Life in Taiwan as a foreigner is amazing. Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for foreigners to live. Life is convenient, there is a high standard of living, and the people are friendly. Here we will dive into the detailed aspects of living 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.
Basic Taiwan Travel Tips:
Hotels in Taiwan:
Looking for a hotel? We recommend booking through Booking.com here, which provides the best quality selection of accommodation in Taiwan.
Find out where to stay in our Taiwan hotels guide or search for the best hotel deals in Taiwan here.
Tours in Taiwan:
There are many tour itineraries that you can enjoy in Taipei that will take you to multiple destinations and arrange transportation. For more information, you can check out Tripadvisor here, KKday here or Klook here, which are both great tour websites that can connect you with the right tour and tour guide for you.
Here are some of the most popular tours of Taiwan on TripAdvisor:
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.
Taiwan's transportation system is convenient and safe. There are many options you can consider to get around in Taipei below:
By Train: Gets you to the city center of all major cities in Taiwan. It is about 800NT to get from Taipei to Kaohsiung. Roughly half the price of the HSR. Book tickets via the normal train (TRA) on Klook here.
By HSR: (High-Speed Rail) – Gets you quickly from north to south. Besides Taipei and Kaohsiung, most of the stations are far from city centers. It costs about 1500NT to get from Taipei to Kaohsiung. You can book tickets to the high-speed rail (HSR) on Klook here or KKDay here.
By MRT: (Mass Rapid Transit, Metro train, subway) – Easily gets you around Taipei and Kaohsiung. You can purchase a discount easy card to use on the MRT from Klook here or KKday here. You can also book an MRT travel pass on Klook here.
By Bus: Buses can be tricky. Long-range buses such as Ubus and King Bus are easier to understand and cheaper than the local train. They can take you to the city center of every city throughout Taiwan and to remote tourist destinations such as sun moon lake. A long-range bus from Taipei to Kaohsiung is about 500 NT. You can also book tickets to travel to Shifen via inter-city bus on Klook here. You can also book a Taipei Sightseeing: Hop On, Hop Off Open Top Bus on TripAdvisor here.
By Taxi: You can take short rides for about 150 NT, or hire a Taxi for a day for around 150 USD.
By Car: If you are looking for car rentals, you can also search Qeeq here, Klook here, or KKday here. You can also check out our car rental guide here.
By Scooter: Looking for scooter rental in Taipei? You can search on Klook here or KKday here to search for options. You can also check out our scooter rental guide here.
By Bicycle: Cycling is the best way to enjoy Taiwan's landscapes if you have the time and energy. Looking for bicycle rentals in Taiwan? You can use Taiwan's many Youbike sharing stations, or search for rentals on KKday here, and search for tours on Klook here. You can also check out our Taiwan cycling guide here. â€‹You can also book a Sunset Riverside Bike Ride and Historical Tour, 4 Hour Cycling in Taipei, Ultimate 8-Hour Cycling City Tour, or Taipei City Bike Tour with Night Market Experience on TripAdvisor here.
For more information, check out our Taiwan transportation guide here.
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:
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.
Attractions in Taiwan:
There are many attractions that you can enjoy in Taipei such as Taipei 101 Observatory, Taipei 101 460 Skyline Observatory, Taipei Children's Amusement Park, Maokong Gondola, National Palace Museum, Yehliu Ocean World, Yehliu Geopark, National Museum of Marine Science and Biology, i-ride 5D cinema, Astronomical Museum, Miniatures Museum of Taiwan, Double Decker Sightseeing Bus, Miramar Ferris Wheel Ticket, Taipei Zoo, Heping Island Park, Ju Ming Museum, Yuanshan Hotel Secret Road, National Taiwan Museum, New Taipei Gold Museum, Futian Leisure Farm, Chiang Kai-shek Shilin Residence, Chi Po-lin Museaum, Beitou Museum, Tsao Wonderland, Railway Museum, Fort San Domingo, 13 Levels Archaeology Museum, Austin Land, Museum of World Religions, Formosan Aboriginies Museum, ASE Parent-child Park, teamLab Future Park, Yukids Island, VR Experience, Bat Cave, Neidong Waterfall, Candlestick Islet, Jurassic Snow Park, Zhonghe High5 Amusement Park, Longshan Temple, Xingtian Temple, Ningxia Night Market, Yansan Night Market, Meteor Garden, Yingge Old Street, and many more attractions on Tripadvisor here, Klook here, or KKday here.
Activities in Taiwan:
Don't forget that there are many activities available in Taipei such as Indoor Skiing, Rock Climbing, Hiking, Wakeboarding, Surfing, Speedboat Surfing, SUP / Paddle Boarding, Diving, Snorkeling Kayaking, Canoeing, Water Biking, River Tracing / Canyoneering, ATVing, Horse Riding, Cooking Class, Archery, Ice Skating, Roller Skating, Tree Climbing, Urban Camping, Glamping, Motorcycling, Motorbike Tour, Dragon Boat Racing, Escape Room, Shen'ao Rail Bike, Laser Gun Experience, Batting Cages, Bowling, Paintball, Flight Simulation Experience, Taipei Tram Driving Experience, Rail Simulation Experience, Taipei 101 Observation Deck activity, Strawberry Picking, Professional Photo Shoot, Body Relaxation SPA, Night Tour, Calligraphy Workshop, and more on Tripadvisor here, Klook here, or KKday here.
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!
You can also check out our full travel guide to Taiwan here.
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.