’t just stand there, complain about it! It is your foreign privilege to breath clean air. The entire island of Taiwan is an air quality nightmare, and you are the only savior. Through your constant efforts of complaining about the air quality, the government will listen to your non-voting voice and do something about it eventually. In the meantime, you need to complain as hard and as loud as you can. Do not try to comfort yourself by saying that the air quality is much better here than in China or the western United states. You need to make a case that the air quality in Taiwan is the worst in the entire world.
14. Complain About…Everything 抱怨…一切
You’re not going to get far as a miserable expat without complaining. Don’t let other expats’ “love of Taiwan” cloud your mind from the ultimate goal of complete misery. There’s nothing to be grateful for as an expat. Taiwan sucks, it all sucks, and you’re stuck here. Complaining will help you continue on your downward spiral of isolation and sadness. Keeping shoveling fresh heaps of angry fuel to keep the complain train chugging at full speed!
15. Watch the World Burn 看著世界燃燒
Now that you’ve mastered the above list, just sit back and watch the world burn. You’ve created a giant crap hole that you live on and feast on daily. You must spend your days drinking, yelling, complaining, fighting, and getting offended all day every day in real life and on social media. Don’t even think about doing something constructive like planting trees or helping out at an orphanage or something. Needy people out there don’t actually exist and your community doesn’t deserve any help that you could give. And don’t even think about trying to understand Taiwanese culture or languages. The country you grew up in is the only proper culture in this universe, so there is no need to learn anything about anywhere else. You don’t need to connect with other people anyway, and it’s your privilege to sulk in your own self-pity and lonesomeness.
On a serious note, now that you know what not to do as an expat, go out there and do the opposite. Stop trying to tear everyone down, and go make Taiwan and the world a better place.
For some background on why Expats act this way, you can check out this blog at Nihaositgoing.
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We are US Expats that have extensive experience living and working 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.