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31 Living Taiwan Pros and Cons (2023 Expat Guide)

Are you considering living in Taiwan? If so, you’re not alone. With its rich culture, delicious food, and world-class healthcare system, Taiwan is an increasingly popular destination for expats looking to enjoy a high quality of living.

But before making the move to this beautiful island nation it’s important to consider both the pros and cons of living in Taiwan.

From exploring the vibrant cities and stunning nature spots to understanding how Taiwanese society works and navigating visa requirements; there are many factors that should be taken into account when deciding if living in Taiwan is right for you.

In this guide we’ll provide an overview of everything you need to know about living in Taiwan – from what kind of jobs are available through to healthcare costs and more – helping ensure that your transition goes as smoothly as possible!

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Table of Contents

Pros and Cons of Living in Taiwan as an American Expat

kenting taiwan collab

1. Pro: Small Island Nation

I loved living in Taiwan while attending a course at a university one summer. Taiwan is a magnificent country with great traditions, customs, and people.

A significant advantage of living in Taiwan is the size of the country. The small island nation allows you to travel from one corner of the country to the next in no time by bus or train. This way, you can explore Taiwan without wasting a lot of time traveling. It’s a great advantage if you work or study during the week. So, you can discover beautiful places in the country without following a long Taiwan itinerary.

The connections in the country are excellent, so you can easily reach even relatively remote places. Especially the high-speed train allows you to travel from the capital Taipei to the country’s south within a few hours.

Taiwan offers a beautiful mix of nature, traditional small towns, beaches, and a modern big city, and if you really want to get to know the country, you should have experienced each of these parts. Therefore, the short travel distances in the country are of great advantage for expats in Taiwan.

Submitted by Vicki of Vicki Viaja

2. Con: Crowded Cities

Living in Taiwan can be quite crowded, especially in the big cities. The population density is high, and living space is limited due to the small size of the country.

Apart from that, public transport can get very crowded during rush hours and traffic jams are not rare around Taipei City. So if you’re looking for a less crowded living environment, living in Taiwan may not be the best option.

Or you may at least want to consider less populous areas – however this will come with other cons such as poor public transportation and fewer English-speaking locals.

3. Pro: Low Cost of Living in Taiwan

Living in Taiwan is relatively affordable compared to living in the US or Western Europe. Prices for basic goods such as food, clothing, and transportation are significantly lower than in other countries.

It’s also possible to find very cheap accommodation in Taiwan, even when living in the bigger cities. For instance, it’s easy to find a one-bedroom apartment in Taipei City for around $500 USD a month.

Living in Taiwan is also generally cheaper than living in other East Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea. And if you’re living outside of the bigger cities, living expenses can be even lower.

Sandra from International TEFL Academy noted “My rent was only $280 [USD] and it included water, cable with HBO, valet trash and recycling (this is a big deal as in some buildings you don’t and have to chase the garbage truck), a cleaning company for the common areas, a water machine for purified drinking water, and a washing machine on my balcony.”

4. Con: Language Barrier

Like many non-English speaking countries, you should learn the local language to live in Taiwan. Mandarin is the primary language, with most businesses operating in Mandarin across the country.

The same applies to Taiwanese living in the urban areas, so living without speaking Mandarin is difficult.

This isn’t a huge problem if you’re staying for a short time and living in a larger city, as more people understand English in those places. But living long-term requires learning some basic Mandarin to get by.

And it’ll severely restrict your ability to find work in Taiwan if you never learn any Mandarin.

Need help learning a new language? I recommend iTalki! I’ve tried ALL the apps, but iTalki is the only way I’ve managed to learn as much as living in the local country.

5. Pro: Plenty of English Teaching Jobs

If you’re looking to break into the foreign English teaching world, Taiwan might be perfect for you!

The country is famous for its English teaching industry and offers plenty of opportunities for native and non-native speakers alike. Salaries are good, living expenses are low and the job market is quite competitive.

In fact, most locals assume that any English-speaking person is a English teacher since so many Americans come to Taiwan to do so.

