If you are planning to move to Taiwan, there are definitely some things you should know beforehand.
After all, Taiwan is a country full of amazing things. From the delicious food to the rich culture and history to even the beautiful views. There is just so much to love about this country.
It has become one of the most popular places to visit in all of Asia.
However what many people don’t know is that visiting Taiwan is a lot different than living in Taiwan.
There are simply a lot of things that nobody ever tells you.
I remember my first time going to Taiwan. I was thinking it was going to be the same as back in the USA. However when I went there, things were actually a lot different. There was so many things I wasn’t accustomed to and had to learn many different things.
However, everything was pretty easy to pick up, and soon enough Taiwan felt like a second home to me.
For those of you thinking about moving to Taiwan, you might be surprised at all the differences this country may have. Fortunately for you, I consider myself an expert on Taiwan, as I have been coming here and living here for a long time.
So here in this post, i’ll give you an insiders view of what it’s like living in Taiwan.
- 12 Things To Know Before You Move To Taiwan
12 Things To Know Before You Move To Taiwan
Everybody Rides A Scooter
First thing you will notice about Taiwan is that almost everybody rides a scooter. Literally, you can see people carrying their entire families all on one scooter.
The reason for this is because cars here are insanely expensive, and not only that but there is a limited amount of space in parking lots. Sometimes you can’t even find room to park a car. Which is why people buy scooters instead. They are small and can fit anywhere.
To be honest, I think driving around on a scooter is pretty scary in Taiwan. People are swerving in and out and accidents happen all the time. But if you think you can handle it, then more power to you.
No Public Trash Cans
When you are walking around Taiwan, you’ll notice that there are almost no trash cans in sight. This is because they want to keep the streets clean and bug free. I’m not saying that there is no trash cans entirely, but you’ll have to go pretty far if you want to find one.
If you do have to get rid of some trash, you might have to carry it around for awhile until you reach your home or some other public place.
Pay First Then Eat
Ordering food here is quite different than other places around the world. A lot of the time you’ll find the menus in restaurants are all in Chinese with no English translation available.
Not only that but in most restaurants, you’ll have to pay first before you can get your food to eat.
However this is something you’ll learn very fast and it has it’s advantages. For instance, you’ll know exactly how much the food is going to cost up front. You’ll also be able to leave anytime you want since you have paid already. No need to wait around ages for a server.
All in all, pretty nice.
Garbage Trucks Play Music
This is amazing! It is unlike anything I have ever seen before and I absolutely love it. The garbage trucks in Taiwan are some serious business.
They go around block to block and collect trash five times a week. When the garbage truck is arriving, it will play music to alert residents that it is time for trash collecting. The music the truck plays is Beethoven!!! When residents hear this music, they’ll bring their trash down to the truck and throw it in themselves.
Throwing trash away in Taiwan is like a communal event. Many times you’ll see people come down to throw their trash early so that they can strike up a conversation with other people.
I Love It!
Many People Wear Masks
When you are walking around Taiwan, you’ll see quite a few people wear masks around their mouth. At first it might seem weird, but it’s actually quite nice of them.
The reason they wear masks is to let people know they are sick and don’t want to transmit that sickness to others. Or it can also be for them to protect themselves from other peoples sickness.
It is just a cautionary thing to do.
Earthquakes All the Time
Because the country is located near two tectonic plates, you will notice that earthquakes here are very common.
Which is why buildings in Taiwan have to be build incredibly sturdy. These buildings are able to withstand all types of events, from things like earthquakes to even typhoons.
DO NOT FLUSH The Toilet Paper
This is probably the most unusual thing you will come across when you are in this country.
Whenever you are using the restroom, you absolutely must not flush the toilet paper down into the toilet. Instead, you need to throw it into the trash.
The reason for this is that the plumbing in Taiwan can not handle all the toilet paper being flushed down and will clog the pipes. Which is why throwing it in the trash is the best thing to do.
However because of this, sometimes it might smell pretty bad inside the restrooms.
If there was ever a time to lose something valuable, it should be in this country. Nobody ever steals. In fact, when you lose something, people will actually make an effort to try to get the item back to you.
For instance, one time I dropped my wallet in the restaurant. I left without knowing this. Later I saw a guy running after me trying to give it back. I thought that was so awesome.
Taiwan People Love Karaoke
When Taiwanese people want to have fun, they will usually do so by going to a Karaoke bar. These bars are pretty high end as they have many rooms and places where you can buy food as well.
In fact, karaoke is so popular that many people even have their own karaoke box at home so they can sing along with friends and family.
If you are ever coming to Taiwan, then you should know that this place is like a food lovers paradise. Almost every stall or restaurant in this country will serve you something super delicious.
However if you really want to enjoy Taiwan’s awesome foods, then I highly suggest you visit the night markets in Taipei or any other city in Taiwan. These night markets are amazing as they sell tons of authentic Taiwanese foods. So you’ll be sampling around them for hours on end.
You Might Not Have A/C Or Heating In Your Home
Unless you are going to live your everyday life in a hotel, chances are you are going to be in an apartment or small house. These places you are staying in will not always have an air conditioner or heater available. Which mean you have to buy your own.
Especially with the subtropical climate, it can feel really icky at times. You’ll be sweaty and sticky all throughout the year or during the winter months you’ll feel really chilly. Which is why having an a/c or heater is important if you want to move into this country.
So make sure the place you are going to live in has these things.
7/11 Is Your Favorite Store
7/11 is a famous 24 hour convenience store here in Taiwan. Although they are also in other parts of the world such as the USA, they are vastly different from them. These stores carry everything you can possibly imagine at affordable prices.
In 7/11 you can get train tickets, pay for school tuition, mail out packages, print documents, etc. You can literally do everything you want from inside one of these stores.
7/11 stores here in Taiwan are not just a store but a way of life.
Overall, there are many interesting and unique things that Taiwan has where only if you lived here will you notice. It’s actually pretty cool.
Also, if you are planning to visit Taiwan anytime soon, you might also be interested in some of my other Taiwan posts.
- Taiwan – 15 amazing things for you to do in Taiwan
- Taipei – 15 awesome things do to in Taipei Taiwan
- Food – 15 delicious foods you must try when visiting Taiwan
Or you can check out my complete list of things to do in Taiwan by clicking here.
Let me know how your trip goes!