My first night in Taiwan! (Taipei) - my first question... help!

I arrived today!

Got a 3 month stay (with a view to extending by flying in and out)

It’s my first time ever in Asia. First impression, I love it!
Had to ask a few people about this easy travel pass thing, and a sim card, but I’m off and running.

So I arrived at the hotel at 6pm, (lost track of time, but been up about 48 hours)
I’ve cleaned up a bit, and set up wifis etc. Then I went to the 711 to buy some not allowed essential plane stuff… and to get some food…

and the whole street is full of restaurants, open front. FULL of people.

How can I go to one on my own? I feel like a total outsider as it is, as my Chinese is very limited, and sat on my own, is like ‘billy no mates on speed’!

Is it ok to go on my own?

1 Like

It is ok. No one will notice/care if you are by yourself.


Sounds like you can even speak a little Chinese. You’re set. You’ll probably meet some people.


Pull up the shop on Google maps, look at the photos of the food, then show the photos of the food that you want to order.

Eating alone is quite common. In some places you’ll see everybody facing the same direction looking at a TV.

No tipping in Taiwan. Just trying will confuse everybody.

Receipts are lottery tickets but smaller places and others may not always give receipts so don’t push it.

Welcome to asia!


I’m kind of wondering what street that is?

There are a quite a few places that match that description.

1 Like

You could monetise it. Film yourself and put it online. Why not?


Completely OK to go on your own. Have fun!

On the menu: most things ending with 飯 (“dancing dude under a roof”) are going to be some kind of rice dish. If it ends in 麵 (“TV on the right side”), it’s noodles. Order one of those and you’ve probably got yourself a meal. If not, oh well, it’s a learning experience.

Hey, it worked for my first couple of weeks. To be honest I still fall back on it once in a while.

Another technique I still occasionally use: the more inept you appear to be, the more likely it is someone will try to help you. Depending on where you are, this can also be an excellent way to start a fun sociable evening, although a couple of hours later you may or may not choose to give accurate contact information to your companions.


I’ve always been looking for a way to describe those to people so they can remember and now I have it thank you!


Damn this thread reminds me of my first night(s) in Shinjuku.

Those were the days. :heart_eyes:



How exactly do you go about looking inept?

Do you prepare in advance or generally can just pull it off at any moment?

I’m picturing walking around with pockets turned inside out or maybe only one shoe or messy hair or maybe a clown suit


Sorry that has been taken.




If they want another mnemonic, the ones ending with a symmetrical tree are either a drink or a vegetable dish (茶, 菜). My first month or so it was always a crap shoot which one I’d actually ordered.

Oh, for some of us, this skill just comes naturally. (In other contexts that’d sound smug, but I guess not here.)


Yeah, it’s making me miss that intoxication (and nervousness!) of the new and unknown. It’s still achievable, but harder than it used to be.


Oh, another really important thing to keep in mind: get your hotel’s business card so you (or a taxi driver) can find it again later!


I can barely remember my first night in Shinjuku.

Something like met other foreigners who were looking for a Z-Pak because they just arrived from Thailand and then stood in line for some basement club at 1:00 a.m. and then it gets quite dark and blurry and green laser like after that but woke up alone at noon in a capsule hotel then attempting to make my way to my own hotel.

Wow, so many responses so quickly! Thanks everyone.

Now I’ve got my phone sorted and wifi, I’ve been on LINE and wechat for last half hour answering, 'where are you? why? etc…

Haha, you read my mind,

This was episode 1 haha!!
I’ve been playing with my camera and editing.
I did a few episodes last week. I will continue (the first one is crap, I’m getting better with each one)


right, let’s strap some balls on, and go and buy something!

Oh, the question, where am I.

I am in 松山区, 长安东路
(my PC is set to simplified, phone to trad, hence I mix them up)

A good number of the restaurants in Taipei have English menus. So I wouldn’t worry. Nor about eating alone, plenty of people do it here. I often do and nobody cares.

Your stopping near the miniatures museum, which is definitely worth a visit. It’s pretty good. It’s a museum with model houses and stuff.


well, took your advice!

just had an hour without speaking any english (other than to the camera!)

shame though, i recorded the whole thing, but left the camera in the restaurant when i went for a ciggy and missed the best part. a 15 minute convo with the laoban outside. i totally understood almost everything. and he said he understood me (what i was trying to say of course :rofl: I’m under no illusions, I know my ability)

I’ll make this my next video, ive started editing now.

i can already see a difference in my listening, as I am hearing it all the time now. this is what is needed, I had no chance in UK just learning from youtubes


As much as I hate listening to myself speaking, as when watch back, can easily correct so many things, i think it’s useful tool.

I’ve got my first ever ‘ni hao’ on record from may 2020!!

My first ever chinese speaking friend, and we still chat today.

1 Like

…meaning, when you hear what you said, you can hear mistakes, and think how to word it better, then next time use it again, using the corrected version