In general, living in Taiwan as an English teacher can be incredibly rewarding, as you’ll have the opportunity to get paid while exploring this amazing country. So if teaching is your thing, living in Taiwan might be just what you need!

I recommend this platform to find jobs as a foreigner.

elephant mountain taipei taiwan

6. Con: Difficult to Break into Other Fields of Work

Breaking into other fields of work in Taiwan can be quite difficult. The job market is highly competitive and there’s a lot of competition for even the most basic roles.

You may face additional challenges if you don’t speak Mandarin, as many employers prefer local natives with native language proficiency. If you are looking to break into another field, living in Taiwan might not be for you.

In fact, even some American companies will turn away people sight unseen if they know you cannot speak Mandarin or Taiwanese.

I recommend this platform to find jobs as a foreigner.

7. Con: Difficult to Set Up a Business in Taiwan for Foreigners

It’s difficult to set up a business in Taiwan as a foreigner. The whole process can be incredibly complex and require extensive paperwork and legal knowledge. Typically, they want a local involved as a founder of the company to consider allowing you to start up your business.

As someone who runs my own business, this is a massive consideration for me if I was to consider settling somewhere full-time.

Furthermore, foreign-owned businesses are required to register with the Taiwanese government and pay high taxes, making it even more complicated.

8. Pro: Low Cost, High Quality Healthcare

Living in Taiwan comes with access to low cost (and surprisingly high quality) healthcare. The country is well known for its free National Health Insurance system, which covers hospital and doctor visits

The system is available to anyone living in Taiwan with a residence permit, making living in the country much more attractive if you suffer from any chronic illnesses. Treatment is also much cheaper than in other countries, making living in Taiwan even more attractive.

Furthermore, the quality of care is surprisingly high and Taiwanese doctors are well trained and experienced. So if you need medical help, living in Taiwan can be a great choice for your health.

For example, Sandra from International TEFL Academy said, ” I only paid $4.00 to go to the doctor and that included my prescription. I one time thought I broke my toe and went to the emergency room. I expected it to be like the US and brought snacks, blankets, and a credit card and was prepared to stay for hours. When I tell you I was out in under 30 minutes…. I walked up and used google translate to explain what was wrong. I paid my rate for a specialty doctor $30.00 and that included extras, office visits, and prescriptions. The doctor even airdropped my X-rays and they helped me to get a cab.”

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9. Con: Poor Work-Life Balance

One of the leading causes of health issues is stress. And working in Taiwan seems to feed stress.

The work-life balance is quite poor and people are expected to put in much more hours than their counterparts in other countries. Workers are expected to put in unpaid overtime, to spend almost all of their free time working, and to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

This can include staying late, going the extra mile and even working on the weekends or holidays.

Ultimately this leads to burnout, fatigue, and stress which can take a toll on physical and mental health. So if you value your free time and want a good work-life balance living in Taiwan probably isn’t right for you.

I’d check out Mexico or Italy instead!

10. Pro: Strong Education System

Taiwan’s strong education system is one of the main incentives for living there. The country has one of the best university systems in Asia and provides free tuition at public universities for anyone living in Taiwan with a residence permit.

Living in Taiwan gives you access to many world-class international schools as well as language schools that offer Mandarin classes. These schools are often much more affordable than those in the US, and living in Taiwan gives you a great opportunity to learn Mandarin or Taiwanese.

The education system is also ranked highly for its quality and the country has produced some of the most successful people in the world. So living in Taiwan can open up many opportunities for your children’s futures!

11. Con: Low Starting Salaries

Another downside to living in Taiwan is the low salaries.

The average starting salary for a fresh graduate with no experience is around NT$30,000 ($1,000 USD) per month. Many people may struggle to make ends meet living on these wages, especially in populous Taipei.

Wages often don’t increase much with experience and living costs in Taiwan tend to be higher than in other countries. This can make living in Taiwan difficult for those on a low income.

12. Con: Foreign Worker Restrictions

Although living in Taiwan can be attractive, there are restrictions on foreign nationals living and working there.

