Is it just me or is alcohol much more popular in Taiwan now than it used to be?

I just came back to Taiwan recently after being gone for a good five years and have really been diving headfirst into the language exchanges and Tinder dating to make up for lost time as I don’t know many people here anymore. And I’m really surprised to find that everybody keeps inviting me for a drink. I’ve been going out for a drink nearly every night since I got here. But I distinctly remember when I was here before that going out for an alcoholic beverage wasn’t such a big thing, that foreigners would complain about how Taiwan lacked a drinking culture like Britain’s and Japan’s, that dating would be awkward for me because the women weren’t into bars (so I couldn’t count on alcohol to build up courage), etc. But Taipei seems to be full of bars now and everyone seems to drink, including women. Did something change or am I just mistaken about how it used to be?

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I have fond memories of drinking dating back to 2006. the drinking culture of “going to the pub after work” doesnt exist here, but drinking seemed to always be popular.

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I feel like it’s always been popular. It just depends on your circle.


Drinking and eating at the same time has always been popular here.

In 2014, 37.99 percent of men surveyed reported drinking harmful levels of alcohol, while only 5.3 percent reported doing so in 2018. Over the same period, the number of women surveyed who engaged in harmful drinking grew from 1.32 percent to 1.72 percent, he added.

Those in the 18-to-29 age group increased from 1.63 percent to 1.84 percent, Chen said, adding that the majority of those in that category were university educated and worked in professional occupations.

So harmful drinking actually went down, but perhaps casual drinking went up? I think the prevalence of Korean soap, and the casual portray of excess drinking, might have contributed to young Taiwanese women being more willing to drink.

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This. Taiwan has a lot of people who don’t drink at all and a lot of people who drink like fish. It’s the middle ground of regular moderate drinkers that are way more common in the west than here, in my experience.


just more choices now. now it’s more common for younger ladiest be drinking socially without getting judged as a so and so. laws are just relaxed. lots of addiction previously as well. The choice is no longer just monkey piss, rice wine or gaoliang. lots to choose from and more places allowed to serve and sell, which allows for more creativity in flavors, presentations etc.

As a teetotaler I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of a drinking culture in Taiwan when I moved here last year (at least down here in Kaohsiung… I don’t know about Taipei), which gave Taiwan extra points for me. I can’t imagine even less drinking than this.

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as gain said, it’s your circles. You will be drunk under the table once you have some reputation in your town and start attending banquets and the like with the older folks. They can out drink anyone I have seen in the west…

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If you hang with the working class guys, you’ll see a lot more cans of beer around.

Oh, and also the Ethiopian graduate students living in my neighbourhood in Taipei. As he rang up 12 cans, a worker at my local 7-11 said: Those guys really like Taiwan Beer. :rofl:



I don’t hang with anybody. Maybe that’s why I haven’t noticed a drinking culture. :laughing:


You were dating teenagers before, weren’t you?


Taiwanese dont drink a whole lot overall. Depends on the folks you hang out with.


That’s been my observation. Whenever I’m at a party, all the expats are huddled around with beer in their hands, talking about their latest sexual exploits. And all the locals are huddled around in their own group, with bubble tea in their hands, talking about how much foreigners drink.


In fact I would say they drink alcohol amongst the least in Asia except for Muslim countries. Especially young people and women.


the temple banquets that go into the night reveal some truly insane genetics! Back in the day I thought I could drink. I have been humbled far too many times in Taiwan haha.

otherwise I kind of feel it is similar here as going back to canada. there are the addicts, the average social drinkers, and the ones that just dont like it. I see more bags of empties here, but that’s probably because in canada you get 5 cents per can

Has Forumosa ever had meetups for drinks and such? I do not like socializing, but I could socialize twice or three times as much as I do and still be a hermit.

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20 posts were split to a new topic: From alcohol

Is there more alcohol advertising now? Feel like I’m more often staring at a beer ad on the side of a bus. Craft beers are more of a thing now.

The middle ground in Taiwan is going to a bar that serves dinner and order one cocktail (or two at most) on the side once a week.