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Thanks! Direct flights from Wuhan, China were monitored from December 31, 2019 and all passengers underwent a health screen. (See our complete layman’s guide to understanding what it means to be and speak Chineseto get a fuller picture.) Because I didn’t feel like wearing mask while I’m sick sometimes, and I could literally feel people looking at me with anger on the metro. Wang said Taiwan's government is currently considering an international travel study with Stanford to test shorter quarantine periods with more frequent testing. The street food looks fabulous, I love street food that photos make my mouth water. People say: "you can google it" but we had information overload. he asked. No way. And by March, Taiwan banned all foreign nations from entering the island, apart from diplomats, those with resident visas with special entry visas. No matter how much I love this tiny country, living in Taiwan is “special” in many ways:). Some breakfast staples include green onion pancakes and soymilk, but you can also get breakfast sandwiches, burgers, and so much more. I think people would start panicking! A worker sprays hand sanitiser onto passengers after they arrive at Taoyuan Airport on March 19, 2020. I have spent one semester in Hong Kong before and it was a relief to find out that in Taipei the money goes a much longer way. Well…we wear it to protect others around us and this is the main reason. Taiwan’s capital offers an extensive infrastructure for cyclists. If your new life in Taiwan is your first time in an earthquake area, please take the information on earthquake preparedness and response provided by the Central Weather Bureau to heart. It is a good idea to book a place to stay and recover from a Jetlag. My whole condo complex smelled of incense and food was everywhere! What surprised you? This means getting… A cold me is not a fun me to hang out with…. Everything was new and exciting, and very different. A Taiwanese 7-Eleven is one of the most convenient places on the planet; you can get train tickets, pay you school tuition, ship packages, print documents, call taxi, and so much more. They’re designed to prevent bacterial and viral transmission. I love Taiwan. As for earthquakes, we have them frequently, not all the time…. Overall, this tiny country in East Asia offers more than 3000 roads dedicated to cyclists. Why should they, if the food outside is so tasty and affordable? Hi Till, thanks for reminding Stinky Tofu. You will notice signs instructing you not to throw the paper into the toilet. It simply needs the time to understand a foreign culture a little bit more. Very different from what we have here in India. When I was living in Mainland China (see below), non-Chinese friends would often describe Taiwan as being “like China, but without the bad bits”. Otherwise the people are great! Returning to our homeland, South Africa made me realize in what bad state our country was. You should come back one day – Taiwan is just too good to leave! I learned a few things about Taiwan. And it learned lessons from the experience of SARS 17 years ago, when it was the third worst hit … Let’s get this started. If you want to explore as much as possible in one trip around the island, you should definitely check out my Taiwan itinerary for 7 days. Taiwanese people are very friendly and love to chat with foreigners. Before I knew it, this place far away from my own country felt like home. Thanks for your comment, Rob. ), and also to be afraid of them. Very nice description of Taiwan how it is. I was applying to partner with KIWI, and they gave me a link to a widget your using of theirs so I could see it live. Karaoke bars look a bit like 5-star hotels, with a reception area and private rooms. Most foreigners move to Taipei, but it is good to know that outside the capital the cost of living is much lower. Creepy, isn’t it? Wow, garbage trucks in Canada also play classical music! All this happened before Wuhan itself went into lockdown on January 23. I had no idea! After spending two years in this incredible place, I have decided to write this post to give you an insider view of living in Taiwan. Taiwan's current strategy involves imposing isolation measures on sick, elderly or potentially infectious individuals rather than the broader population. As a foreign student entitled the scholarship and not having had to pay for the university fees, I was dealing with a budget of 30 000 NTD for a month, which is about 980 USD. It also felt like everyone in Taiwan drives a scooter! Copyright © Veronika’s Adventure 2016 | Disclaimer. This requires visitors to undergo a pre-boarding test to prove they are negative within 72 hours of flying, then a test on day five of quarantine, after which they are permitted to leave isolation and self-monitor for the next two weeks. I loved it, especially since I’ve never been anywhere in Asia. During this festival, it is believed that the gates of hell are opened and all of the hungry ghosts are released to the world in search of food, money, entertainment, and what not. There are few world destinations such a London or Vienna which offer direct flights to Taipei, but the price is of course higher. It’s not overly touristy. Hi Jess, yes I think wearing a mask is the good thing to do when you are sick! ... Now more than ever, every link … Make sure to make at least one Taiwanese friend as soon as possible; they can contribute many eye-opening moments that help you to understand this unique culture better. I think the one that is most on the nose is the 7-11 factoid. I like Thailand food as well, but they don’t have onion pancake:), I agree. One of my teachers told me that when she was younger, she remembers how the sidewalks were covered in rotting garbage. Once I asked if I could leave my gigantic backpack there for a few hours, and it actually worked! 