Our list of 8 Things we love and hate about Taiwan showcases what we really learned from our 1 month stay in this small, but loveable country. For us, the best things that Taiwan has to offer are food and nature; honestly, the majority of our 1 month trip was spent eating and hiking. But of course, there are always things that one can find to complain about! Keep reading to see the 8 Things we love and hate about Taiwan.
Disclosure: Please note that this list is based 100% on our personal experience and our points of view, and none of it has been fact-checked. This was just a fun activity for us to do and a way for us to remember our time in Taiwan.
Things We Love
1 Food: cheap, delicious, lots of variety
Taiwan is a foodie paradise. The Taiwanese really know how to cook, make drinks and create new dishes. And to top it all off, it’s cheap! There are so many food options for under 100 TWD ($3.30 USD).
The Taiwanese are friendly, genuinely friendly. We don’t believe that they were nice to us just because we were foreigners (maybe that made them a little bit extra friendly), but from what we’ve seen they are just honestly nice, friendly people. They are also very hospitable. We did couchsurfing the entire month we were there and all of our hosts were welcoming, gracious, and kind.
3 There’s always a place open to get food
Since Taiwanese food is so good and so cheap, you’re going to want to eat it at all hours of the day, and since shops and restaurants are open at literally all hours, you can! It’s common for some shops to open at night and serve dinner, then stay open through the night and start serving breakfast in the morning.
4 Nature: always can find hiking nearby
Since Taiwan is an island with many mountains, there are endless hiking and nature options. Looking back, we actually were able to enjoy an outdoor activity near every city we traveled too. Whether it was hiking, riding a bike along the coast, or going to the beach, we were always able to get our nature fix. This is great because that means there are tons of free activities to do!
5 Taiwan Pass
This card is the best! It’s extremely convenient and you get a discount at some places for using it! With this one card, you can get onto the bus, metro, train, and some ferries. Furthermore, there are some tourist sites that accept this card for entry payment. We wish that every country had a Taiwan pass.
Things We Hate
1 Scooter traffic
Too many scooters and not enough parking. When the cities of Taiwan were being built, they clearly weren’t thinking about sidewalks or parking. It’s really annoying that the scooters park on the sidewalk (which most of the time isn’t a proper sidewalk), which forces pedestrians to have to walk on the street. Also, scooter drivers like to think that they can just drive where they want, so sometimes at the super packed night markets you have someone trying to get through these hordes of people on a scooter. Plus, they don’t seem to be too conscientious of pedestrians walking on the road. It would be interesting to know the stats for how many scooter accidents there are in Taiwan on a daily basis.
2 Use too much plastic and takeout containers
I sure hope that Taiwan has a damn good trash and recycling system because the Taiwanese like to use take out containers like it’s going out of style. Many Taiwanese eat out at least once a day, and lots of the time it’s take out. Anytime they get a tea (which is very often), it’s always served in a plastic cup served with a straw. It’s a shame that the reusable water bottle trend hasn’t caught on yet.
3 Cram school
How would you feel about going to school from 7:30 to 16:00/16:30, then from 16:00 – 20:00/21:00 going to another school. Sounds pretty crappy, right? We think so too. Cram schools are after school schools that children go to while their parents finish work. There are different types of cram schools: English, math, sports, etc., and they can be quite pricey. We personally don’t like the idea of cram schools and think that kids in Taiwan need to spend more time being kids, instead of getting into this unhealthy work/life balance that seems to be promoted in Taiwan.
If you liked this post, make sure to read our list of 10 Things That Surprised Us About Taiwan.