What's the thing you like the most about Taiwan?

To counter-balance all the rants about living here, how about a thread listing the things you appreciate about Taiwan.

OK, I’ll start. I love the tea here. Taiwan has the most incredible selection of teas that I’ve ever seen. For years, my favorite has been zhen zhu nai cha. That stuff is great! Plus, even the bubble green tea sold by most tea stands is good. The tea shops (another thing I love) serve an awesome selection of some of the best tea in the world - oolong, pu er, tie guan yin, etc.

I could go on, but I’m interested in hearing other people’s positive comments about life here.

Thanks for starting this thread Musasa.

I love the night markets. There’s nothing like them in the US. I can get anything my heart desires at 1/2 the cost and I can eat all sorts of things I never knew existed. It’s like a huge party that goes on 'til late in the night that everyone is invited to.

I love the bus only lanes on Tun Hua, Ren Ai, Hsin Yi and other roads in Taipei. It’s a brilliant way to make sure that public transport is faster than cars, especially during rush hour, and that’s good for the environment.

I love the fact that everyone has plants everywhere. I walk down any street in Taiwan, and the all the windows and porches and rooftops look like they’re miniature tropical jungles that are just about ready to explode onto the sidewalk. And I love how many trees there are in the city (take a look at Ren Ai Road and Tun Hua Road), as compared to most of the other major Asian cities: Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Jakarta.

I can’t say enough about the [Chinese] food. Gastronomic bliss on a pauper’s penny.

I love that even the rudest person in Taiwan is about 1/2 as rude as the least rude person in Mainland China.

I love that Taipei is a real city, not like the fake wannabes like Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, or even Seattle and Los Angeles. People live where they work, work where they shop, shop where they go to school, go to school where they eat. I don’t HAVE to drive an hour to get home (though I know that there are those here who chose to - I’m just saying that I don’t HAVE to).

I love the generosity of the people I’ve met in Taiwan. I’ve known people who have (1) helped me get a plane ticket during a major holiday and didn’t even ask to be reimbursed, (2) helped me translate all sorts of confusing documents when I couldn’t read Chinese, (3) taken me to neat, out of the way places in Taiwan that I would never be able to reach on my own, (4) offered me their time, money, home when I have so little to give in return.

I love that things always seem to be changing for the better here: despite what people say, this city is getting prettier by the day. Take a look at: Ta-An Park, the park by the Formosa on Lin Sen North Road, the Far Eastern building, the Hong Kuo building, the Fu Bon building on Ren Ai, the China Securities building across from Warners.

I could go on forever, but this is a GRRRRREAT Place!

Seems like we are really fooling ourselves but okay, what the hey.

I LIKE the great reflexology places that cure all your ails in 30 minutes of pain, I like the fact that MacDonalds has its menu in English (just not taking it for granted), I LOVE the Shabu Shabu joints along my street.

But then again, I don’t think I’d miss them when I leave.

hm, where do i start?!
I love the fact that everything is within walking distance; that MRT stations, 7-11, and McDonald’s are everywhere I go; that I could walk at anytime at night without really worrying.

I love the niu rou mian or liang mian at Shida lu.

One of my fondest memories about Taiwan is walking down Yung Gang Jie and sitting down at the bench in the park,enjoying the warm sun in winter while watching the kids playing there. and of course, I could always stop by to grab some chao mei chua bing…

I miss Taipei…

I love that there are no tourists here.

I love hot “Do Hua” in the winter and cold “Do Hua” in the summer.

Hong Kong is a shopping mall. Taipei is a real city.

I love the National Concert Hall. There are very few halls in Asia that can compare.

I love driving my scooter up to Chingtian Gang at the top of Yangmingshan on an uncrowded weekday, and drinking wine while overlooking all of Taipei.

I love that Taiwanese don’t overcharge me because I’m a foreigner.

I love my rooftop apartment with all its plants. I feel like I’m in a summer cottage all year round.

I love that all the people in my neighbourhood know me as a neighbour and smile when they see me.

I love that people here don’t buy into the jingoistic, pseudo-nationalistic, foreigners-hate-us, and don’t-we-make-lovely-victims bullsh*t that seems to be so prevalent in China.

And finally…Taiwan Beer tastes great and has way cool packaging…

To be fair, I’m currently mulling over a list of my pet peeves in Taiwan. I’ve got a few of these too…

Hey, Jolie.

I love the fact that staff speaks Chinese to me at McDonald’s. McDonald’s and 7-11 are two of the few places like that.

Hey, everybody.

I love the puke green color of the trains and buildings and bathrooms. I think it’s cool.

I love traditional Chinese characters everywhere. I love the parks. I don’t live in Taipei, but I absolutely adore the MRT. I hope Taichung gets one someday.

I love the sounds of the Taiwanese language and I hope that there are Taiwanese newspapers and books someday (Hong Kong has Cantonese ones!).

And, once again, I love that omnipresent puke green color!