The country has a limit to the number of foreigners that can work in certain sectors, meaning many people may not be able to find work legally. Those wanting to work must have the right visa and permits, which can be difficult and time-consuming to obtain.

taiwan lonely road

13. Pro: Taiwan is Stunning

Taiwan is an incredibly beautiful country, with its tall mountains, lush forests, and pristine beaches.

The geography of the island is stunningly diverse and living in Taiwan gives you access to some of the most beautiful sites in Asia.

Whether it’s hiking up a mountain peak or exploring a remote beach cove, living in Taiwan gives you countless opportunities to revel in the awe-inspiring beauty of nature.

Additionally, living in Taiwan allows you to experience a variety of cultures and customs that originate from mainland China, Japan, and other Southeast Asian countries. In Taiwan, it’s easy to explore local markets for unique goods and delicacies, or take part in traditional festivals honoring ancestors and gods alike.

Living in Taiwan is a unique opportunity to experience some of the world’s most beautiful natural sites, as well as its fascinating culture.

14. Con: Risk of Earthquakes and Typhoons, Not to Mention Heavy Rains

Although living in Taiwan can be a beautiful experience, the island is also at risk of natural disasters.

Earthquakes are not uncommon, and typhoons frequently whip through Taiwan during the summer months.

In addition, living in Taiwan means living with its hot and humid summers, as well as heavy rains for much of the year.

15. Pro: Mild Winters

Coming from Canada, I really appreciate any country with a mild winter. And living in Taiwan definitely comes with advantages in this regard.

Winter temperatures rarely dip below 10 degrees Celsius, making it a great place to escape the snow and cold of many other countries.

16. Con: Humid Summers

Taiwan may have mild winters, but living in Taiwan also means living with hot and humid summers.

Rainy days are frequent, as typhoons make their way through the island during this season. Temperatures can reach up to 35 degrees Celsius or more, making it challenging for those not used to such high levels of humidity. Additionally, air pollution can spike during the summer as well, making living in Taiwan less than ideal at times.

I thought Singapore got humid, but to add in the pollution, Taiwan seems incredibly difficult to handle in the summer!

taiwan dumplings

17. Pro: Amazing and Cheap Street Food

Living in Taiwan also comes with a huge advantage when it comes to food: the street food is delicious and incredibly affordable.

Taiwanese night markets are must-see attractions, offering an array of snacks and dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. Whether you’re looking for something sweet or savory, living in Taiwan makes it easy to find something tasty and inexpensive.

In addition, living in Taiwan gives you access to a variety of cuisines from all over Asia. From mouth-watering Chinese dishes to spicy Malaysian curries, living in Taiwan ensures that you’ll never get bored of your meals!

You can easily dine out for under $5 USD for a street food meal. However, Western restaurants can be more expensive.

18. Con: Significant Air Pollution

As previously mentioned, living in Taiwan also means living with air pollution. This is a serious disadvantage for anyone with asthma – like me.

The city of Taipei is the most polluted city in East Asia, and air quality can be quite bad on certain days.

It’s important to take precautions when living in Taiwan, such as wearing a face mask when out and about, and keeping windows closed during times of high pollution.

It’s also important to be aware of the air quality levels before planning any outdoor activities.

19. Pro: Taiwan is Full of Friendly Locals

A benefit to living in Taiwan is the friendly locals. Taiwanese people are incredibly welcoming and love to share their culture with new arrivals.

They are always willing to help out in any way they can, and living in Taiwan will give you a chance to experience first-hand the warmth of traditional Chinese hospitality.

Taiwanese people also make for great conversation partners – they love to talk and share stories.

So living in Taiwan is a great opportunity to make new friends, as well as learn about the culture from people who live it every day. BUT to enjoy this fully you will need to know Mandarin, Taiwanese, or even Hokkien.

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20. Con: It’s Hard to Become a Resident

Americans living in Taiwan will need to obtain a visa if they plan on living there for any length of time.

