New to Taiwan - How to Make Friends *Online*?

I recently arrived in Taiwan and am having difficulty making friends. A little background- 33, male, Taiwan born but spent most of my life overseas. I work for myself at home, so meeting people via workplace isn’t an option. I also don’t like to frequent bars/clubs/ events where it’s just a bunch of total strangers with no prior first contact of some sort. Call it a bit of social phobia I guess. Anyhow, back in where I used to live (Canada), I have many friends, most of whom I met initially online. Meetup was a great source, even Craiglist. Here in Taiwan though Meetup hardly has any events, and Craiglist is next to dead.

I’ve started joining dating sites like okcupid and forumosa friends to meet friends (if something more happens that’s great, but honestly that’s not my goal). The thing is, I’ve probably initiated contact with at least 50-60 people, but so far I’ve received 0 responses. Zippo, big fat 0. My initial message is the standard “I’m new to Taiwan, would love to meet some interesting people to call friends…”, in other words, something neutral. Granted my message is in English, but all the people I’ve contacted describe themselves as fluent in English (or at least decent). And yes, all the people so far I’ve contacted are girls, but that’s simply because going out of my way to contact guys on dating sites may give the recipient the wrong idea. I’m starting to think perhaps most of the local girls on these dating sites are out to meet Westerners only? But that shouldn’t even be the issue, as in my initial email I’ve laid out where I’m coming from and wanting mainly just to meet interesting people to hang out with, being that I’m new in town.

So back to the original question- is there a good source online to meet people and make friends in Taiwan/Taipei, especially for those whose main language is English (but heritage is Asian)? Something similar to Meetup elsewhere perhaps?


I think there’s some sort of “Forumosa Happy Hour” thing that goes on from time to time where a bunch of Forumosans get together. Maybe you can try that?

That depends…are you a Christian? I could suggest some churches with some English speaking people. If not, then I would suggest that you try to join some clubs for activities like photography (or whatever you might be interested in). Also try Facebook. I’m sure there are lots of listings for clubs in Taipei. And if that doesn’t work, go sign up for Chinese language courses at NTU and you’ll probably meet lots of Asians with similar backgrounds. And if that still doesn’t work, then PM and maybe I can introduce you to some people. :slight_smile:

Well, there’s that problem right there, the social phobia. It’s kinda ironic to say that you want friends but you have a social phobia… hey look, I used to be the same way. Why, because I’m afraid of rejection and/or people thinking that I’m a weirdo or a creeper. Maybe these will help… And if you’re gonna insist on all of them not being cool or something you’d try, then you’re :loco: and ppl like you don’t really need friends, you just need to get into a binglang chewing taxicab driver’s car and tell him you need to find some meimeis in Keelung that will help you hit airplane.

Get a part time job doing anything in a social setting. Don’t ever think you’re above a certain standard. Be a bartender, be a server, be a host are probably the easiest ones.

Take a single class at a university that usually require group work.

Join a gym and don’t take an ipod in there. And ask people for advice on how to use a machine or free weights. And also remember that if you’re gonna do that, just do it. Don’t be the awkward motherfucker that stares at someone on and off for about 5 minutes before you go ask them something.

Be confident in your sexuality, know and believe that you don’t like seeing any penises unless it’s in the mirror or on your computer screen and only if there’s a naked girl near the penis in question. If anyone else has a problem with that, they’re the homos, not you. So if you think someone you’ve met online is a pretty cool dude-bro, invite them out to grab a drink, or form a hunting party. has a section for meeting people either to be friends, activity partners, language exchange… But try to just use that as a last resort.

When you see a lone White person on the streets that looks like he or she isn’t in a hurry, so say hi. Just for the hell of it. If it’s a girl, “Hey… what’s up? You new here? Welcome to my country. My name’s XXXXX.” If it’s a dude, “Dude, is it just me or am I having the shittiest time getting a girl to talk to me?” If he says he’s gay, “Well that’s… sorta cool, I guess? Do you have problems getting dates too?” Whatever his answer, it don’t matter, important thing is that he answers and gay dudes can be a pretty viable source for getting to know some ladies cuz they’re already on the other team. Just make sure to set an expectation that you’re about 99.9% sure you’re happy on this side of the fence. Learned that shit from Sun Tzu, never back an enemy into a corner with absolutely no route of escape.

