Factor in a 30% discount off of the full US retail price when you are shopping for Giants in Taiwan. Most will give a standard 10% off the posted sales price though some will give 15%. Be wary of last season left-overs as local shops will not discount models even if the season is almost over.
Order your clothing, shoes, and energy bars from home. Much cheaper than buying it here.
Anything that is made here can be bought here though you will get the best value for you money on a Giant. If you purchase a Kona illegally w/out the proper paperwork and you can forget any warranty from their company if your frame breaks.
If you buy a Giant, make sure that it (that particular model) is sold in the country where you plan to bring it back to. If not, you will have difficulty with the warranty (advice given to me by the folks at Giant USA’s corporate office). If you buy an XTC1 in Taiwan and break it in the USA, Giant USA will warranty it for you if you have the paperwork.
Steer clear of the NRS series in Taiwan as they spec the crap Giant inhouse NRS shock rather than the aftermarket rear shock sold in the USA, Canada, ect. The XTC 1 is very nice while the XTC 2 is the most bang for the buck though a shock upgrade from the Pilot SL to say a SID (for a lightweight rider) or a Fox Terralogic (for most of his big foreigners) is a must.
The race is scene in Taiwan is far from what it is back in the USA. I do recommend picking up an extra set of wheels w/slicks if you plan to do some club rides w/ the local guys. The XC crowd like to stick to the road most of the time. That said you will learn alot more about the local trails as well as Taiwan if you ride w/ the locals guys/gals. Trails here are epic regardless of the crap article that was featured in the May 2004 issue of Bicycling magazine. At least Mr. Wilde gave me a reason to cancel my subscription.
If you would like to visit a website that is dedicated to the sport of mountain biking check out www.trongman.com.tw/bike/serow.html