Things I Hate About Taiwan

By   October 19, 2014

Warning: this is based on my personal experience, haters gonna hate.

1/Extreme Pollution

Sunset through pollution, no filter, this is the real colours

When friends already in Taiwan, told me it was very polluted, my first thought was “yeah, every city is”.

Thing is : Taiwan’s pollution level is beyond crazy.
It impossible to breathe and I come from a very big industrial city with nuclear plants (I am against nuclear plants !).
In Taiwan I always had sore throat and headache all day long because of pollution.

There’s not place where you can breathe well, the cities smell like a giant open sewer, even at the shore, the smell is repulsive and very dangerous for your health.

pucefix01

2/Millions and millions of scooters!!! Extremely dangerous roads and streets

There are too many scooters and they all drive fast and very dangerously, it’s just unbelievable how they don’t care about their life and others. I’ve never seen such inconsiderate people driving. And I witnessed countless accident there.

Taiwanese people never walks, you can see many of them ride de scooters just for some meters. It’s the culture: you have to show you have money: walking is for poor people.

There is no such things as sidewalk anayway! It almost doesn’t exist there Streets are horrid and dangerous! It’s very stressful to walk arround!

Also, the bus line is very unreliable, inconvenient, never on time.
(Except if you live in Taipei, MRT is very convenient and quite clean).

People here are mostly friendly, but once in the streets, they all drive as if they want to kill you, kill YOU personaly, for real, yeah.

I’ve seen more accident in some months in Taiwan than in all my live in Europe. Nobody respects roads signs, roads light, etc, they all drive way too fast and way to agressive, on the wrong side, crashing into pietons, etc
When they have accident, they’ll say it “bad luck”, not because of extreme stupidy and recklessness!

Traffic accidents is the first cause of the mortality in Taiwan, yet gov does nothing about it.

People are so rude and selfish when they drive here, that’s crazy!
I’ve never been so scary to cross a street in my all life, when I was in Taiwan.

In crowded place, life seems to have no value.
insane scooter taiwan

Gif taken here : This is insane and very common in Taiwan.

pucefix01

3/Deranged Work culture and No efficiency

Asian are used to work long hours and maybe because of exhaustion, no one is able to do the most simple work properly. The level of unefficiency and unskillfulness is incredible. Workers are just physically there, but not mentally there. They are at work but don’t really work, just pretend to.

This lack of efficiency can partly be explained:
Children after school go to cram school, until very ate at night!

There was a cram school in my street and I could hear 5-8 years old kids repeating english sentences over and over again until 23H-Midnight! They are completly exhausted at a very young age and this seriously damage their brain development and health.

They don’t have a real childhood, they don’t have “a life” :
It’s only work/study and obey the rules/their parents/their boss – no matter how stupid the orders are, they would never question it.

They usually have incredible lack in general culture and absolutely NO life experience.

That’s espacially obvious when you talk to them, because they have no depth in conversation. It’s only small-talks and empty words.
They “live” through Facebook: but they don’t have real chat with real friends and don’t live in the real life. That’s scary.
I was always under the impression, nobody was real. As is really alive.

I was always dismayed : no matter how old your interlocutor is , it was like talking to a 4 years old brat.
They also always giggle. For no reason. Anyway, they don’t have much to say.

They are good at learning by heart, but not at thinking.

That’s also why there are so few bar, coffee, clubs, because nobody goes out to talk with friends. I found it nearly impossible to make friends, because no one has nothing to say, and people there don’t care about others anyway…

Personal opinion is not tolerated especially constructive criticisms, most of them are unable to say: “I don’t like this because of”…

Appaling.
pucefix01

4/Ugly Cities : Taiwan is expensive for what you get

Cities are ugly WITH ADS EVERYWHERE !

Maybe it’s because of earthquake and typhoon, but city are not sighseeing at all. They’re wayyyy too crowded, noisy, ugly, dirty, grey, polluted, weather is too humid and make everything worse.
It’s always noisy with crazy people shouting everywhere:
There’s no respect for the peace and tranquility of silence.

All temples are alike, flats and official construction are dirty and monstruous.
Cities smell really bad all the time : it’s like beeing in giant open sewer.
In fact, not only cities has no planned urbanisation but also don’t have proper sanitarian equipement, such as, yeah, a real sewerage steady enough for the size of the city.

Taiwan may have look nice once, but now the island is ugly, filthy, polluted.

Typical

Typical taiwanese street!

There are No beaches!

This is an island people, an ISLAND!!! And yet no decent beaches: Kenting is overrated and Tamsui is dirty and ugly as hell ! Maybe try the East coast, but once again: this is a island!

No matter what travel “experts” want you to believe : Taiwan has NO tropical beaches.

I was also shocked by the fact that nobody in Taiwan knows how to swim!

Also, there is not such thing as personal space: everyone is violently bumping into each other EVEN if they can avoid it. This is really rude, unconsiderate and stupid!
pucefix01

5/NO hygiene / Disgusting food

Hygiene is totally non-existent. Either in food or housing stuff, everything is dirty, hazardous, full of insects. Every cities smells like giant swamp.

