Fast Facts Of Taiwan:
Population: 23.78 million
Capital City: Taipei
International Dialing Code: +886
Prime Minister: Tsai Ing-wen
Living In Taiwan
Taiwan is a very safe place to live in. Even petty crime such as pickpocketing is rare. You can walk the streets here without fear and your property will also be secure. The roads are also safer than in other parts of Asia. You can ride a scooter in Taiwan without the same risks as in neighboring countries.
Taiwan is generally welcoming to expats and tourists. Elsewhere in Asia, you can often find different prices for locals and foreigners. In some countries, restaurants even have two menus with one having a higher price for foreigners. In Taiwan, you are unlikely to be taken advantage of for being a westerner.
Taiwan has a rich culture with lots of temples and historic sites to visit. The mountains also offer great hiking and outdoor opportunities.
Alcohol doesn’t play much of a part in Taiwanese culture. Friends prefer to meet and wander night markets or visit the cinema, rather than bars and clubs.
Street food is a big benefit to living in Taiwan. It’s actually cheaper to eat out than to cook for yourself. Luckily there are plenty of options however vegetarians might struggle with the lack of variety.
Teaching jobs are the most common source of work for expats here. English teachers are always in demand. If you have qualifications, you have a good chance of finding work.
Digital nomads will have no trouble working from Taiwan. Broadband speeds are some of the fastest in the world.
Taiwan has a state healthcare system which is cheap and of high quality. You are eligible for this if you have a residency visa or are a citizen. Dental care is also low cost and high quality.
Most people who qualify for healthcare in Taiwan don’t bother with additional medical insurance.
Taiwan also benefits from an excellent public transport system, especially in Taipei. The bus routes in Taipei can get crowded, making the trains a popular way to get around. They operate throughout the island and are used by most commuters.
Taipei has a modern and reliable subway and bus network. By purchasing a metro card, known as an easy card, you can travel on either. Taxis are affordable and easy to find, there is also Uber available.
Scooter rentals are another option and can be hired for a day or week.
If you are from the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, or many EU countries you can stay for 90 days in Taiwan without a visa. For longer stays, a residence visa is needed.
Most foreigners looking to work in Taiwan arrive and try to find work within their 90-day limit. The government makes this a fairly easy process.
Once you have a job offer you can go through the usual visa process. You will need a police check letter from your native country and to provide proof of your job offer.
Taiwan doesn’t suffer from the bureaucracy that you can encounter overseas. Your application is likely to move quickly and smoothly.
The climate is subtropical in Taiwan for most of the island, however, the extreme south of the country is tropical. Summer runs from April to October. At low altitude, the heat and humidity during summer are intense. You will need an apartment with air conditioning.
The winter is from December to February. The mountain peaks will see some snow during winter. In fact, you can ski on the Yushan Mountains. Most unusual for a tropical country. On lower ground temperatures can get down to 55 degrees.
Other Things To Be Aware Of
Taiwan is one of the earthquake capitals of the world. Small earthquakes happen just about every day. You can feel over 1,000 earthquakes per hear living here. Most are small earthquakes, off the coast, and are harmless.
The main language spoken in Taiwan is Mandarin. Not much English is spoken here. Moving here for the long term will mean learning Mandarin if you want to integrate.