Unfortunately, the process can be complicated and lengthy. Even if you manage to successfully obtain a visa, living in Taiwan without residency status means that certain activities like opening a bank account or signing a lease may not be possible.

To stay longer than a short-term work visa, it’s even more complicated. This process often puts people off living in Taiwan.

taiwan train

21. Pro: Amazing Public Transportation

Living in Taiwan also comes with an added bonus: it is incredibly easy to get around. The public transportation system is well-developed, and living in Taiwan gives you access to buses, taxis, trains, and even the world’s first driverless metro system.

The metro connects all of the main cities on the island, making living in Taiwan even more convenient.

The public transportation system is also affordable, with fares ranging from as low as $0.20 USD for shorter journeys to around $1 USD for the longest routes.

22. Con: But it Has Weird Rules

Ok, they’re not that weird, but coming from North America where our public transport is a free for all, the idea of not being able to even drink water on the trains seems very odd.

Once you get used to them, they definitely become more normal. But at first you’ll have to remember things like no food or drinks scarfed down on your commute to work.

Jiufen Taiwan collab

23. Pro: Amazing Things to Do

Of course, one of the best things about living in Taiwan is that there are lots of great things to see and do! In the Taipei area, you can enjoy all kinds of good food, walk around the best parts of the city, go see the famous Taiwanese monuments, and take day trips to nearby destinations.

One of the most popular places to visit is Jiufen Taiwan, which is known for its resemblance to the village from the animated movie ‘Spirited Away’. It’s a lot of fun to walk around Jiufen Old Street and eat, shop, and do sightseeing, and you can easily visit this mountain town on a day trip from Taipei, or stay longer at a guesthouse if you’d like.

Other great places to visit in Taiwan include the Taroko Gorge, which has amazing canyon scenery and some of the island’s best hiking opportunities. Regardless of where you base yourself in Taiwan, you’re sure to find lots of fun activities to keep you busy!

Submitted by David & Intan of The World Travel Guy

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24. Con: Lack of Direct Flights to the US

Living in Taiwan also comes with a downside: there are no direct flights from Taiwan to the United States.

This means that if you want to visit family or friends back home, you’ll have to make a stopover at another airport or take a connecting flight.

The lack of direct flights can be inconvenient, but it does mean you can build in stopovers to other amazing Asian travel destinations to help you make your way home.

I mean if you have to stop in Malaysia or Singapore for a week, it’s not exactly going to ruin your life, now is it?

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25. Pro: High Standard of Living in Taiwan

Taiwan is a great place to live due to its high living standards.

The cost of living in Taiwan is relatively low compared to other Western and even Asian countries, making it an attractive destination for expats and travelers alike.

26. Con: Don’t Drive!!

Driving in Taiwan can be a bit of a nightmare, especially if you’re coming from the United States or Europe.

The roads are often congested, and cars don’t always obey traffic laws.

It’s incredibly crowded with a ton of traffic on the roads, so if you’re living in Taiwan and don’t have to drive, it’s probably a good idea to stay off the roads.

The government has been trying to improve public transportation and make driving easier, but it hasn’t done much yet.

27. Con: International Licenses Expire Early

In Taiwan, you can only use a foreign driver’s license for a limited period of time.

So you’ll have to do a local test if you intend to stay long term. You can’t just transfer your license like you can in some other countries.

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28. Pro: 7-11s Are Epic!

7-11s are everywhere in Taiwan and they are amazing!

You can get pretty much anything from a 7-11, including hot meals, snacks, drinks, groceries, and more.

Sandra says “You can get sushi that’s actually edible, dumplings, popcorn chicken and so much more! My favorite dishes were popcorn chicken and cheesy rice, Typing this out makes me really want to go back for the food. Best of all it was cheap! I typically would grab dinner or lunch there as it was affordable around $3 and up. I could also buy high-speed train tickets there and pick up packages there too. I went there almost every day.”

29. Con: Culture Shock

Taiwan is a very traditional society and living there can be a bit of a culture shock for many Westerners.

The language barrier can make communication difficult, but with time you’ll get used to the everyday nuances of living in Taiwan.