At buying: everything has and indivudual package, therefore package are too numerous! You end having huge bags of garbage even if you almost never eat at home.

There is no garbage disposal: you have to wait for the garbage truck and put your trash in it!
The stupid truck plays “Fur Elise” 10 times a day, EVERY DAY AND NIGHT!!! In the middle of the night!
I originally hated the song, but this is just nightmarish.
I’m gonna kill whoever play it again.

Also, why do I always read that Taiwanese food is awesome???? From the foreigners I’d meet there, all hated it.

Impossible to find a place where they can provide good coffee or anything good with a normal size portion (instead of ridiculously small and untasty) .
Fruits, Veggies and milk are over priced! And so hard to find! So few assortment, very poor selection.

In restaurant you cannot custom your food even a simple request (for example: if you don’t want garlic), because everything is pre-made… Almost no real restaurants can’t be find. For me : a place where staff is not able to cook real food, has no right to be called a restaurant!

It’s boiled, tasteless, greasy, dirty, junk food full of garlic! They eat hot food and have hot drink even if it’s 50°C outside!

Horrible.

As a matter of fact, many shirts has a stupid inscription on it, people are mostly not aware of the meaning.

As a matter of fact, many shirts has a stupid inscription on it, people are mostly not aware of the meaning.

6/NO taste in Fashion, Music, Art or Whatsoever : Expensive and ugly goods

I don’t know who the hell said Taiwan was cheap!
Because actually Taiwan is very pricey for what you have.

Impossible to find nice stylish clothes, qualities accessories no matter how high the price is. Everything has to be cute (=ridiculously childish) and dreadful.

Clothes and accessories are ugly and overpriced, but it doesn’t matter since sellers are following you everywhere in the store and creep the hell out of you, because your wetern and been western means for them that you are loaded with money.

In Taiwan everyone is not only the same but thinks the same, there’s very few variety in everything: people, fashion, arts, music, thoughts, etc.

Taiwaneses want to buy something that looks expensive, not something looking beautiful.
The choice is : either very bad quality repelling clothes (still expensive for what you get) OR very luxurious gaudy and hideous brands.
Nothing’s in the middle!


Typical taiwanese stores

Rentals seems quite cheap but they are not convenient: dirty, with no kitchen, no real shower/bathtubes, with coarcraches, and mosquitos…

Shops are open until very late 12pm, not so nice for the employees though.
Taiwan is ugly and expensive for what you get.

That’s very unsafe place too: there’s a lot of earthquake, typhoon, and Kaohsiung’s streets explose now and then.

One other thing: the way you are stared with a shocking face and taken in picture against your will, just because you are foreigner, this happens ALWAYS, it’s annoying, uncomfortable, rude, disturbing.

pucefix01
7/Bad quality in education

I would not advice to study here, except for exchange program so you can visit Taiwan and learn some chinese and you prefer not to go to China.

Students in Taiwan sleep, eat in class, are noisy and lazy. I couldn’t understand how teachers were hired! They have no skill and won’t teach you anything relevant (but I think it’s because they are poorly paid).
Diplomas are all faked. Nobody cares about knowledge and skills.

During their childhood, Taiwanese have to go to cram school until very late, when they arrive at the university, they just pay for the diploma, not to actually learn something useful.
That’s very sad and disturbing…

For degree seeking foreigner students, the visa cost and diploma translation are extremely high and absolutely not worthing it, since once in Taiwan, you may probably end up in a mill degree worthing zero.

When a someone is wrong (teacher or student) nobody correct him/her, because of the stupid “saving face”. How can you improve then, if you’re endlessly stuck with your mistakes???

You cannot speak you mind or do any constructive critics since it’s perceive as disrespectful (no matter how right you are), everything here is stuck with no perspective of evolution. Universities are no places for knowledge and thinking: this “losing face” culture is phony and hypocrite.

If you work here as english teacher: prepare for very long hours, low salary, no freedom of thinking and no being allowed to take initiatives, no holidays, etc.

As stranger you will always have a one year contract, even if you stay 120 years here, you will not be allowed to contribute for retirement (but you’ll have to pay taxes, yes!).
pucefix01

Miss Korea contestants in one gif

Miss Korea contestants in one gif

8/ Taiwanese ridiculous obsession for appearances and marriage

Plastic surgery companies advertise everywhere in the street, with no such good result:
Beautiful South Korean reporter ruins her face with brutal plastic surgery.

They also want to erase their asian feature, which is really weird. I have never meet people such ashamed of their own racial feature, at that level, it’s insane!

They have this kind of ridiculous obsession and idealization for white western people (because they think we all are so wealthy) and want to EXACT same face as famous people.

Plastic surgeons make a lot of money, they earn way more than regular surgeons and doctor (who earn miserable wages in Taiwan while curing people), mostly because they massively operate (at high risk for their patients), but yeah, they make crazy ton of money, that’s why this career is so valorized, that’s all that matters there.