15 Things No One Told You About Living in Taiwan. It never stuck and maybe they gave up. People generally say that the plumbing cannot handle the toilet paper because it will clog the pipes. Even the smallest stall in the street, which has no proper seating besides a couple of plastic chairs, may serve you the most delicious meal. But don’t worry, if you’re a tourist you’ll survive. Be very careful with who you do business with online in Taiwan. Some yes, some not. What a beautiful country and the most wonderful experience did we have. Not only one can not use it in Taiwan, it does not work so well with withdrawing abroad either…one needs special 4 digits pin. I also sent you an email looking forward to your response. One day later, Taiwan confirmed its first reported case of the novel coronavirus. These 24-hours convenience stores are everywhere, even in small villages and rural areas. One of Taiwan’s most prosperous cities, Hsinchu is a beacon of modernity which backs onto a region dominated by the country’s Hakka minority. Building social relationships with the local population is a good way to pick up the nuances of the language. Oh I hadto idea Hungry Ghost Festival was also a big thing in Singapore! Great article I was surprised at several of your points, the only time we have been there was just a stop over on a flight. It is good to know that Taipei is much cheaper than other big cities in East Asia including Japan, Soul, Singapore and Hong Kong. Been living in Taiwan for a decade and if there is something that is absolute crap (quality, hygiene, environment, ingredients, safety) that is food. I like a lot of your points, the garbage trucks playing Beethoven that is awesome, in Otavalo their garbage trucks also played music to let the people know that they were coming. This has infuriated Beijing. Believe it or not, Taipei is the best metropolis in Asia for cycling. They are especially kind toward first time travellers. I always wondered why do Orientals wear masks on the streets (they wear them when they travel as well, not only in Taiwan). 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With the trash cans, actually compared to my country, it is very hard to find trash can in the street. The obsession with sorting rubbish and not having public bins reminded me of Japan, and the toilet paper in a bin reminded me of most of Southeast Asia. Hi Darren, thanks a lot for your response. Not only because telling people they are sick, but also avoid the dirty air(especially when riding scooter,i ride scooter and I wear it!). ), but since I also saw/smelled stinky tofu in Hong Kong a lot, I do not consider it “only Taiwanese” thing. The decision to trade a secure future and income for a life of adventure can be hard to explain at times. Take a look at my thoughts and experiences about life in Taiwan. The following tags are used to highlight each species' conservation status as assessed … I also recommend staying in Airbnb instead of the boring hotels: you can find my selection of the best Airbnb’s in Taiwan here. What a fancy song for this kind of situation! In order to keep the streets clean and cockroach-free, there are few trash cans placed in the streets. She thinks she caught the virus mid-March from a client who was coughing during a session. This bamboo-shaped tower is, without a doubt, the most fascinating building in Taiwan. Cindy Sui / NBC News April 23, 2020, 3:09 PM UTC / Updated April 23, 2020, 4:43 PM UTC The best place to sample Taiwan’s famous street fare is one of the many famous night markets in Taipei or just about any city across the island. Even 20 years ago in Canada, everywhere took debit cards, yet it hasn’t happened here yet. For planning longer cycling trips around the island, make sure to check my detailed guide about cycling in Taiwan. The plumbing in Taipei has big enough collection spots for TP to liquefy and it is OK to flush. One of the things that worried me before moving to Taiwan was, of course, the living cost in Taiwan. Laughing at the Beethoven playing garbage trucks. 😉. Admittedly, these questions were a bit difficult at first. Your email address will not be published. I’ve heard about Taiwan having good streetfood. I like the idea of paying first for your food the easy escape is what I would love, Great post! Is it really your favorite? Although the masks are unlikely so prevent any diseases, they function as a gentle sign of caution. These two faces are reflected on the map of Taiwan: the west coast is dotted with cities, while the east side is primarily natural. There are countless breakfast shops in Taipei; just take a walk in any city (or even small town) in Taiwan in the morning and you’ll see them. Taiwan’s 7-Elevens are far from just another junk food shop…. One that she doesn’t mention that still makes me shake my head is that you can’t use your debit card to pay in most places. Many buildings are built to rock with the earth to withstand powerful typhoon winds and earthquake tremors, including Taipei 101, Taiwan’s tallest building and once the tallest building in the world. You mentioned some places where it is, and you are right, but arriving from Czech rep, where we ave one on every corner, I had hard time searching for one. Then what she really means to say is “No“. do you know of any tourist scams in Taiwan? You should have a valid passport (which is not expiring in the next 6 months), visa, and enough money for the beginning. Residents living on the west coast have a longer life expectancy than those living on the east. Taiwan introduced a shorter quarantine period for business visitors in June from countries it considers low or medium risk. It’s great that they have addressed the ‘streets of garbage’ issue by removing trash cans – I would much rather take my trash home than be sharing the pavements with rats and cockroaches! Ordering