Take a part time job in door to door sales or cold calling. You gotta be able to handle rejection. Gotta be able to pick yourself back up. Gotta develop callouses around your precious “face”. Gotta be able to chuckle and say “Next!”

Say HI to everyone you see that’s near you and you think might be cool. If they say hi back, just say “I just recently moved to Taiwan.” Use English if it’s a White person. Develop a laowai accent if it’s an Asian, “Woh gang gang bain dao Taiwahn. Wa shee die wan lan.” reall slow, if they laugh just chuckle and start talking normally. Call it breaking the ice.

F the internet, In fact, turn off your computer right now and get your ass outside and meet some people. The problem isn’t the lack of online sites to meet people, it’s you. Fortunately, you can do something about “you” if you want it bad enough by doing some of the things listed above. Good luck.

If you are looking for websites I think your best bet would be Facebook. Even a small community like Hsinchu has a number of groups focused on specific topics. Organized get togethers are common.

Getting involved with organizations that care for dogs, most of which have groups/pages on Facebook, is a good example where you could meet compassionate and interesting people.

I’ve tutored specific topics in English specifically to gain outside the workspace social interaction. It’s ‘business’ so that removes the usual social awkwardness but later friendships can and usually develop. I still have one ‘student’ who meets when his work allows to chat in English — we are more friends than tutor/student and been getting together for years. This I found online on some teaching English site.

I’ve found Chinese classes a great place to meet interesting people. Found via Google.

I’m very much an introvert and find meeting new people very difficult. Lately, I’ve used the excuse of practicing Chinese as a means to simply start a conversation with a stranger. It works very well as people here seem very accommodating, friendly and somewhat amused by my attempts. I may not become best friends with the local fruit shop owner who I continuously quiz over how I select the sweetest fruit but other people do join in — it’s fun. I especially like trying to talk to seniors as they have so much to offer and not always many people in which to share their stories with. Of course they may not be an activity partner, though I did meet one very able photographer, but sharing the odd cup of tea might be fun. My Chinese is still too poor to really engage in a variety of topics but I’ve found it interesting.

My Chinese tutor has turned out to be a good friend — most interaction is through Facebook — with weekly chats over tea. She in turn introduced me to a language exchange partner who has turned out to be nice person. I can’t remember how we met but likely an ad on tealit - a very rare instance where that wh*re of site has worked out very well.

Most of our other friends are met through our children but you need to first get married and have kids for that to work :slight_smile: Activities are organized via email and the new Internet Facebook.

Good luck.

Thanks guys for all the helpful responses, I really appreciate it! I’m definitely going to try some of the avenues you guys have suggested here. I agree at some point I have to take ownership of the issue and just man up and put myself out there. I shouldn’t take rejection personally (easier said than done!)- it’s a numbers game is what a friend keeps telling me.

p.s: Wynsen thanks for the good laugh! You’re a funny guy. :slight_smile:

Which city do you live in?

I’d strongly recommend Ok!cupid, but I suggest anwser as many questions as possible so that you can find someone with similar values. IMHO, poeple’s thoughts and values far outweigh how they look and how they perceive themselves. Answers speak for themselves. I am not there anymore, but the most unbelivable and unexpected thing happened. :blush:
Also, if you’re in Taiwan or/and you want to make friends with the locals, I’d suggest at least learn to speak some Chinese. Language can still be a not so small barrier. Besides, unless you’re looking for some people who aim at learning English from you, it’s reaonable for you to also make some efforts to mitigate the barrier. Chinese is the language spoken by most people in Taiwan after all. :2cents:

I strongly suggest You’ll get connected to loads of good people and activities.

ive tried riding a bus eventually people recognized me as taiwanese but im not at all. try to talk to them. im have no friends here either but i can find one just like you. im male from sanchong 30. just new here also.

I think there’s a group of people who do a potluck in Da An Forest Park on the first Sunday of every month, I went once and thought it was not bad. You might be able to find them on FB.

We can be friends. I smell a bit and spend a lot of time online but, we can share stuff.

Actually, this is one of the reasons why I joined here. I wanted to meet other Taiwanese and learn some more things… Although I have few Taiwanese friends too.