Meeting people, socialise, friends... where to start?

Trust me I know how this feels. I was very jaded by the time I left the first time around. But then the perspective of being away for awhile, and I got older and stopped caring so much. If someone wants to speak English so bad go for it, but if they are impeding the conversation so much and wasting my time, I’m going to tell them. Or keep asking them in Chinese if this is what they are trying to say. Or simply telling them I don’t understand what they are saying. For even the most ardent English learners, they get tired of having to clarify themselves and I get tired of them wasting my time. All my coworkers and friends are not like this and I don’t waste much time on random strangers.

Most young people don’t speak Taiwanese all over the island. For the ones that switch in Taiwanese, it tends to be basic Taiwanese which you absorb over time. Plenty of times I’ve had the taxi driver speaking Taiwanese and I respond in Mandarin.

Have the serenity to accept the things you cannot change. Every single country in east Asia is like this, and Taiwan seems to be the least dramatic compared to Korea, China, Japan. I’ll always be a foreigner so fucking what. There are ignorant people everywhere, but I see the Taiwanese getting better over time. I’m often surprised at how little difference there is in the interactions I have with friends, family, coworkers vs. back home. I am not an outsider in my social circle of family, friends, coworkers. I am the only foreigner in my office, my family, and my close friends. I know very few foreigners here, and don’t feel like an outsider in my own circle. Everyone else can piss off.


I have a similar situation but I don’t like being boxed in either. And I get very tired of being the only foreigner in most things that I do. Not only the only Westerner,. the only foreigner. It gets very tedious sometimes .

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Gaelic footy mate, more foreigners than you can shake a stick at!

Not really what I mean ,just general society here. Im kind of done with it. I have many things I want to do but invariably there are a lot of roadblocks thrown up.
Most years I can fly around and get the more cosmopolitan interaction I like outside of Taiwan . Thanks for the suggestion though.


I saw this a coffee shop recently, ha.

Incredibly, nearly 40 days since I posted and I still don’t have friend nor even acquaintances, I have tried hard but people here are either too shy or they just mind their own business quite clearly…

I just want to meet people (not necessarily locals or not necessarily expats, anyone!) with interests in common, for instance I like hiking, are here no people who frequently go hiking and wouldnt accept a new member in their circles? Are people really that excluding towards others in this city? I’m on the verge of just giving up and returning to my fully covidified country before I develop depression… Taiwan seemed a very friendly and social place when I visited back in 2015 :-/ what happened ever since?

I meet so many people every week it’s really hard to schedule…

But yes I like trailrunning /fastpacking and finding people to so 2000-3000m vertical per day is a bit harder. But just casual hiking easy except for the local custom to start at freak times in the early morning/night…
I exclude people who want to speak English however, that decreases the selection a bit…

If you speak Chinese try eatgether app. (Need to set AppStore/Google Play to Taiwan)

Very sorry to hear this. Have you tried Facebook group or perhaps Reddit?

There is actually a large Spanish speaking community in Taipei. Have you looks on Facebook for groups?

Here’s my take and advice:

  1. 40 days is nothing. You will be able to make friends with good social skills and the requisite amount of effort, but I would give it more like 6 months to a year before you actually make real friends.

For the first 2 1/2 years, I had no friends here (because I made no effort). I started making an effort in the 2nd half of 2020 after COVID calmed down. It’s been 9 months since then, and I’ve made a lot of progress, but I still have to make the effort to invest in the people I’ve connected with and the friendships I’m developing.

  1. Be the one who organizes things. People don’t like to organize or they are afraid of rejection, so be the one that happily does it. After meeting someone you connect with, get their LINE, follow up as soon as possible to get together outside how you initially met, if it’s like Meetup or something. Hopefully, you’ll also meet others who are extraverted and will invite you to things too.

Attend meetups and as others have suggested, look into Facebook groups. You could also do what I did, which was to create a Meetup group.

  1. 50 hours of quality time = Casual friend
    90 hours of quality time = Friend
    200 hours of quality time = Close friend

I like this rule of thumb because it forces me to have the mindset of 1) it take a lot of time - quality time - to create friendship and 2) you have to continually invest time and effort into others.

You have to be vigilant and not let a couple of weeks pass before it’s the last time you spoke in person, especially in the beginning stages of a potential friendship.

  1. Attending meetups for activities you enjoy is a great idea. I also decided to try something outside the box, which was to focus on proximity instead of interests.

My thinking was that the majority of adults are pretty busy: they are dating or have relationships/marriages, they work or have school, they travel, they have hobbies, they already have some network of their own. Even if I met people during meetups, it was difficult to establish consistency in getting together or even just to get together at all because of lack of proximity. So I decided to create a meetup that limited its geographic scope to my own district, essentially a neighborhood meetup. It took awhile to get going but I feel like it’s worked decently so far. I’m developing friendships with people who are walking distance or a short MRT ride from where I live. It makes it easier, and there’s little resistance to have a gathering at my place or somewhere in the 'hood, could even be unplanned or impromptu.

Biggest problem. So if you read through the thread above the people who have made friends with locals they often had to be super proactive. Pushy almost (one of the schemes described was crazy in its detail ). Which is kind of tough when you don’t speak the language well or at all.

Problem no 2 you will encounter is the lack of foreigners in most of Taiwan, especially now during covid. I travel around Taiwan a lot and have lived in many major cities and always astounded about how few foreigners I meet. And most of those foreigners in Taiwan are from SE Asia and only get out and about on Sundays.

(Problem no 3 is when you make friends with foreigners and they leave , don’t worry about that one just yet :expressionless:)

Anyway as for hiking groups there’s a bunch of groups on Facebook . Search there. I myself join some high mountain guided hikes which are great but a little pricey . I’m not religious myself but another way people meet here are religious groups , Christian churches, Buddhists, meditation. What’s your interests in general and where are you located let’s see if we can help you find people to hang with ?


Actually, I think that is a good problem. As long as the friendship is genuine and you stay in touch, this kind of situation potentially opens doors to new places that you may never have thought of going to before.

I guess you are a glass half full guy. :sunglasses:
I haven’t seen most of my old foreign pals from Taiwan since they left since they live in very far flung places. For practical purposes they have disappeared from my life although I keep in touch with a few.

Interests: hiking, nature in general, coffee meetings, dining out and night markets, reading, playing board games…

Area: Xinyi-Songshan primarily

I never see too many single white foreign males in Taiwan.

Instant they land here they’re a rock star. All the girls want them, and all the schools want to hire them.

Unlike the rest of us.

Bullshit. That’s simply not true. Didn’t happen with me, as I rely on charm and smart talking to get things done. That is extremely difficult with foreign language speakers.


Weren’t you already a rock star, so technically true that you were when you landed?


I also found it very difficult to try to make friends. When people find out your over 40 and married, they just go radio silent. I just chalked it up to i’m too old for the young people and people my age are too busy with the life and career. Not wanting to do anything in the sun probably didn’t help my cause.


I don’t suppose you like

and live in the


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Well technically, yes, but unheard of in Taiwan, so no advantage there.