What's it like living in Taiwan now?

I moved back to UK with partner end of 2005, quite a long time ago now!

It would be difficult to move there again with getting older, I was in my twenties at the time and now I’ve entered my forties. You think more about how fragile life can be and health etc.

I did enjoy aspects of it though and wish I’d been better at picking up mandarin.

How are people finding it?

We live in a time warp where the space time continuum has ripped open and Taiwan remains in 2019 with open communication lines to the rest of the observable universe.

We’re not complaining. We like our time warp.


I still remember chen shui-bien getting shot in 2004 and it was shown on CNN that there was a massive demonstration outside presidential place.

Partner walked down to take a look and there were a few people sitting around with hot drinks and doughnut sticks for dunking in it

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Pah, Marco!

How long have you been there for?

I moved here in the early 10s.

And you enjoy it? It can change so much really, I loved the night markets and certain foods and temples and friends.

Not so much work and the pollution.

Thinking about it I still have a jade dragon tassel attached to my purse (wallet) which I bought from the MRT underpass market think near Taipei central station? Oh and a scent bottle! I bought that for my father but had it returned after he died (2011)


Taiwan is probably quite different than you remember it in terms of development, quite a bit richer, a lot of coffeeshops and brands stores . Taipei city has improved and so has Taichung, Kaohsiung etc.
Still a lot of scooters and pollution unfortunately .
There’s no covid so life is very normal really.


I enjoy it even more being in our if-coronavirus-wasn’t-a-thing time warp.

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The scooters, it used to be like a shoal of mini fish swarming around the big fish (cars). Race at traffic lights to get to the front when the traffic lights changed. Do you need a licence nowadays?

Marco oh do people think CV-19 is some sort of conspiracy?

No they don’t.

We have other conspiracy theories though propagated through Line, FBook and other means.

Overall I’m glad to be in Taiwan!


That’s good Guy, how long have you been there and what is your experience?

I can charge up my old phone for photos but as far as I can remember 101 was still pretty new and my partner bought a book from there for me.

I think our MRT stop was Zhongshan junior high school.

Obviously on a trip down memory lane tonight :slight_smile:

No. I mean. We dont have it. We dont have any community transmission. 2020 looks like any normal year here.

We are the single best performing major nation. People like me who have never left Taiwan this year have literally no memory or experience on these lockdowns happening in other countries. We took action early and expelled it.

I am being colourful.


Marco I think taiwan is pretty well trained in outbreaks of that virus family - actually when I moved there in 2004 many people were still wearing masks (though a Taiwanese friend said that was due to pollution and not aftermath of SARS and it was an epidemic not a pandemic).

It’s hit the UK much harder as there hasn’t been an outbreak of this kind since 1919 spanish flu and we were woefully unprepared.

Right. I mean. You’re asking what life is like here.

It’s normal. It’s happily and helpfully normal.

Normal theatres
Normal restaurants
Normal ultra music festival
Normal everything and I LOVE IT!

It’s normal to what a reasonable person would call normal in 2019.


. . . with high speed rail on the west coast; an excellent affordable MRT system in Taipei City and environs; and bike sharing (aka youbike) spreading throughout Taiwan.

I’ve been living in Taiwan since the early 2000s and I can say without hesitation that it has gotten better (though as BrianJones pointed out, with still far too many petro scooters and too much crappy driving and pollution).



I used to love catching the MRT to the end of the line and called danshui I think? And eating mussels.

And have an enduring love of wong kar-wai films and have a cloisonne box of the twelve women from dreams of the red lantern gifted. That might be quite valuable.

It was home for nearly two years so I’ll always be fond of it. It makes me happy to hear other people’s experience.

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Living in Taiwan now is like having one foot in the first world and the other in the developing world.

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Taiwan’s more or less normal.

Wages are still rather low but foreigners complain about Taiwan as usual even though they make at least twice as much as Taiwanese makes for the amount of work they have to put into it.

Going rate for day labor is 2000 a day, and that’s 12 hours of backbreaking labor, in the heat, with minimal break.