Keep in mind that being respectful of local customs will go a long way in helping you integrate into the culture and make living in Taiwan a much smoother transition.

Unlike other places in Asia, Taiwan isn’t quite as Western-ized. Fewer people speak English and the majority of road signs are in Mandarin.

It takes some getting used to, but ultimately digital nomads and expats love their experience once they get over the initial shock to the system.

30. Pro: Incredible Cycling Opportunities

Another great thing about living in Taiwan is the plethora of cycling opportunities.

Whether you prefer mountain biking or leisurely rides on flat terrain, Taiwan has something for everyone. The island’s rugged terrain offers some of the best cycling trails in East Asia.

Taipei also boasts an extensive bike-sharing system so you can explore the city without having to buy a bike of your own.

For the adventurous souls living in Taiwan, cycling is an amazing way to take in the island’s scenery and explore its culture.

31. Pro: Cheap Cell Phone Plans

If you’ve read my run down on living in Canada, you’ll know I grew up with incredibly high phone plans. It costs over $40 for something incredibly basic in Canada.

In Taiwan, on the other hand, you can get unlimited data for about $15 USD/month!

And it has almost no outages – unlike my New Zealand phone plans.

Sandra found that “I could be at a waterfall or along the beach in the middle of nowhere and still have service!”

That’s pretty amazing!

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall Taiwan

Reasons to Live in Taiwan

1. Easy Access to Nature

Taiwan is a small island that has a lot of natural beauty to offer. From the beaches and hills to hot springs and waterfalls, living in Taiwan gives you easy access to nature.

2. Great Street Food

Taiwanese street food is some of the best in Asia. From famous night markets to small stands all over the city, living in Taiwan means you can enjoy delicious and cheap meals every day without breaking the bank.

3. Affordable Cost of Living

Living in Taiwan is incredibly affordable. Whether it’s rent, transportation, or food, living in Taiwan means you can stretch your dollar further than other places.

4. Incredible Cycling Opportunities

Taiwan has some of the best cycling trails in East Asia and an extensive bike-sharing system so you can explore the city on two wheels.

5. Variety of Transportation Options

From high-speed trains to bus systems, living in Taiwan means you can easily get around the island no matter where you are.

6. Low Cost of Living

Taiwan is one of the most affordable places to live in Asia. With cheap living costs and plenty of opportunities for work, living in Taiwan can be a great option for digital nomads and expats alike.

7. English Teaching Jobs in Abundance

If you’re looking to make money while living in Taiwan, teaching English is always an option. There are plenty of schools and organizations that offer competitive salaries and flexible schedules.

8. Tons of Things to Do

Taiwan is a small island but it has plenty to offer. From stunning hot springs, ancient temples, and night markets to art galleries and museums, living in Taiwan means you’ll never be bored.

9. High Quality Healthcare System

Taiwan has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Not only is it affordable and easily accessible, but living in Taiwan also means you’ll have access to some of the most advanced medical technologies available.

10. Friendly People

Taiwanese people are some of the friendliest and most welcoming in the world. From the locals to the expat communities, living in Taiwan means you’ll never feel alone.

About Taiwan

Quick History

Taiwan has a long and complicated history that dates back thousands of years.

Most people start with the Dutch arrival but the indigenous peoples of Taiwan had been there for thousands of years before.

In the 16th century, Dutch settlers arrived on the island and introduced Christianity to the locals. After being occupied by Japan in 1895, Taiwan was then ceded to China after World War II. The Kuomintang (KMT) party took control of the island in 1949 and declared martial law. This lasted until 1987 when the first multi-party elections were held in Taiwan.

This is why Taiwan is noted as being the “Republic of China”.

There is still a lot of contention as to whether Taiwan is its own country or if it’s a part of China. I don’t know enough about the situation to have an opinion, but in general, the travel community treats it as a separate nation.

In the late 80s, Taiwan went through an incredible economic boom that lifted the living standards of its citizens and made Taiwan one of the leading global economies. It’s also the time when they introduced democratic elections, and the DPP party came into being shortly after.

