Keeping safe in Taiwan.

Hello, I’m considering coming to Taiwan soon for Working Holiday and after doing some reading on here I am wondering if its a good idea or not. I’ve been here 3 times before and never felt unsafe or saw anything bad, It was safe in terms of no one bashing you in the street for no reason and being able to walk around at 2am with no trouble. I’ve heard alot about gangsters and thugs that will beat you up for the littlest thing such as being in a nightclub dancing with someone or simply just being there and being white. I’m looking at going to Kaohsiung and it looks like theres a lot of random violence according to stuff on these forums. I come from Australia so im used to living in a dangerous society of random stabbings and attacks and i always thought Taiwan was safe fron that. So do yous think its really a safe place to live in the end? Thanks

It’s safe. Just stay away from Russians with machetes.

Seriously, nowhere is 100% safe. However, Taiwan is certainly a lot safer than most countries. Gangsters tend to whack each other, not random foreigners. Kicking the shit out of people for dancing with the wrong girl is definitely one way they entertain themselves, but it’s pretty rare and only likely to happen if you insist on escalating the situation. You’re far more likely to be in a traffic accident (in any country) than you are to be murdered.

Don’t do or sell drugs don’t try to dance with mob
Dolls and go looking for trouble and you should be fine
Oh watch the traffic and never be on a moto or scooter

It’s boringly-safe in Taiwan. Crosswalks are a war zone and buffet mobs come in second. You can lose a finger.

Occasional fights but it’s usually not without cause.

We’re all here despite all the dangers lurking below the surface. It’s a conscious choice you make and if you take some precautions you’ll be fine 90% of the time. Try to stick within the laws, avoid getting into fights, don’t cross a road if you can avoid it, be careful with fruits at the night markets, and stay away from the areas prone to drive by shootings.

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Say what?!


I’m from Perth been here in Kaohsiung 15 years never once felt threatened, just use your melon and avoid dodgy situations and areas. Then again I’m an older guy and night clubs are a thing of the past. Not ready for Karaoke yet. Be sensible its like anywhere, you just need to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. So be situationally aware.


I find that it most cases the Taiwanese are very honourable , in terms of a lost wallet or phone being handed in to police . There is a Gangster underworld but , as mentioned , it tends to go unseen most of the time . It is refreshing to be able to walk around without the fear of mugging or theft ( in general ) . Not many Countries left where that is possible .

Are you referring to some sort of homosexual prostitution scam?


Also don’t cause some hot-headed lowlife to lose face. (This includes flipping someone off in public, which is something you should not do here!). Loss of face can cause many insecure locals to fly into a rage beyond anything most Westerners would consider warranted. He may call a dozen of his buddies to beat the crap out of you: such an action is not considered an act of cowardice, as in the West, but a display of power. If you find yourself in a situation where you cause someone to lose face, de-escalate the situation by smiling and apologizing, and then you can go on your merry way.


I almost experienced my first physical altercation with a Taiwanese guy a few weeks ago. I was driving my car and had been signaling left when he, as often happens, decided to speed up on his scooter and undertake me before I turned. I managed to brake in time but still slightly clipped him. He got off his scooter and went mental, hitting my hood with one hand while barking into his cellphone with the other.

I got out of the car, bowed slightly and said sorry three times. He put his phone away, nodded, and drove off.

Perhaps I’m a pussy and should have knocked his phone out of his hand and sorted him out, but I feel quite alright about my actions.


The golden rules I love by are

Don’t mess with anyone’s:
Ego (face)

Avoiding that and you won’t find trouble. In general Taiwanese can’t stand violence. There are a few disconnected psychos who can do really sick things, and the trend seems to go more towards this lack of sympathy, but it’s still very rare rare.

Also stay away from meth addicts who haven’t slept in a while. Good advice anywhere. Taiwan has a very intense drug problem that is not widely discussed.

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It’s those fruits again! What the hell is this about? Is there a side of Taiwan that I’ve never seen?

It’s less of a visual experience and more of a tactile one. :wink:


Also, I’m curious. Should the worst happen, how does this advice alleviate the situation? And how did you find out?

No DNA evidence…duh.

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Why pick on the Russians? I say stay away from anyone with a machete, except maybe a coconut vendor.

Oh, and try not to breathe too much air. :mask: :skull_and_crossbones:

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And black men of course. Have the media decided whether it’s black men or Russian men? I haven’t been following the news lately.

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What’s wrong with fruit at the night market?

Use condoms.

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