food can be quite confusing when you’ve just started your Taiwan trip. Sil Chen moved to New York from her native Taiwan 16 years ago to set up a psychotherapy practice. Another thing you should arrange is accommodation for your first days in Taipei. It looks like this place is where you will get the authentic experience that some travellers are looking for. People wearing protective masks walk past food stalls at the Ningxia Night Market in Taipei, Taiwan, on July 30, 2020. That would not happen here in the US! Similarly, be aware that heavy storms can occur during typhoon season from April to October. I stayed for 5 weeks for Mandarin classes and to travel a bit around the island. The latest breaking news, comment and features from The Independent. Visiting a country is much different from living in it. Taiwan's Center for Disease Control announced on January 20 it had sent two experts to Wuhan to try and "obtain more comprehensive information of the outbreak.". It is possible to cross the city from south to north in just two hours. Lots of people speak English in Taipei. Life no longer feels normal in Taiwan, but it has kept coronavirus at bay Life no longer feels normal in Taiwan, but it has kept coronavirus at bay A combination of tough government controls … You are supposed to put it into the trash can beside the toilet instead. By the time I reached my flat, an email was in my inbox stating, “Please come to pick up your bag!” I couldn’t believe this! Having said goodbye to my family back in the Czech Republic, I had my entire world packed into a 20-kilogram suitcase. By staying for example in Kaohsiung, one can save much money especially when it comes to accommodation. Everything in Taiwan just works…… Will be there again next year. Taiwan, Chinese (Wade-Giles romanization) T’ai-wan or (Pinyin) Taiwan, Portuguese Formosa, island in the western Pacific Ocean that lies roughly 100 miles (160 km) off the coast of southeastern China.It is approximately 245 miles (395 km) long (north-south) and 90 miles (145 km) across at its widest point. a) You mostly pay after you complete your meal and get lot of surprises 🙂 b) We love driving cars and roads are full of traffic jam and pollution. In many ways, Taiwan is much more China than modern mainland China. You will have a lot of choices in Taiwan – with Beitou being the most popular choice in Taipei. Dr. Jason Wang is the Director of the Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention at Stanford University, he said places like Taiwan "tend to act on the conservative side so, when it wasn't clear how it was spread, they said we're going to wear a mask anyway and they got it right.". Women and children are closer to the family, although with a larger … As Wang pointed out, "at one point we still need to reopen the world and even with the vaccine, it's not 100% protected. There are some must-have experiences in Taiwan: There are world-famous night markets in Taipei, but you can find a night market in pretty much in every major city and town. Garbage trucks drive through every neighborhood five times a week and residents carry their bags of trash down and put them into the trucks themselves. But u can say it’s bc of the courtesy as well. Taiwanese people are very friendly, and in many aspects also pretty special:} After two years of living in Taiwan, I have a  lot to say about the way people live here. Few people either know or trust that though. And in Taiwan as a whole, an island with a population of approximately 23 million people, there have been around 500 confirmed cases and just 7 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. I’ve never been, but just curious, do you think the person that found your wallet was a fluke, or is that typical of the Taiwanese people? If you get past their initial shyness, they are quite chatty. Karaoke is one of the most popular social activities; some of my local friends would go out for karaoke at least once per week (as often as my European friend would go clubbing)! Taiwan's early response means everyday life on the island is now very different from a lot of places worldwide where leaders weren't quick to act. Large lines stretch along the sidewalks, as people cram into popular lunchtime eateries. But there isn’t anything better that having your flat with nice temperature. There are less squat toilets and more western toilets now. You can check my other posts on Things to do in Kaohsiung here. 一直覺得台北是個讓人只住一星期,就感覺像住了一年之久的城市,說不上來什麼原因,可能因為它總是讓人籠罩在一種忙得暈頭轉向卻又不知道在忙什麼的氣氛之 … Veronika Tomanova is the founder of award-winning solo female travel blog Veronika’s Adventure, featuring travel tips, guides and stories from around the world. In regards to finding jobs teaching … People in Taiwan always surprise me how nice they are. There are two Taichungs. In doubt, i skip on it. If you’re like me, you probably thought Taiwan was much smaller than it actually is before visiting. Although Taiwan is quite hot, subtropical country, the winter months can be rather damp and chilly. You should get ready for a long international travel: most of the times, I had two or three stopovers before reaching Taipei. In fact, there are few if any visible signs that, As the global number of confirmed Covid-19 cases surpasses 30 million, residents of Taipei seem relaxed in the knowledge there has been only. If you call a friend, asking whether she would like to go to the cinema later, and she responds: Eh…Maybe? They all reside in the street restaurants where you eat your stuff for 100 NTD. What did you consider the most interesting or the weirdest? I have heard about Taiwan recently in the news. Back then, it was also hard to get a test in the US so she stayed in her apartment for five weeks to avoid spreading the virus. I could agree on it all except the part relating to the “best street food in Asia”. Posts about my life in Taiwan written by