Is Taiwan a country?

Technically, no. Taiwan is not an independent country and isn’t recognized as such by the United Nations or many other countries.

However, living in Taiwan often feels like living in a different nation. Its unique culture, food, healthcare system, and vibrant cities make living in Taiwan a great experience for expats from all over the world.

Only 14 small nations recognize Taiwan as its own nation, with most others treating it as a province of China. This is why, for example, when you see Taiwan at the Olympics they are known as “Chinese Taipei”. I first heard this term on the US TV show “Fresh Off the Boat” and had to look it up because I was pretty sure Taipei was the city not the country.

There’s a lot of strife over this question and the answer varies greatly depending on who you ask. Taiwan would say they are a country. China would say it’s not.

I’ll leave it at that.

What is Taiwan known for?

Taiwan is known for its natural beauty, tasty food, friendly people and vibrant culture. It’s also home to the world-famous Taipei 101 skyscraper, one of the tallest in the world.

Taiwanese cuisine is a mix of Chinese and Japanese influences, with a heavy emphasis on fresh ingredients and seafood.

Culture & Religion

Taiwan’s culture is a unique blend of traditional Chinese, Japanese and aboriginal cultures. Taiwanese aboriginals form the base of Taiwanese culture, so many cultural elements like customs, foods, language and beliefs have been passed down over time by generations living in Taiwan.

With different occupiers throughout Taiwan’s history, they’ve adopted bits and pieces of a variety of other cultures and uniquely blended them into Taiwanese culture.

The most common religion practiced in Taiwan is Buddhism but there are also a number of Taoists, Confucians, and Christians living in Taiwan.

Taiwanese People

Taiwanese people are some of the friendliest and most welcoming in the world. From the locals to the expat communities, living in Taiwan means you’ll never feel alone.

The Taiwanese are hardworking, but also enjoy taking the time to relax and appreciate life. This is seen in their interesting festivals, traditional art forms, and their love for tea.

Taiwan is one of the most welcoming places in Asia, and living in Taiwan can be a great experience for expats from all over the world.


The official language of Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese, but English is widely spoken as well. Taiwanese people are typically multi-lingual and can also speak Hokkien or other local languages.


Taiwanese food is a delicious mix of Chinese, Japanese and aboriginal influences.

From hot pots to bubble tea, living in Taiwan means you can enjoy all sorts of tasty treats. Taiwanese cuisine also heavily emphasizes fresh ingredients, so you won’t be able to find better seafood anywhere else!


Taiwan is located in the subtropical zone and has a temperate climate, with hot summers and mild winters.

The weather can range from hot and humid to cold and rainy, but living in Taiwan means you’ll always be able to find something fun to do no matter what the weather is like.

Winters are generally mild, with very rare instances of snow. However, in summer the humidity can be overwhelming with temperatures feeling well over 40C.

The rainy season in spring brings risk of typhoons, so this is a popular time for people to leave Asia if they are digital nomads and can do so.

Famous Attractions

Taipei 101, the tallest skyscraper in Taiwan, is a favorite tourist attraction. Other attractions include Sun Moon Lake, the National Palace Museum, and Taroko Gorge.

Safety in Taiwan

Living in Taiwan is generally safe, but as with living anywhere, you should always take precautions to ensure your personal safety.

Taiwan is also a very modern country and the crime rate is low compared to other parts of Asia.

The greatest risk tends to be taxi driver scams or pickpockets on subways.

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Dress Style

Taiwanese fashion is eclectic and always changing.

The style is a mix of Asian, western and traditional clothing. It’s common to see people mixing elements from all three together for a unique look.

When living in Taiwan, you should take care not to offend local sensibilities by wearing overly revealing clothing or clothes with offensive slogans.

Getting Around

Public transport is the way to go!

Taipei has a comprehensive system of subways, buses and taxis that are affordable and reliable. Bicycles are also a great way to get around the city.

