Why is it so hard to leave Taiwan?


You’re in Taipei, right? Just watch out! : P



I hear she’s waiting for a socialist handout from the Feds to tide her over.


But then why bother. For long trips bus and train takes you everywhere. The car just sits around rotting until you finally use it . Especially if you then are still using ubers and taxi everywhere.
For a family I get it. Single people it’s a money pit, imho.


Yeah, it makes less sense if single. But, if you got dogs as I do you need a car if you wish to take them with you.

Also, public transport can suck to some remote locations.

But you are right, it’s a money pit. I been to tw for a year now and I think I used the car perhaps 30 times.

The parking spot we own so there is not rent on it though, but I guess we could always rent it out


Driving/parking difficulty level in Taipei is pretty high. I don’t consider myself skilled enough to drive here, at least not yet. You really have to know the dimensions of your vehicle, even if you have one of those handy rear view cameras. And you have to have a good understanding of how everyone on the road is in the habit of maneuvering. It’s definitely not the same as driving in America.

As a family friend of ours puts it, “Most of the drivers you see in Taipei are pretty good, because all the bad ones are dead.”


…or they moved to Kaohsiung :grin:


Driving is preferable for me once you understand the rules.

Blue trucks>Nice cars>Normal cars> pedestrians

I feel much more safe about other drivers here. Lots of low confidence drivers in the US that couldn’t even Park here are just given a DL in the US.


You are referring to Malaysia, right? : P



No way. Malaysians don’t even know what side of the road to drive on.


Apologies for the late reply to my original post. I’ve had a serious infection and been bedridden for three days. And to think that I paid for a flu jab this year. That clearly didn’t work!

This experience also got my thinking about my post on here. Here in Taiwan I have the support of my wife’s extended family and a great hospital system. When I had to go to hospital on Sunday evening my MIL was straight over to take our boy back to hers and I was in a taxi with my wife going to the hospital. The taxi and hospital care was cheap, quick and efficient. This is a support network that we would not enjoy if we had to move to a random place in the UK away from my family in rural Yorkshire.

Yup. It seems to me that companies in Taiwan don’t really invest in their employees regarding their development. Especially not their foreign ones who are on a higher hourly salary! It always strikes me when I hear family members back in the UK talk about how they are going on courses and weekend training sessions etc, whereas if I wanted to obtain these skills I would have to search for courses myself and then pay for them myself. Has anyone ever thought that this could be why buxibans are so prevalent here? After all, they’re not all for kids.

What are some upgrades that foreign English teachers can make here? I already have a CELTA (I know that the British Council is starting to offer the Trinity qualification but that’s on a similar level to CELTA and all the way up in Taipei).

Could you expand on this at all? Without meaning to pry, that is.

I’m trying but keep getting rejected. I don’t know if it’s because I state my currently location as Taiwan and they are looking for someone with boots on the ground or if it’s an issue with my skill set.

I have tried on and off to get into translation here. I’ve created a wonderful home office, bought all the equipment/software and read some really informative books, but Taiwanese clients only offer me 2NT per character and Western agencies won’t touch me as I’m based in Taiwan and don’t have any qualifications. If money were no object I would love to go back to the UK and do a Masters in Translation to really get the skill down pat. I don’t see that happening anytime soon though.

I’m in a similar boat. I can’t say that I’ve had many days in Taiwan where I have found myself thinking “God, I wish I was in England right now”. Each year when I go back the UK just feels a bit meh. But that “meh” also has a homely tinge to it.

My research looking at job postings shows that it may even pay less than Taiwan. Some ESL jobs in expensive cities like Brighton only offer £13 an hour (approximately NT$521). :hushed:

I would love to do something with my Chinese language skills. However I’ve already discovered that Chinese language on it’s own is not enough. You need other skills to pair with it.

I have all of those. And I can Top Trump you because my wife’s job as a substitute teacher is even less stable whilst the scheduling is even more hectic. How much are you paying for childcare in Kaohsiung? We currently pay $7k for _Yo-yo ban_with an additional $18k worth of fees every 6 months.

Very good advice. I also find that foreign English teachers have more free time than your average Taiwanese wage slave, and I’ve met some really nice people who put all of that extra time into creative things such as music and art. I’m not really the creative type though.

I live in Kaohsiung. One example I would state is the local government tax that I’ve just had to pay for my house. My wife and I each got a bill for approx 500 NT. That’s a total of 1,000 NT for the year. In the UK average Council Tax bills are approx £1,000 a year. I know what you mean about quality though. You get what you pay for.

