Top-10 things I miss the most about Taiwan that I can’t experience in crappy England

I’m one of the weird people who actually likes the Taiwanese climate. At least, I prefer it to England’s nine months out of 12.

I can see why you might think this, but I don’t mean it that way. I love Japan, but would never live there. Being able to visit once every few months to travel and hang out with friends there is far better.


I mean… London? Huge city with such a variety of things waiting to be discovered even by the most jaded long-time Londoner.

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I talked to some of my Filipino friends. None of them has experienced being considered interesting by virtue of coming from another country. Weird. Must be just the white skin I guess.

I feel like 2 is a very double edged sword with the number of Stinky Tofu vendors outside my gaff.

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Depends on where you are. A Brit in Ireland: not interesting. A Brit in Taiwan: somewhat interesting.

I live and work in the UK. Things I like about the UK:

1.Cheap real estate (at least in the North vs places I have bought/sold in Taiwan and Canada)
2. Good pubs everywhere
3. The selection of ethnic food, restaurants, variety is way better than Canada or Taiwan (industrial tasting food in supermarkets in Canada or the greasiness of night market foods in Taiwan…agree with Jimi that food in Taiwan is slightly overrated).
4. Close to Europe for cheap vacations and France where family is (and where I have PR)
5. Well paying (slightly less than North America but a lot more than Taiwan) jobs and with 5 weeks paid vacation.
6. Good public sector and national pension schemes, unions even for senior leadership, etc.
7; Being a citizen and the privileges that entails

He seems to REALLY dislike Winnipeg.

Unless things have changed. :upside_down_face:


Sarcasm my dear Watson, sarcasm!

This is very true.

I don’t know but I’ve been told, prairie nights are mighty cold.

This is true. That one was probably unfair to include.

Good list. Although the rate that traditional pubs are closing on the one end with gentrification on the other (I’m not a fan of trendy overpriced wine bars) put a question mark over the future of no. 2, not to mention the impact of a year of lockdowns on the industry.

No. 3 is very understated. Britain has a certain negative reputation for food, but it really isn’t warranted. Even the little English towns usually have some great ethnic restaurants. You can’t say the same for Taiwan. You can’t even say the same for Taipei in comparison to any major British city.

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Not at all overly personal in my books. I have gone into it elsewhere in other threads, but I will try and summarize my thoughts on it, which of course is only based on my personal experiences.

First of all, an important caveat, we are living in Winnipeg. It is likely people living in other cities would have different opinions.

Compared to the rest of the world, Canada is expensive, especially compared to wages. The US has significantly higher wages (and I acknowledge that they do have to pay for health insurance as well), and in most places, a much lower cost of living.

As a result, the work/life balance, if you intend to have any sort of successful life in Canada, is very skewed. To get ahead (and not be in massive debt, which most people are), you need to dedicate yourself to your career, and family and other aspects will seriously suffer as a result. Throw in a high stress job, and you are on your way to coronary alley. I know that Taiwan isn’t really much better for this, but at least the cost of living is much lower (if you don’t live in Taipei proper, that is).

Anyways, I realize now I am in no way summarizing anything. So I will just give a list:

Why Canada is worth leaving:

  1. High cost of living
  2. Weather is brutal (especially Winnipeg)
  3. Drug based violent crime and homelessness is out of control
  4. Very insular and small mindsets
  5. The “victim” mentality culture (currently present throughout Canada and the US)
  6. No international exposure (not true of bigger cities in Canada though)
  7. Everyone expects handouts that are never-ending

Why Taiwan is so good for us:

  1. Street-based violence, drug use, and homelessness is minimal if non-existent
    [Note: I know people will try and argue this one, but let me give you two examples: 1) Yesterday, on my way to work, two people were passed out in the middle of the bike path, surrounded by garbage and bottles, and later, when I was going for a run, two meth heads were threatening to stab each other; these are normal everyday experiences here. 2) Have you ever found a needle in a kids playground in Taiwan? NO? They are everywhere here, and my son even knows to do a walk-through for needles before playing in any playground. ]
  2. Taipei (Well we will be in Xinbeishi) has an international lifestyle, with easy access to multiple other Asian countries.
  3. We have good, close friends from all over the world in the Taiwan expat community.
  4. I can work 20hrs a week (or less), and with my pension cashout combined with our savings, we can live comfortably.
  5. I can help my wife homeschool our son.
  6. Decent nationalized healthcare (not such a big concern at this point [we both are under 50]), but it is important as we age.
  7. Taiwanese culture, where you can learn Mandarin and Taiwanese, while there is still a fair bit of English as well if needed.
  8. A very vibrant Arts and Music scene.
  9. Very little “sports” (macho?) mentality, which I have very little patience for.

I could go on about a fair bit, but this “summary” has become long enough. :wink:


Where did they copy it from , no way they could create anything new.

Then dump your canadian passport and get a Taiwanese one.

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Wow, the truth hurts. It is a bit complicated with a wife and son, but you aren’t wrong really.

Canadian is fairly easy to reacquire. A parent can sponsor your reentry and two years back you’ll have it again.

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  1. Supermarkets. Quality and range in fex Waitrose and M&S way better then Taiwan offerings. Desserts? Apparently not a thing in Taiwan.
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In Taiwan, things that are meant to be sweet (like biscuits and donuts) aren’t sweet, but things that aren’t meant to be sweet (like bread and pork) are sweet. Over all, I would rate Taiwan higher for food than England, but England beats Taiwan hands down for desserts and sweets.

I have a French friend who still think the 100 years war is going on. :laughing. When he visited me when I lived in the Home Counties he was utterly shocked at the supermarket diversity, offerings and quality at MS etc.

I have a lot of wonderful electronics made in China. Not everything is crap.