Coming back to Taipei or going to Shanghai

Yes the ones who went to Canada and US pretty much stay there. Some come home during the freezing Winters. We have a bunch of these snowbirds in our apartment complex. Half the year their apartments are empty.

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i think a lot of Taiwanese don’t adapt to new surroundings that well and stay in a Taiwanese bubble. someone i know is in Oz now and they live with other taiwanese, cooking taiwanese food everyday and go to asian restaurants. i can’t see the point, doesn’t seem very adventurous at all.


No, I am European 100%

True that! Look at Southern Europe… Italy is dying… let’s not talk about Greece, Spain or Portugal… 1000euro generation… Shame 1000euros is no longer enough for survival.

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Anything over 35PPM PM2.5 is polluted. That’s very common here. It’s also fairly common to see numbers go up to 100 and more.
Below 35 is still not good for you. That’s before we even look at the ozone from scooters and cars.

It’s called economic migration… People who left due to economic reasons and not for ‘experience’… Look at all the immigrant groups in the UK… it’s the same.

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You don’t even need to go south. I think France and the UK are bad enough.

But the OP has job offers in Taipei and Shanghai. Taipei’s air quality isn’t great, but it’s still way better than Shanghai’s.

i’ve spent a decent amount of time in china (beijing, shanghai, and the hk-shenzhen-dongguan-guangzhou-zhuhai-aomen region). shanghai is actually a pretty solid city, probably my favorite mainland city. keep in mind that living in china comes wiht a lot of negatives (heavy security presence, shitty internet for foreigners, etc), but shanghai itself is nice. where would you live? the closer you are to the core (bund-cbd) the more interesting the area is. given the vastly higher pay you’d be getting, it might be a good opportunity to try out. you can always come back to taiwan later if shanghai isn’t for you.

99% of the time you find it ok? You mean the pollution or the wonderful fresh air ?
Let’s have some facts rather than feelings and where is the “99% ok” figure based on, and what pollutants or lack of pollutants are you saying is ok 99% of the time.

Finding it ‘ok’ means nothing.
Objective reality backed by research and statistics states that the air in Taipei and in most of Taiwan is unhealthy almost every day, and on many days it is very unhealthy. I check AQI regularly.
I can try and dig out those stats.

We also know the Sox and NOx and O3 are REALLY bad for our health but there has been very little research done on this in Taiwan at street level corners where 1000’s of vehicles can pass per hour or where dozens of scooters can collect at a given intersection .

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If the OP cared about air pollution he wouldn’t be moving to Asia. Taipei’s air quality is usually better than Shanghai’s - but it doesn’t mean we’re not all headed for an early grave from pollution-induced lung cancer regardless.

Take the offer in Shanghai. Get your career on track. Take the extra money now and try not to spend it on those extra vacations you’ll have. Later on you can get a job at one of the international schools in Taipei if you miss Taiwan enough - you’ll make a lot more than NT$81,000 and they’ll subsidize your housing too. You can’t easily get those offers from inside Taiwan.

Before you take a final offer, try and find out what the income tax regimes in both places will do to your earnings. 81,000 NT wouldn’t be subject to a very high tax load if you stay in-country more than 183 days, but it will feel like a lot less if your boss insists on withholding 18% for the government “just in case” even though he and you both know you’ll be in the country more than six months (how come the companies that play this way never offset that 18% from the tax from the remaining six months once you’ve stayed past the beginning of July?)

I agree with Shanghai being a better choice money and career wise. With that on his CV he can then jump to the big leagues and get hired in Taiwan for much better position.

I don’t want to be a pain and I get your point that air pollution is fairly ‘normal’ on Asia (excepting Japan) but that may not be the case for scooter riders. I have never seen any objective research on individual pollution exposure, just averaged out stats.

Taipei rocks. Shanghai sucks. YMMV.


  • Taipei yes!
  • Shanghai OK!
  • Both suck
  • Both rock

0 voters

I have a local friend that went over to Shanghai and he’s loving it there. I am not entirely sure what he’s doing, but I think he’s an engineer of some sort.

The housing allowance is really nice, but do not forget Shanghai’s cost of living is pretty high, so do not forget to compute that in. You may be getting much more in Shanghai, but you will also be spending a lot more.

If it were me, I’ve never been to Shanghai and have the opportunity, I would take it. Try it out for a year or two.

the rent is high. but he is getting it paid for. transport and food are cheaper than here. worse quality though.

Food cheaper ? It seemed to me about the same but of course restaurants and food in China is even dodgier than Taiwan.

unless its creeped up but it was cheaper last time i was there. i was eating local though.

The thing about Shanghai it’s pretty massiVe and it all depends on your budget and where you are living. It’s alright it’s probably the most overrated city ever though especially for those Westerners on their first overseas assignment or visiting Asia for the first time. China is China.

Shall I repeat that, China is China. It’s just kind of naff , full of rough people and in your face annoying security state.

Personally I much prefer Tokyo ,Seoul ,Taipei and Hong Kong , better developed and more interesting and they welcome foreigners mostly.

it is what it is. its a madhouse. but it sure can be fun. for a short time at least. living there long term will 100% drive you insane.