I love:
traditional Chinese characters
people who are willing to speak Chinese to me
dan dan mien
human beauty that defies logic
tower records
228 park
weird old shops
Shi Men Ding
studying Chinese
cool old people
cool young people
the area by the train station in Taipei
the area by Sogo in Taichung
the MRT
Taipei buses
Gung Du Yuan tea houses
shui jiao, zhen jiao, hun dun mien
cong you bing
ga li chao fan
eslite bookstores
the Net
Department store basement restaurants
Hsin Yi Road
A boring Sunday in Taichung
A boring Sunday in Taipei
Watching TV and studying the characters running along the bottom of the screen

things about keelung that make me hard metaphorically

fried chicken like it ought to be
gsm phones
smokes for 1usd
the earthquakes
fried squid for 1usd
sweet potato fries
cute bug-eyed dogs
green, wonderful hills
properly mean rains

I love how the Taiwanese are curious about foreign languages and cultures. There’s a real interest in the arts, institutions, and customs of other countries.

Because of that, you can watch movies and TV shows in their original languages. You can also meet Taiwanese people who’ve traveled around the world.

This is actually a fantastic environment to study Japanese, which I’m currently doing. I never realized how many restaurant names, store names, and signs are in Japanese! Plus I can watch a ton of TV shows, rent movies, or watch cartoons. And there are a lot of Japanese folks living here.

I also love the fact that there are classes for learning Taiwanese, which I need to start on soon!

I wrote a post on here correcting someone who thought that it was Chen Shui-bian who planned and built Ta-An Park instead of Huang Ta-chou. That post is gone now, as well as my reply. Strange.

Some of my favorite things about Taiwan:
Cicadas, green mountains, streams and, most of all, Taiwanese people.

As a matter of fact, several posts in this thread have mysteriously disappeared. This is just plain nuts. I don’t know what the heck is going on with this board…

I agree, musasa, that IS nuts! especially since I’m supposed to be the only one able to delete anything on this thread (and I know I haven’t)

Seriously, folks, that our forums have been rocked (technically) is no mystery at all. I admit that we (particularly me) have been running real short on resources of late. I’m banking on the next software upgrade (which is due out shortly) to help clear up ORIENTED INTERACTIVE’s recent woes. Please be a bit more patient, and keep reporting bugs and those annoying “blank” pages (write us at info@oriented.org )

Back to the thread.

I love…
barbecuing in Tanshui at night, when you can see the lights on the other side, but can’t see the polluted river…

Hiking in all the beautiful mountains here. (and there are many)

Tou doufu, Tianbula, eateries all over, friendly people.

Shirts with vulgar English sayings (though the person wearing the shirt has no clue) - my favorite… Kaohsiung - a 60 year old couple walking down the street, the woman had a shirt that said, “Deep anal penetration”

The vegetarian buffet behind Sogo.

Riding my scooter.

Eating corn on the cob at the movie theatre.

Using a foreign language every day.

writing home to friends about all the surrealistic things I see.

My landlord’s morning breath.

Making fun of obnoxious foreigners.

I like the low incidence of theft(if you leave your bike light on your bicycle for five hours by accident, it’s still there when you return)
i like the rippled, muscley gym instructors and taking exercise classes with the taiwanese-very motivating!
i like tofu. any kind. even the stinky kind.
i like living in the hub of taipei and only paying US $430 for a two bedroom flat.
(unheard of in San Francisco)
i like tang juangs.
i like how my local pet store will deliver 30 lbs of cat litter to my home on the third floor for a total of $600NT.
i like all the coffee shops.
i like to see the big teenage boys in their little school uniforms.
i like not being inundated by media coverage of the terrorist attacks.
i like whashang arts complex. the coolest place in taipei to take a date (one who likes exploring)
i like putting on shows here because lots of foreigners are itching to perform but wouldn’t dream of it back home.
i like the eccentric people you meet here, generally. (taiwanese and foreign)
i even like the weirdos on this forum and think it’d be classic if gus and christina would arrange an Oriented ‘gathering’ so we could meet one another and ‘come out’.

things i don’t like, but have learned to live with: not being able to find shoes in my size very easily, not being able to find Miss Clairol Light Ash Blonde haircolour, not having my own car, no multiethnic culture (per se), no good selection of breakfast cereals, no plain yogurt, the taxi drivers, immoral and unskilled western medical practitioners (my experience), crowds everywhere on sundays…

Without a question, my favorite thing about Taiwan is the cycling around Yangmingshan. If you have any desire whatsoever to ride, get out and do it!

If you’d like to receive a weekly (or so) e-mail of rides departing from the Tien Mu area of Taipei, just send me an e-mail (obrien@alumni.williams.edu). Fast, slow, off-road, road, whatever. Personal preference is fast on the road, but the e-mail list includes all types of riders…

Hey Ozusa,

What are you doing in TW? I’m class of '96 from Williams.

I like the KTVs and Mo mo cha in Taiwan.

Hello BAH.

Teaching mathematics. Send me an e-mail if you’d like to chat.

-Class of '94 (JA for class of '96)

Ozusa and BAH -

I don’t know where Yangmingshan is yet since I’m still in San Francisco. But I’ll be arriving in Taipei on Nov. 2 and a bike is shortly after a job on my list of things to find. Ozusa, please do add me to that email list, I’d love to do some biking, hopefully soon.

-Jonathan Plowman, Williams '00
who knew.

and these are a few of my favourite things…
Hello kitty girls
Illogical road logic
Swan la tang in a road side cafe
The east coast
A highly trained and professional police force
Dodgy deals
Pouting lips and knicker lines
Early morning shouting practice