My thoughts about Taiwan after a month


I’m new to the forum but have been reading some topics with great interest over the past few weeks, so thank you for all the information! I’m currently on a career break/extended holiday from work in the UK getting away from the grey and cold. Just completed a month in Taiwan and now in Japan.

I stayed in Wenshan District in Taipei, apart from two days where I went to Kaohsiung. Both places are fascinating places, the people seemed very laid-back and not rushed/stressed like back at home, happy to help, and nobody looked significantly stressed like you commonly see on the Underground in London.

Would you agree with this perspective, or have I missed something? Do you have any alternative thoughts on the general attitudes of the Taiwanese compared to Brits? I didn’t get much of a feel about the working culture, obviously, but I’ve heard it’s comparable to what I do in the UK (roughly 10 hours at work per day, 1 hour lunch, but on-call 100% of the time).

The evening outdoor culture I really fell in love with. Grabbing some food from a night market or stall and wandering about I felt pretty happy and positive about the place. I could happily sit outside, munch on some chicken heart and tendon skewers and watch people go by all evening on their scooters.

I may decide to quit my software job in the UK and try for the one year working holiday visa in Taiwan. The heat may kill me though =D

Cheers, sorry for rambling on a bit.



I’m not sure if London is representative of the UK as a whole (I assume you live and work in London) but Taipei is definitely a lot nicer. Brits are a miserable bunch on the whole, and although Taiwan work culture has some big issues, I’d say your assessment is broadly correct.

I came here (from the UK) when I was 20-something and have never regretted it for a moment. I have no interest in going back to Blighty. If you have a plausible way of supporting yourself here (is there such a thing as a “working holiday visa”?) then I’d say go for it.

I live and work in Milton Keynes, which is known for it’s lack of most things :slight_smile:, but yes you are absolutely right, London is not a good marker for the UK. I’m using it as a benchmark as in terms of size and population, Taipei and London are comparable.

There is a ‘Youth Mobility Program’ for 18-30 year olds, usually a 1 year visa. I’m 29 at the moment so I have to decide pretty soon haha! Would be good to get a software job in Taipei ideally, even if its a bit of a step down from what I do currently, as English teaching wouldn’t go well (dodgy accent, too much swearing) and learn a bit of Mandarin as I go.

Thanks for your response and for sharing your opinion =)

Software jobs are poorly paid in Taiwan - there are just too many people here with CS degrees (although very few actual software engineers - most of the programmers I have the misfortune to work with are basically just hackers).

If you want to get a software gig then you either (a) need an employer prepared to post you here on an expat package or (b) you need to go it alone as a contractor, which of course comes with its own problems.

Aside from that, at 29 the world is your preferred mollusc, and I would advise making the most of it.

Heh I’m sure I’m one of those hackers, unfortunately we are expected to develop in quite a few different languages over the course of the day, which can be quite stressful and you don’t become very good at any of them, whilst also understanding production and mechanical engineering :confused:

Thanks for the advice, I’ll look into it at least!

I’m in Tokyo now. There are a lot of rules and social issues to abide by, definitely a vastly different place to Taiwan. Missing the night markets and the scooters!

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I think is like olives, you love it or hate it. Personally I love Tokyo for what you said and I hate Taiwan for what you said. But I remember my first month I really like Taipei and after I started to see with different eyes. I never been in the UK so I can’t say to much about it. If I were you I would to get a remote job before come, at least you want to work with locals, but you need to find a place where they are willing to speak English.

What kind of developer are you? I think is better to get a job with work permit

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There was a report, by cigna, that Taiwan was the second most stressfull place to live in the world, after South Korea.
Living here long term and short stay, are clearly not really the same thing.

I spent decades in taiwan and decades in calif

There’s stress just different in both

Another classic.

as a brit who has been here for almost 5 years your assessment is kinda true.

i’m not thinking about going home. taiwan does have its own miserable side, especially in taipei in the winter but the whole living situation in england just seems a lot more f_/cked. brexit. jobs. most things costing tons of money. chavs. yea i’m happy to stay here. lifes more of an adventure too.

definitely a lot of things i miss though. fresh air. peace and quiet. good supermarkets.

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it’s e e cummings

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What is bad about Taipei in the winter? Surely not as cold as the UK? Although we have heating…

My personal environment in the UK seems very miserable, there’s not a lot of optimism at all at the moment, however I do have a decent paying job that I hate (c’est la vie) but life outside work consists of re-watching films and buying non-essentials off ebay, like a third car for 200 quid… how much is a used scooter in Taiwan? :wink:

it rains for like weeks on end sometimes. no heating and its humid so you really feel the cold. its depressing but its not that long. compared to the 6 months of winter or something like that in england.

I’m dreading the winters in London. I will probably be moving there next summer.

Most decent ACs available here can also heat.
Although homes don’t have a built in heating system, you can buy space heaters quite easily.

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He probably misses those radiators to warm the cold bathroom floor.

I don’t think they are common, in my 12 years here I’ve never seen one.

That was probably the only thing I missed moving from Japan!

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Strange, i’ve never seen many without this function unless they’re ancient.

They are.