Renting an apartment in Taiwan can be confusing and frustrating. As a long term rental tenant and expat in Taiwan I have lived in over ten apartments and have dealt with all kinds of problems, from bad landlords to noise to bugs. I feel like my experience can help other expats searching for apartments in Taiwan, so I have created this guide and FAQ to help people avoid the mistakes that I have made in the past, and have a pleasant rental experience 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!
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.