04 Dec 10 Reasons Why I Love Taiwan
If you have been following my Instagram, you would know how much of an advocate I am for living in Taiwan. During my three months in here, I have met so many expats who have been here for 5-10 years and they have nothing but wonderful things to say about Taiwan. It’s a truly a hidden gem that you’ll fall in love with once you set your foot here on this fascinating island.
Here are the 10 reasons why I absolutely adore Taiwan and why I think it’s such a delicate island packing a great blend of livability altogether.
1. The food is to die for.
Undoubtedly Taiwan is truly a paradise for foodies. From sampling mouthwatering street food in local night markets to indulging in fine cuisines in international restaurants, you will find yourself snacking on munchies from day to night. There’s a bubble tea shop on every corner and a wide array of local dining options just lines the streets of Taiwan. Let’s just say you will never be hungry here – even the pre-made food at convenience stores is delicious!
Check out the blog posts below to see my food recommendations in Taiwan:
- Top 10 Local Food You Must Try in Taiwan
- Bubble Tea Addiction: Best Bubble Tea Shops in Taiwan
- What to Eat at Night Markets?
- Delicious Taiwanese Desserts You Must Try
- The Freshest Sushi You Will Find in Taipei
2. The locals are hospitable and polite.
The Taiwanese locals are probably one of the friendliest people you will ever come across. From a cashier in 7/11 to a random stranger on the street, they really go out of their ways to help you out when you are in need. Whenever you walk into a store or a restaurant, you can expect genuine smiles and warm greetings making you feel truly welcomed. The locals are also very polite and mild mannered. There were even times when I felt like I needed to tone down my North American fierceness just so I didn’t come across as too rude or fiery. The overall Taiwanese culture is just rather orderly, civilized, and pleasant to be immersed in.
3. Taiwan a very safe place to live in.
Based on its safety index and crime index, Taiwan is ranked as one of the safest places to live in the world. After being here for three months, I can attest that this is in fact true. During my stay here, there hasn’t been a time when I felt threatened or scared for my life. Even when I had to stroll down the street in the middle of the night looking for food, I still felt perfectly safe on my own. The biggest threat you would come across would probably be the giant cockroaches chasing you down the streets at night – ya those are pretty scary. Overall, Taiwan makes a perfectly safe destination for travelers, especially for solo female travelers.
4. Taiwan is lively but not overcrowded.
If you are fond of the modern city life but you just can’t deal with the extremes of the hustle and bustle lifestyle, then Taiwan is the ideal place for you. Taipei is particularly lively all day long, abundantly packed with activities to do from morning to night. It is not as congested and overwhelming as Hong Kong or New York, yet it offers everything that you are looking for in a modern city.
5. It’s a perfect blend of the modern city life and the suburban nature life.
As you ramble around the streets of Taipei, you embrace the energy, the hustle and bustle and the liveliness the city exerts. You could spend the day shopping in the East District, you could devour your way through the ginormous night markets, you could dance your night away in jampacked nightclubs, and you would be perfectly convinced that Taiwan is all about that city life. Little did you know that just half an hour drive away, you would be completely immersed in serenity and peace. Spectacular beaches, breathtaking hiking trails, and phenomenal landscapes stretch deep into the waters and mountains, fringing this magnificent island.
6. The cost of living in Taiwan is relatively inexpensive.
Ok, the Taiwanese locals may not agree with me on this, as the cost of living is fairly proportional to the local earnings. However, if you are a traveler coming from an expensive city like me (argh Vancouver…), then you will soon discover that money goes a long way here. The best part of all is that you have the freedom to choose the type of lifestyle you want to pursue. If you choose to eat local and live a little outside of the city, you would end up saving a ton of money. If you are inclined to splurge on fine dining and live in luxury condos in Taipei, you could also do so for a fraction of the price you would pay in North America. Geographically speaking, Taipei is the most expensive city to live in, whereas the cost of living is considerably lower in Southern Taiwan.
7. The public transportation system is very convenient.
One thing I really have to applaud Taiwan for is its convenient, clean, and reliable public transportation system. I have never been much of a tour bus or a taxi person during my travels, as I always find the public transit to be the most reliable form of transportation for travelers. In Taiwan, I have had zero problems getting to any of my destinations relying on just the public transit alone. It has made my life so much easier as a traveler, and I love being able to travel alongside the locals.
I’ve listed a couple blog posts explaining Taiwan’s public transit system in details:
8. There are plenty of fun activities to do, day and night.
I’ve never felt bored in Taiwan, ever. I stayed a good three months this time around, and there was never a day when I felt bored and dreaded my life. There are just endless destinations to explore and fun activities to do in Taiwan, both indoors and outdoors. If you ever feel like a change of scene, hop on a train and it will take you to a whole different world. With its convenient public transit system, you can take a day trip out to about any part of the island with ease. By the time my last week of stay finally came, I felt that time just flew by me. All I could think about was how I really needed to come back again.
9. The climate is mild almost all year round.
Sure there are typhoon seasons in Taiwan, but for the most part, the climate is rather mild throughout the year. Harsh winters do not exist here. Even during the coolest January days, the average temperature still stays above 10°C. As someone who had to survive through the crazy snow storms and -30°C winters in Toronto, I truly appreciate being able to wear shorts and T-shirts in November.
10. The expat community is expanding.
More and more expats are discovering the beauty of Taiwan. Sure the expat/digital nomad community isn’t as establish as hubs like Chiang Mai, but more and more expats are choosing to live in Taiwan long-term for its overall livability and affordability. On Facebook and Meetup, you can find plenty of local events you can attend to meet expats and travelers just like yourself. Being far away from home can get lonely at times, it’s always comforting to meet like-minded individuals.