Cars can be rented, but traffic in Taipei is notoriously congested so make sure you plan accordingly if you’re planning on renting a car.


Taiwanese culture is known for its politeness and respectfulness.

People living in Taiwan should take care to show respect when interacting with locals, especially elders. Greetings are particularly important and it’s customary to bow slightly when greeting someone.

Showing gratitude with a simple thank you will also be appreciated by the Taiwanese people.

Physical affection such as hugs or kisses on the cheeks for greetings aren’t the norm in Taiwan. They tend to shake hands.

There are some customs for Westerners to note, especially in business:

  • Receive business cards with two hands
  • Never write names in red
  • Death is very taboo and should not be discussed
  • The number 4 is unlucky because it sounds like the word for “death” in Mandarin
  • Never place chopsticks upright in a bowl
  • Never open a gift immediately
  • Never gift things that cut, white flowers, or time pieces
  • Be quiet on public transit
taiwan lantern festival


Living in Taiwan means living with some awesome holidays!

The biggest holiday is Chinese New Year, which typically takes place in late January or early February. It’s a time for families to get together and celebrate with lots of food and fireworks.

The other major holidays are the Mid-Autumn Festival in September or October and Dragon Boat Festival in May or June.

These holidays are celebrated around the country with festivals and traditional activities.

Best Places to Live in Taiwan

Taiwan is a small country, about the size of Maryland in the United States. As a result living in Taiwan can be quite convenient since most destinations are reachable within 2-3 hours from Taipei – the capital city.

That said, living in Taipei can be expensive and crowded so if you’re looking for an affordable alternative some great cities to consider living in Taiwan include:

  • Kaohsiung – known for its coastal living, cultural attractions and night markets.
  • Taichung – a mid-sized city with a bustling food scene and vibrant nightlife.
  • Tainan – the oldest city on the island, with an old-town charm and relaxed atmosphere.
  • Hualien – a charming coastal city with beautiful beaches and mountain views.

Living in Taiwan is a great way to experience the unique culture, cuisine, and attractions of this beautiful country. From living in one of the bustling cities to exploring the remote countryside, Taiwan offers something for everyone!

Tips for Living in Taiwan

Adapting to living in Taiwan can be a challenge for some, so here are some tips to help you adjust:

  • Learn a few key phrases – Basic Mandarin Chinese is essential living in Taiwan, as many locals do not speak English. Learning some basic words and phrases will go a long way!
  • Get familiar with the customs – Taiwanese culture is known for its politeness and respect. Make sure you show the same level of courtesy when interacting with locals.
  • Make connections – Building relationships with people living in Taiwan can be key to having a fulfilling experience living in this country. From making friends to finding a job, connections are important!
  • Be open minded – living in Taiwan can be a huge adjustment, with different customs and habits than what you may be used to. Try to stay open minded and embrace the experience!

Cost of Living in Taiwan

The cost of living in Taiwan can vary drastically depending on where you live. In general, living outside of the major cities is cheaper, while living in Taipei and other big cities tends to be more expensive.

Some basic living expenses include rent (which typically ranges from 10-15 thousand NT a month), groceries (2000-3000 NT a month), and transportation (500-1000 NT a month).

Overall living in Taiwan can be quite affordable, with basic living expenses typically totaling around 20-25 thousand NT a month.

Living in Taiwan is an amazing experience and is sure to be rewarding for anyone adventurous enough to give it a try.

Wrap Up: Pros and Cons of Living in Taiwan for Expats

Living in Taiwan as an expat can be a rewarding and eye-opening experience. From living in bustling cities to exploring remote countryside, there’s something for everyone here.

However, it is important to keep cultural customs and taboos in mind when living or visiting the country. Additionally, learning some basic Mandarin Chinese will prove helpful while living here.

Despite these potential challenges, living in Taiwan has its advantages such as affordable cost of living compared with other countries, excellent food options and interesting festivals throughout the year that offer unique insights into Taiwanese culture and history.

Whether you are looking for adventure or simply want to explore another part of the world – Taiwan may just have what you are looking for!

