Is Taiwan really not as clean?

At first glance it seems not clean (look out at the uncleaned outsides of buildings) but here the videos show what really matters : (its Kaoshiung Metro rail cleaning all the time) vs. New York (Cleaning after many years). I get the comment from visitors mentioning the is it clean here or lack of it in the outlook of places makes it look dirty. In the many years coming for business/work seldom I am seldom sick from food or colds/flu in general in Taiwan. With the COVID19 it seems Taiwan does a good job cleaning what is important for personal health say compared most modern nations (The Video compares New York vs. Kaoshiung but in EU/ UK I found in general to be not as clean)

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It’s case dependent. I’ve lived in both. Public facilities like subways are cleaner in Taiwan, but privately owned properties such as restaurants are dirtier. I think it’s almost impossible to deny that. Restaurants are routinely shut down by the health department for code violations in NYC… I never see that here.


What were you going to post from NY? You have the same link twice above.

The lack exterior maintenance, cleaning and rusty cages of the buildings are a real letdown in Taipei. Visitors initial first look first thoughts are not going to be the best.
The streets are clean, MRT is immaculate, restaurants, cafés even though cheaply furnished and poorly decorated are regularly cleaned. I’ve also never had bad stomach problems eating here.


Thanks, updated

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I agree in general but there are exceptions. Go to Flushing (Queens, NYC) Chinatown and look at some (not all) the Chinese restaurants , its not clean at all the worst part is the staff (not clean) as I visited a Taiwanese family owned place. Do miss some of non Chinese food there in Queens (but not the price)

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Taiwan against the globe is difficult; you want to compare Taiwan’s cleanliness to …everywhere?

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Taiwan is very clean compared to some countries in SE Asia. My exchange students from Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam etc. comment on this, which shows perspective is everything.

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But haven’t had any stomach problems here. Not once. I am baffled myself actually. Most night market stalls look as though they couldn’t be any dirtier but somehow never had any food safety issues.


Lucky? I don’t get sick often, but I’ve had food poisoning a handful of times here… usually related to seafood.

Not sure what stomach bugs cockroaches could help spread… usually bugs are directly due to spoiled or undercooked food.

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No stomach issues in Taiwan. The only time I got real food poisoning was in Paris. Paris was dirty. Europe is kind of dirty in the cities.

NYC can be dirty as well, but largely depends on where you are. I think in many ways, Taiwan is cleaner than NYC.


Iconic picture of London taken by me.


Common in many places. In Taiwan’s MRT’s no food or drink allowed so this is not common. I did see people spill drinks on the Bullet train back in the day before the virus and most Taiwanese cleaned up after that and also the train has onboard cleaning person. On many trains worldwide it’s not cleaned till the end of the day.

UK really needs to clean up in many ways, the virus is still out of control there and this is little part of the reason.

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It’s not just the spilled food/drink, it’s the seat looks disgusting, like it hasn’t ever been washed at all, or at least they should use seat types that are easier to clean (such as plastic). The floor looks absolutely disgusting too, like it hasn’t been cleaned at all either (and this is not including the spilled food). I remember in Austin getting on the bus that often the floor is sticky, like the bus never get cleaned. In Taiwan the bus gets cleaned at the end of each run (more so because of the coronavirus).

The buses are often dirty as well.

According to various sources, the buses and the tube have trash all the time because people get drunk really early in the day/evening, then they would get fast food. Since they were so drunk/high no one would remember to clean up their trash lol.

Same. I’ve been sick in many other countries but never in Taiwan, even eating at very dicey night market stands. Either the food isn’t that dirty or I’ve developed an iron stomach over the years.

I’ve gotten pretty bad food poisoning twice so far in Taiwan (been here ~4 years now). First was (as far as I can tell) from the Taipei Main Station McDonalds (though it’s totally possible I touched something before eating as it was hand food and I hadn’t washed my them) and the second was from a “Philly Cheesesteak” at the Kaohsiung Reifong night market.

I do have a pretty weak stomach overall though and “upset” it quite frequently (though I think that has more to do with my spicy and coffee diet than anything else).

Overall I agree that restaurants here are a little more lax on their cleanliness (doing dishes with plain cold water in the gutter anyone?) but overall the streets / public transportation are fairly clean.

I’d also say that clinics/hospitals here aren’t quite as “hospital clean” as I remember back home in the States, but for the price and quality of care I’m not complaining.

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Got it awful one time from cold noodles.

Taiwan is cleaner than NYC but that’s a low bar.

The MTA is rat infested.

sanitizer vs biandang smell in hospitals. i don´t know what i´m more afraid of…