The external pressure is actually coming from my wife ATM. It’s a strange situation but I’m actually more positive about Taiwan than she is right now – and she’s from Taiwan. I think everyone looks down on their own country though, don’t they? Is there a term for that?

I am always thinking about my son though. It would be much easier for him if we left now when he is two year’s old instead of when he is eight or even twelve year’s old.

I’m going to say yes. It’s mid November and I can still go down to the shops here in Kaohsiung on my bicycle wearing just shorts and a t-shirt. Now air pollution is another matter.

You’re lucky to have those opportunities afforded to you. If we moved back to the UK we would only be able to return perhaps once every couple of years to see my wife’s family.

I’m also hearing the same things. £500k for a two-bed flat anyone? But there are so many more opportunities in the capital.

As I wrote before, my wife has told me that she would be happy either way. She just wants me to make a decision and then see it through instead of always umming and ahhring.

I know. I’ve just bought a new phone!


You won’t find any city on earth where rent is cheap compared to salaries, it’s usually expensive, outrageously expensive, or I-don’t-know-why-people-aren’t-rioting expensive. Taipei belongs to the first group at most.

It is true that certain things are quite expensive in Taiwan (like dairy product or certain electronics), but you need to take into account how much you spend on those monthly in relation to truly consistent (how many gallons of milk can a person drink anyway?), large expenses like transportation (which is awfully expensive in many places) and especially rent.

I can guarantee you that it’s far worse in Britain. Especially in London. Salary is the same as in Canada but rent is twice or 3 times as much. There’s a reason why some people are paying rent with sex.
Besides, in which other city will “eating out every day” not bankrupt you?


Isn’t that normal? If your lifestyle is carefree of course you wouldn’t save any shit. If you keep an eye on your expense you would be able to save in Taiwan as well. In London if you live close to work in the centre, eat out every day, and take a cab whenver you feel like it … well you won’t even be able to do that with the “average” professional salary in the city since the rent alone is like exactly that number, or even more. You’d need 70k or perhaps find a sugar daddy who works for a big bank.


Every city in Taiwan?


I don’t feel like qualifications are the be all end all. Getting into higher paying gigs like examining, teacher training etc are arguably going to be more lucrative.

However, a DELTA/equivalent would help. I don’t there is currently a DELTA trainer in Taiwan, so some travel would be required. Next step up would be a Master’s.


Well you are too subjective. Maybe you should try harder and generate more income, so can improve your life in London?

I find harder to save money in Taiwan, cause quality cost. Sure you can live cheap as dirt rat, and save everywhere. Can eat cheap noodles, can skip breakfast like many do, rent room square without proper kitchen, can ride scooter instead of MRT and so on…

But when eating calories rich food 6 times a day and try to mix a bit with foreign food, you will go bankrupt soon in Taiwan. Some of us want life quality too.

In London i can get cheap indian, palestine, turkish, chinese, japanese you named it X food and still reach my calories goals. Meals are just bigger, more nutritious. And there is much more choices indeed.

All that noise about Taiwanese food being great & cheap is just a myth. Ofc we do not want to lose face and break glass heart of our Taiwanese friends … no one will honestly admit it.

Personally i prefer Taipei over London anytime of day. But this is me, i love coffee scene, U bikes, riding scooter in Taipei. But saying London has lower life quality and lower purchasing. Not sure if you being seriously here…

“Local Purchasing Power in London is 77.58% higher than in Taipei” save us time and google it.


The only stats I can find (from wkipedia, which may or may not be dubious) is 65000 USD in Taipei and 62000 USD in London.


That’s thoroughly laughable. You can’t get cheap quality any of this food in London. Most cheap places serve garbage food.

That’s from numbeo and it’s crowdsourced, aka bullshit. The figures change every few months as their contribution is a load of bull. According to numbeo Taipei’s average salary is 36k per month, which is retarded when the national average salary is like 51k or something, in Taipei it should be at least 20% higher than average.

The official British statistics reflects the reality: London’s purchasing power is tragic and the cost of living is extremely skewed to the top 1% earners. Ask any Londoner, they will tell you the same. If you earn 22k in Taipei it would be tough, if you earn 1000 pounds in London (their minimum wage) you would die on the street. If you earn 45k in Taipei it would be ok (not great), if you earn 2000 pounds in London (twice the minimum wage and higher than national average) it’d be like living on 22k in Taipei, aka you’d live in zone 5 and be miserable. It’s that simple.

It’s likely from IMF and according to IMF Taiwan’s purchasing power is higher than UK’s by quite a bit.


Are we all clear that having a higher purchasing power is a bad thing - at least from the consumer’s perspective?


The average Taiwan salary is not 51k/mth, bollocks.


Except it is?