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Is living in Taiwan worth it?

Living in Taiwan is definitely worth it if you’re looking for affordable living abroad with a unique culture, cuisine, and attractions. You’ll especially love it if you want to teach English abroad!

What are the disadvantages of living in Taiwan?

The main disadvantage of living in Taiwan is the language barrier, as many locals do not speak English. Additionally, living in Taiwan can be quite different from living in other countries, so you may need to adjust your expectations and living habits.

Can foreigners live in Taiwan?

Yes, foreigners can live in Taiwan. However, they will need to obtain a visa and/or resident permit before living in the country. It can be difficult for them to find work.

How much money do you need to live in Taiwan?

The cost of living in Taiwan can vary depending on where you live. Generally, living outside the major cities is cheaper than living in Taipei or other big cities. Basic living expenses such as rent, groceries and transportation typically require about $1,000 USD a month.

Is living in Taiwan expensive?

Overall living in Taiwan is quite affordable, with basic living expenses typically totaling around $1,000 USD a month. This makes living in Taiwan a great option for those expats who want to live on a budget.

What are the advantages of living in Taiwan?

The advantages of living in Taiwan include an affordable cost of living, excellent food options and interesting festivals throughout the year that offer unique insights into Taiwanese culture and history. Additionally, living in Taiwan is a great way to experience a different culture and make international connections.

What is a living wage in Taiwan?

The living wage in Taiwan is NT$26,400 monthly. Per hour, it’s NT$176. This is about $5.75 USD per hour.

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Living Abroad Travel Planning Guide

🚑 Should I buy expat travel insurance?

100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10 USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from World Nomads!

🌎 What is the best country to live in as an expat?

It depends – the best country to live in as an expat will depend on your unique needs. I developed this free quiz to help you figure out where is right for you!

📍 How do I pick a country to live abroad?

It depends – picking a country to live in is hard. That’s why I developed this $7 course to share all of the steps I’ve taken when deciding to move to 20+ different countries, and how I handle homesickness when I get there.

Ultimately, making the choice of where to move is going to be hard. But the hardest thing is deciding to move abroad at all!

💼 How do I get a job as an expat?

You can find work abroad via local job boards or temp agencies. My favourite way to work is remotely, so I always look for jobs on when I live abroad. They hire for 100% remote roles only.

If you’re looking to teach English abroad, Premier TEFL has the best online course to get you great work!

💰 How do I open a bank account abroad? offers free global accounts, and the cheapest money transfers. Since it can be a headache to open bank accounts in different countries (it took me 2 months in the UK!), is a great solution.

I actually use it as my primary bank now worldwide due to the multi-currency debit card. (Read more)

👯‍♀️ How do you make friends abroad? – Meet likeminded people who share a similar hobby with Meetup! It’s free to join, but some activities may cost money, like if you go to a cafe and get a coffee.

🙀 I don’t speak the language. Can I still live abroad?

Learn languages in no time with iTalki! Moving abroad is an opportunity to learn the language. You don’t need to know it before you leave home.

💻 Do I need a VPN?

Yes!VPNs allow you to access more of the internet. From US Netflix in the UK to social media sites banned in Asia. It’s a really helpful and cheap thing to ensure your online activities aren’t restricted.

🧳 What’s the best luggage for living abroad?

This is my favourite luggage set for long term travel. You can read more about my review of types of suitcases for travel here.

🏡 How do I tell my friends and family I want to live abroad?

Take this $7 course and learn the exact script I used to tell my family I was moving abroad … and then when I did it again. I even include tips for prepping your family, and for how to handle family who aren’t supportive.

✈️ What’s the best site to buy cheap flights?

To find cheap flights, I recommend Skyscanner. (Read more)

🏨 What’s the best site to find cheap hotels?

To find cheap hotels, I recommend (Read more)

Or stay for free with Trusted Housesitters!

🚗 What’s the best site to rent cars abroad?

To find cheap rental cars, I recommend Discover Cars.

🚗 What’s the best site to find tours?

To find epic tours, I recommend Viator.