Living in Taiwan vs. Living in China



I would say don’t go to college in either Taiwan or China. You can always study abroad at either places. Most schools should offer something for China and possibly Taiwan. A western education is more valued in both China and Taiwan so you can always come to either places.

I studied in China as well as lived in Taiwan. China is very fun but for me hard to want to live in unless I made serious money in a good city. I hated Beijing, I felt people were pretty cold there and the pollution is not good. It was crowded and far things are made things annoying. Plus Beijing food is not good. Blend for me. The only plus is I went to tsinghua there and people respected that and treated me well when I told them I’m studying there.

I like Sichuan a lot. Also chengdu.

Also a problem for me with China is eating. You have to be careful as water is undrinkable. And food can be sketchy in safety in even nice restaurants. Alcohol is all fake basically.

China is a lot fun if you want to go out and party. They party hard 7 days a week.

Taiwan’s party scene is mostly Taipei. Taichung has some as well as kaoshung.

I still much prefer Taipei. For living.


Europe is not a bad choice in general. Many schools there do 3 year programs which can basically help you save 1/4 of the tuitions. I find the general tuition in Europe to be pretty low compared to the US in general.


So, chengdu is in sichuan.


Sorry, I meant wuhan, I was in chengdu and wuhan.

Also be aware of winters in some of these places. They can be absolutely miserable.


wuhan is a real shithole, or at least was in 2009 when I was there.

chengdu was nice though, or as nice as any place in china can be.


Yeah it is. I don’t think I can live there. Fun as a Uni student


i don’t get this whole china hard mode taiwan easy mode thing that people are saying recently. china is harder because its more frustrating? china has a bigger range of jobs (including ‘easy’ white monkey jobs) that foreigners can get, and the english teaching is easier, plus company’s will pay for accommodation and living costs. i also got by in china without having to learn to read any chinese. not the case for me here in taiwan, most menus don’t have pictures.


i would say as you are young, go to china first. but go for like a year. enjoy it before it gets sour. party, have fun, enjoy the experience, bore through the local women then come to taiwan when you start to get tired of all the bullcrap that goes on there.


Have you had to visit a Chinese hospital. Pure anarchy.


I think in terms of quality of life, comfort, convenience…Taiwan still has China beat. Life is just not quite as chaotic here vs China.

So yeah, I would say that it’s “harder” simply because I find it more frustrating.


you can call it shit quality of life mode if you like. the hassles may make life there bad, but not hard(for foreigners). different things.


Their taxes are through the nose. They pay for it


i’ve spent a decent amount of time in china in both beijing and shenzhen/dongguan/guangzhou. imo taiwan (esp taipei) is better in terms of living over those two (which are 3 of the mainland big 4). shanghai is nice - i’ve never lived there longer than a week, but imo it’s probably the best place to live out of those options.

it helps a lot to have connections and that might actually be what drives your final decision. honestly though, the opportunities for someone straight out of uni in either place won’t be that great and the pay will be pretty bad too. the best opportunities are for experienced professionals who can get an expat gig or a recruited expert offer. if you want to move to china (and not to teach english), you really should have some connections, or you will have a hard time finding anything of note.

tbh if you just want to have fun, you should pick a city you want to live in first, and just find something that sorta fits. if you want better opportunities, get a phd or a professional degree from a well known US school, and preferably some experience in a well known global company, then come back on a nice package.


Has the OP been to China? I thought it was going to be like Taiwan before I went there. I hope he’s not thinking things are similar.


you mean including taipei?


In general, after shuttling between China and Taiwan, i certainly find Taiwan (or Taipei for most part) a friendlier and more liveable place to be in - culturally, social habits, civic-consciousness, etc. No doubt, i have amazing colleagues in Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai but in general, the city populace tends to be too materially-driven (comparing houses, cars, holidays, etc…). Civic consciousness has taken a backseat. So, if i am as young as the OP, i would certainly pick a more balanced society like Taiwan.


oh no, i mean out of 北上廣沈. give me taipei any day. not because the city is actually better, but because the little things living in the prc add up - the internet, having to use a vpn for everything, the many times my vpn doesn’t connect, the constant security presence everywhere… also imo taiwan is a more friendly place to be, people are more willing to help out, while mainlanders in general are more blunt and rude.

as far as cities go though, i would rank taipei well over beijing, which sucks outside of cbd, the radius around tianmen inc wfj, xidan, and the cultural areas. worst weather and air, copy and paste of ugly ass residential blocks. i could go on and on on how much that city sucks. i would rank taipei well over shenzhen too, which imo is an ugly city with no character. only saving grace is its close to hong kong. i like it more than guangzhou, but i have to admit, if you stay near the main areas, guangzhou is actually a really nice city. shanghai though, well that’s the only truly global city that mainland china has imo. it has some nice historical areas, some interesting architecture, pudong cbd, the bund, nangjing lu, disneyland… if i weren’t based out of taipei, i would probably choose shanghai if i had to relocate to china. (but if i could choose any city, tokyo easily, taipei is basically discount tokyo).


thats an interesting description of beijing. i’m pretty curious about that place, hopefully i’ll visit next year. i read that something like over 90% of the hutongs have been demolished so i’m not sure whats left to see but i’m curious regardless.

i don’t really see any similarity’s with tokyo and taipei though not sure what you are saying there.


the central area of beijing still has alot of hutongs, since you can’t make tall buildings near zhongnanhai. outside that though it’s all concrete residential blocks. i mean if you are just visiting, the forbidden city, summer palace, wangfujing, etc are all good places to see. but if you live there for a bit of time, the city really starts to suck. terrible air and the weather is awful. 90F humid as hell summers, subzero freezing temperatures in the winter, you get like 3 months where the weather is decent.

as for taipei and tokyo, there’s a good amount of japanese influence in taipei still, and you have areas of otaku stores and the big japanese department stores all over taipei. but comparing like the sogo district in zhongxiaofuxing or the mitukoshi stores vs the ones in tokyo, the latter are just more impressive (like the one in chuoku or shibuya). or yodobashi vs guanghua. also some districts seem like a shoddier version of the tokyo one - ximending comes to mind. it does seem kind of like the shinjuku (many people have made this comparison), but shinjuku is just way grander and bigger. also walking down zhongxiao dong lu it does feel pretty similar to how tokyo is arrayed, but walking from chidoya through akihabara up to ueno just seems like an even more impressive version. anyway all that is just imo - tokyo is one of my favorite cities.


i just think the places are not comparable. completely different aesthetics. taipei is more laid back. as is taiwan as a whole, there are still loads of half assed shack like buildings. sheet metal stuff everywhere. even some buildings with trees growing on top of them. half the population wearing sandals and vests. its not even close to the same vibe imo. street food everywhere in taiwan, but in japan you are not allowed to walk and eat.
tokyo is like 90% briefcase carrying salarymen. amazingly pristine streets, not a brick out of place. super modern and impressive. i felt like i had to be on my best behavior while i was there. not something thats really on my mind in taiwan… i think taiwan and china are definitely fair comparisons (or hong kong) but japan not really, seems korea is a better comparison for japan.