Taiwanese people love to make new friends, and it’s not uncommon for them to approach tourists or expats on a whim just to have a chat. However, this is only really true of those that speak English. As for those that only speak Mandarin or Taiwanese, make any kind of effort at all to engage with them, and they’ll welcome you with open arms.
Stand on a street with a map in hand looking confused, and within a few minutes, you’ll have at least one person offering to help you. What’s more impressive about this is that even those that cannot speak English will still offer some kind of assistance. And if they can’t figure it out then they’ll find someone that can. Spend enough time here, and at some point, you’ll be amazed at the trouble your local friends will go to just to help you out.
Taiwanese people are extremely proud of their island and watching the crowds on Double Ten Day is a pretty amazing experience. This fantastic sense of pride is certainly an endearing quality and could easily put many other parts of the world to shame.
It’s not uncommon to see younger people in Taiwan stop their scooters to help old people cross the street or carry their bags. Taiwanese people understand very well that they must take good care of the older generations and it’s heartwarming to see young people looking out for senior citizens.
In Taiwan, family is everything and respecting your parents and grandparents is a must. Younger generations often listen to the advice of their parents on their careers, finances, and even relationships. For some, family ties are so strong that they spend much of their lives ensuring that their parents or less fortunate relatives live comfortably.
While locals here are often very interested in your personal life, they are in no way judgmental. As far as religion is concerned, they really don’t care which gods you pray too and when it comes to sexuality, they’re not bothered who you hold hands with walking down the street. In fact, they are so accepting that the government recently decided to amend the constitution so that same-sex marriage will become legal. A move prompted not only by a high court ruling but also public opinion on the matter.
Taiwanese people love to play host and will go out of their way to make sure that you are enjoying yourself. If you’re in a restaurant and this means ordering everything on the menu, no problem. And if you’re invited for a meal in their home, there will be enough food to feed an army. Be careful though; if you finish all that food, they will feel like terrible hosts and think that they didn’t prepare enough. Eat your fill but don’t finish everything on the table.
Taiwan is a small region with a huge population, and so they learned very quickly that the best way to maintain reasonably clean streets is to recycle as much waste as possible. Food waste goes to pig farms while all reusable trash goes to the recycling plants. It’s a great system that everyone on the island is on board with.
There’s no doubt that Taiwanese people are hard workers and often a nine-to-five job is more like nine-to-eight and sometimes weekend shifts too. But when they do have free time they love to have fun. Generally speaking, they don’t spend too much time in bars, preferring to eat and drink in local restaurants before moving on to a KTV place or another all-night restaurant. Go for a night out with local friends, and you’ll have an unforgettable experience.
There are many stories of tourists and expats who had lost their wallets and given up all hope of ever finding them again only to discover that they were handed in at a local police station cash and all. Local people are simply that honest. Leave your keys in the front door and go on holiday, the chances are that when you get back, they’ll be where you left them. For many expats and visitors to Taiwan, such honesty from the people around them is a refreshing change.
Taiwanese people love new experiences, and this is particularly true when it comes to food. Offer your local friend anything to eat, and they’ll have a bite. It’s probably how many of them realized that stinky tofu tastes better than it smells, they just gave it a try. They are usually up for anything and if you suggest an activity they’re usually quite eager to get involved, especially if they haven’t done it before.