jolin. Yep, Taiwan is the safest place on the planet! For a cheap price you get to try some of the best snacks and discover one of the biggest passions of Taiwanese people: their food. "We were dining in a restaurant," she said, "doing group yoga with people and I was like, wow, this is so surreal, it would not have been possible for me to bring my grandma to a public space like that anywhere else in the world almost.". What is daily life like in Taipei Taiwan during this global crisis? looks amazing, I cant believe you got your bag back that’s amazing. Wow! And in winter,sometimes we have strong and cold wind,especially those towns near the sea(like my hometwon,my mother usually wear mask in winter! It must be incredible living in Taiwan. I love Taiwan already but wow these people ride their scooters like crazy! The building can even survive a massive earthquake, and can reach the observation deck in one of the world’s fastest elevators. But A) It’s served in plastic stuff (some of that plastic is melamine contaminated (it’s on the news all the time); B) Taiwan flooded in food scandals, ranging from cooking oils (those they use to fry the “delicious food”) to the plastic bottles of the energy drinks, to alcohol etc. I was told i could not use my paddle board in Liyu lake unless i got insurance, a permit and let them know 2 weeks in advance that i was coming iover to us it. You will probably arrive pretty tired and you might be affected by the heat and humidity in Taipei (especially in summer). ... Now Playing. So be prepared. Sometimes, they will even personally guide you to where you want to go (even though they often don’t even know exactly where you want to go). Hi Sherry, I just imagine what would happen here in Czech Republic if I wear a mask instead of makeup. This is really interesting. It’s funny that when I mentioned this to local people they always replied: But you have freezing winters in Europe, you should be used to it! All foreigners wonder about the masks at first:}. Taiwan is one of the few places in the world where people actively search for an owner of an item they have found. Taiwan is a true food paradise. The degree of each depends on a person’s age, status in the society, and individual circumstances. And I can identify with the scooter thing having spent time in Vietnam – isn’t it amazing the number of people and things that can fit onto one scooter! Another key to success, according to Foreign Minister Wu and outside experts: be honest about the dangers. She is from Czech Republic and has been to 30+ countries. You get it on every night market. I have done the full round around the island, with 900 kilometers in 9 days. Let´s be honest: foreign visitors may find this to be one of the most disturbing habits in Taiwan. For number 2, it is true in many places outside of Taipei City. With the high humidity, one can feel colder than what the temperature actually indicates (Taipei gets as cold as 8 °C, but may feel as uncomfortable as below zero). I always loved how they offered to help when they had the feeling I was lost. Tasty? On the streets of the island's capital, Taipei, pedestrians appear more concerned with staying out of the hot midday sun than maintaining any semblance of social distancing. It’s not practical, but it simply works! But very nice tips for anyone who is travelling or want to settle in Taiwan. Or some girls hate showing their face without make up,they had mask cover their face. A driving license is easy to get and people don’t strictly follow road rules (some of them don’t even know what they are!). 07| Karaoke is the Taiwanese way of clubbing, 08| You may be surrounded by people with masks, 13| There is a festival dedicated to ghosts, 14| Toilet paper does not get flushed down the toilet, One day in Taipei: Itinerary and Tips for your Layover, 20 Pictures that will make you want to visit Taiwan, Stuff people say when I tell them I am from the Czech Republic. Couldn’t agree more. Sometimes it is much easier to start a new chapter, without the influences and expectations of your family. Some of them are cool (food! The first time I heard that Beethoven tune I thought it was an ice cream van haha And true about the lack of bins, but I learned along the way to save plastic bags and to always keep one in my pocket. It was disgusting, and there were rats everywhere. Those initial, early responses to the outbreak in China -- and the willingness to take action -- were critical in preventing the spread of the virus in Taiwan, potentially saving thousands of lives. So glad to hear that your wallet and mobile were returned to you. In the city, just look for a bus stop or an MRT station and you will find a trash and recycling container. It was an interesting experience. About Life of Taiwan Life of Taiwan focuses on offering quality travel experiences to discerning international visitors. One of the main reasons for Taiwan's success, The island's leaders were quick to act as, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told CNN the deadly, "So, when we heard that there were some secret pneumonia cases in China where patients were treated in isolation, we knew it was something similar.". The garbage from households should be disposed of in city-approved trash bags. When you ask to have it taken away, you will get it in a neatly prepared disposable paper box without questions. Btw. Blog should be more than a suitable place for this. … 🙂. But if you can, you should make it to some wild springs (I loved Wenshan hot spring in Taroko gorge!). Love the writing style. Great post! This is pretty self-explanatory, and not really … "At the time, people were not taking this very seriously," said Chen. It can be different for everyone. Many people also have KTV at home, including some of the smallest villages in the south of Taiwan. 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