Drinking Water


I just arrived in Taiwan and I am wondering what is the best way to get drinking water? My local colleagues all seem to boil tap water in special machines but I am not a big fan of machines that keep boiling and re-boiling the water. Are there other options? Such as a water filter which would be good enough?
Or delivery companies which deliver these 20l bottles that are propped on a water dispenser machine?
I live in Tainan, btw.

Thank you for any advise,

The most “traditional” way is to boil tap water. Not exactly practical, especially on a hot summer day when you really want some fresh water.
Options are the 20l giant bottle on dispenser, or simply buy large bottles from carrefour/Costco/whatever, the bigger the cheaper.
You could install a water filter in your kitchen. I use a 3M that (allegedly) filters chemicals and bacteria. My wife is Taiwanese so there’s no way to make her drink from the tap. If I’m thirsty and we don’t have anything in the fridge, I just drink uncooked water straight from the tap (with filter). No issues so far.


If you don’t need a lot, the MRT stations have a water machine that you can fill up those big bottles in… I mean 2 liter bottles, not those 5 gallon ones!

Just for home use, I also vote water filter. Go by the B&Q or whereever, they’ll set you up

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Welcome to Tainan, Isabelle. Great city.

filter works, try to ask the landlord when was the last time they clean the water tank, because I think the building are not regulate on that.

The biggest problem in relying on filters on machines publicly available is that you have no idea if the filters are changed on schedule. I imagine that often they’re not, to save money or effort. This isn’t just a Taiwan problem, I’ve seen it in the U.S., too. Yeah, I know that sometimes there’s a little schedule there on the machine that tells you when they’ve changed the filter, but I don’t trust it. I’ve learned from personal experience to rely on a filter system at home that I know works well, and that has a filter that I change out personally (OK, my wife does it because I’m too lazy to do it).

She lives in Tainan, there are no MRT stations in Tainan.


Yes, +1 to the filter idea. You’ll probably spend NT$8000+ for a decent one, but it’ll last for years.

We used to get the water delivery, but it’s a bit inconvenient.

I just buy them from 711 or Costco. And I boil water to make barley tea and put in the the fridge. And I also cold brew some green tea. Gives you some healthy options of liquids. Barley tea is great.

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Failing that, get a Brita filter. It’s the cheapest option.

I had the Super Deluxe triple filter under the sink for a while. Then went to bottled water scarrying home a couple liters every day. Now it’s boil and Brita with no headache carrying water bottles or wasting plastic into the environment.

Get a Brita filter. You’ll be fine. It’s not Cambodia. Or Flint, Michigan.


two 2.2L bottles are NTD49@ Family Mart. if you are that poor, boil tap water

bottle water is not any good man! if you are ignorant buy plastic every day


Thank you all for the very helpful replies. I think I’ll get a Brita filter to start with and see how I go.

If it’s just you, sounds like a good choice

Many areas of taiwan are on wells and ground (water/soil) contamination is a big problem here. My rule is to boil first (i do 20L batches to make it easier), let cool then filter. Boiling kills stuff. Filter takes out things above a given particle size( be it biological or heavy metal or…)

Water here isnt great in my opinion. So i would filter for sure. But do both.

Note that a lot if water stations whee you fill your 10L tub for 10nt (20 or 30 in cities) are often corrupted. Not all are RO, most probably are UV blasted but their systems, when you look at them, clearly are not thought out well and effective. So definately take matters into your own hands. I was sick for a fairly long time. Afterwards realized it was they were not actually RO, filters missing and just bypassing, UV was there but small bulbs and wont penetrate a 3 meter deep tank (literally just wired on the top haha) amd dead rats were common. Interstingly all the aboriginal guys knew about this but we never heard in the hakka town about it until a few years later. Cities arent a whole lot more diligent…so unless you get government piped water, worry.

If youre in very developed areas and or clean areas like certain spots in Taipei, Taitung, high mountains maybe someo trust is ok. In places like Tainan though, sorry.

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The ignorant & unschooled & those with nothing better to do but squat over a toilet drink dirty water b/c they are too cheap to buy clean water.
. FYI it takes electricity to make those filters or boil water. If you want to reduce Yr carbon footprint, there are many green websites that can tell you how

the bottle water you buy at 7-11 is just filter tap water, so you can just avoid all the extra cost of petrol, plastic, etc and filter at your home. The quality of filtered water at home would be better than a bottle one.

Edit: boiled !