Why does Taiwan have so many weird foreigners?

I might get flack for this, but I feel that Taiwan has more than its fair share of weird foreigners. I have met many cool foreigners here but I have many that are very weird. From extremely obnoxious to just straight up odd balls. They seem to make up a much higher percentage here than back home.

What do you guys think? Am I correct? And if so, why are there so many here? Also, do you think Taiwan makes us all a bit weird over time.


There’s a lot of weird people everywhere I feel like. Maybe weird is not the best way to put it. But more socially awkward and not with the mainstream crowd might be the better way to put it.

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It’s a math thing. :wink:

I guess one contributing factor maybe it takes a certain type of person to leave the comfort of their own country with their culture, language, etc willingly. So maybe many of the people here were all that connected to their own culture and with their own countiy anyways because they’re just people that are outside what most people call the norm. So why not come to a different place.


Search Forumosa for weird, strange, odd, loser foreigners, it seems like a never-ending reading list.

Taiwan is a middle-ground for people who can’t make it somewhere better or worse in Asia.

Other countries in Asia also have weird foreigners, and those other countries have a higher percentage of “non-weird” to offset the noticeability of the weird ones. Taiwan doesn’t have a high percentage of non-weird foreigners.

Does that sound weird?


I’ve seen ‘weirder’ foreigners in other places in Asia than Taiwan.


Lots of wierd foreigners in the Philippines. As in middle aged pedophiles.




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Yeah, this was the first thing I noticed after moving to Taiwan. I’d especially advise against these online meetups that get posted every now and then. They’re the annual international weirdo convention.

If you’re willing to move to a totally different country, you’re already probably a little weird. And then if you live here for a while, you’re inevitably going to become somewhat out-of-touch. I haven’t lived in North America in over twenty years now, and when I go back for annual visits I can tell I’m often a little … off. Not freakish (I hope!), just not quite managing eye contact right, not quite following the small talk topics, a bit too enthusiastic about my niche interests and a bit too oblivious about other topics.

I searched the forum a bit because I’m sure this has been a thread before. Didn’t find the specific topic, but did find this, if anyone wants to waste time reading stories that made me feel extraordinarily lucky/unlucky at the merely run-of-the-mill weirdness I’ve run into:


There are both pull and push factors with migration. Foreigners aren’t always coming to Taiwan in their droves because of the lure of the smell of stinky tofu.

IME there used to be more weird foreigners in Taiwan. However, that may be due to me getting older and moving in different circles. One thing that amazed me when I first arrived was the amount of foreigners who were willing to kick off with complete strangers. I’d never experienced that level of aggression before. I’ve seen foreign guys in their 40s or 50s rolling around outside 7-Eleven fighting over some nonsense and they’d only just met. If nothing else it’s really risky because you have no idea who you’re starting a row with. Some people have skills.

Does Taiwan make people odd? Yes, I think it does over time.

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For sure this is a big part of it for me. I no longer see anywhere near as many weird foreigners as I used to. I’m also not in bars at 2am anymore. I suspect the two are correlated. Another factor: I no longer enjoy the truly odd the way I once did, so I probably ease out of some conversations before I realize just how memorable my interlocutor could turn out to be.

Mind you, on “there used to be more”: have a look at the thread I linked to above. Even at my peak “Eh, it’s only 3am, the night is still young!” days I don’t think I encountered people like those - and I guess they’re talking about people from the early 90s, or even earlier.

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Or maybe you also became weird so you don’t notice :grinning:

One of us! One of us!


That’s probably another factor. One becomes much more adept at spotting the odd 'ens early on and giving them a wide birth. They’re only amusing for a very short time. I remember the guy I met just after I arrived who seemed cool, albeit very talkative, and invited me to his place to watch rugby. He turned out to be a meth addict. The TV remote control had been taken apart (he wanted to find out what was inside it) and there was this bizarre shelving all round the apartment that he’d obviously knocked up while high. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

Oh damn, that went from ok seems like a normal story about a normal guy who enjoy rugby to he’s a meth addict reading it.

I thought the file was included in the pedi… :sunglasses:

Holy shit. That’s me. I qualify as a nutter. I’m honored


(sticks finger between lips, twiddling and humming to make funny noise)

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can’t really agree, nor do i think taiwans laowai population is deserving of being shat on.

sure we don’t get the business suit and tie types here like in hong kong and singapore but taiwan isn’t on that level either. most foreigners are english teachers.(and students?) which is better than white monkeys like you get in china. better than sex tourists of south east asia and much better than unwashed back packers. i’d say we were pretty lucky here. i saw a ratty looking backpacker playing nursery rhymes on a recorder in a failed attempt at busking last time i was in hong kong. i’m thankful i’ve never saw such a pathetic sight in taiwan.


Aww that was quite a walk down memory lane. Especially the names. Thanks.