In Taiwan people don’t want to love and be loved in return. Women want a rich husband and men are looking for a plastic doll with european features and look. Do they know “love”?

For instance men’s criteria are NOT looking for someone nice, caring, loving, etc. They are looking for “plastic faces” : big eyes, pointy chin, very white skin, etc – only physical criteria!

There’s no love involved in that search and that’s sad.

It’s not uncommon than people in their late 30’s never date anyone. They are also very awkward in trying to get in relationship with someone, they act like brats (mostly spoiled and mostly clueless).

At the university, sometimes, taiwaneses students came to me and asked me if I wanted to be their friends, I said yes – thinking that we would talk about stuff we like/don’t like, walk arround, visit the city together. They responded “ok” and immediatly left.
Never more heard of them… Do people actually know that it takes time to create links, friendship and so on???
What the hell was that?

Also, I’ve heard every day, love stories between foreign and taiwanese with no happy ending (to sum up the foreign has been rip off all his money – usually a guy foreigner).
I was also shocked by the crazy amount of wedding companies everywhere in the streets, in huuuuuge buildings: this is a serious business in Taiwan.

They’re also obsessed by getting around strangers and take millions of pictures of any foreigner with them, because taiwanese think it will make them look so cool (and not because they actually like you). So basically, they’ll take picture of you without asking you first and post them on facebook, to brag about their foreigner “friend”… Never talk to you again. So nice to be used….

There were this one time when I went to a drink with 2 taiwaneses of the university, I didn’t want to have my picture taken, but they still did, posted it on Fb, and just one second after they left…
I was no use anymore!

Relashionships are very superficial and shallow. It’s all about taking pictures and bragging about it in Facebook. I had to unfollow some taiwanese, because they were posting hundred time EVERY day!!!
(not exaggerating)

In Taiwan, everyone is not only looking the same, but thinks the same. There’s very few variety in everything: people, arts, music, thoughts, etc. All si so uniformised and hollow.

pucefix01
However there are few things still better than where I come from. Every country has its pros and cons and because I am trying to be fair and objective in my posts.
Please, take in count that I am not, one of those companies who are trying to sell travels and stuff and would lie about how great a country is. That’s personal experience on a blog.

But anyway, here are some few things I liked:

Taichung Skyline

Taichung Skyline

1/No street harassment (or sort of)

Nobody harasses you in the street (except for the weird way they act near foreigner), you can go home at any hour of the night and nothing will happen to you – just be careful at crossing streets (that would be really awesome if only nightlife was great).
You can also dress the way you want (from awkward to “provocative” from what I’ve seen in Taiwan), nobody judge this (because nobody cares), and you will have no trouble, no matter how you are dressed.

And this is really really great (the safety, not the fashion sense).

They just behave really weirdly with “white” people and take pictures of you without asking… I was annoyed by that, as it’s super rude.
(There are very few foreigner in Taiwan)

2/No/very few insecurity (except in the road because of crazy drivers)

There’s no burglary, no assault and others.
Yet Taiwaneses thinks Taiwan is “dangerous”, but that’s only because few of them go abroad (no matter if they can afford a travel or not).

3/Easy to launch a business (no matter where, no matter what, no matter how)

This option is much better than working as employee in Taiwan, you can start your business swift and easy because of the few (the lack of) laws and plain regulation for it.
Not so good for consumers, though, because it also means few regulations and few consummer protection.

4/ People are friendly (except when they drive, because then, they want to kill you)
They are always (too) curious about strangers and will ask you where you come from, what you are doing here, etc
They are also always willing to help (even if they cannot, they’ll try anyway, even if they make you lose your time…).

Also, public transports are free for small distance, and you usually pay proportionally to the distance, whitch is I think it’s a good idea. However bus are always crowded and drivers most of the time, drive like crazy and I was always wondering if I might die in this bus..

Taipei and Kaohsiung MRT were so clean and looking great! Taiwaneses told me, it was so because it was made for tourist and wealthy people. Must be true, because there always was very few people using it.

More:

Dark side of taiwan.
Things I hate about Taiwan.

66 Comments on “Things I Hate About Taiwan

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  11. nonredneck

    This is completely accurate. I live in Taiwan and what you said is 100% accurate.

    1. Strategical Blog Post author

      Thank you Nonredneck. : )

      Comments went a bit crazy in the french version.

      Anyway, I think this kind of society is so sad.

  12. Taiwan Truth

    You are right. Most beaches are polluted. The western culture is influencing the food culture, so people are eating steaks and that is not good for your health. Taiwan is a beautiful culture. The pollution is really bad and gets in the way when you try to appreciate the landscape. Let me add other pertaining information. The article link brings up the issue of “American hype”. A lot of Asian women have the pressure to live the “American hype” lifestyle. You see them wearing those spike heels in the mercilless Taiwan heat. They are conditioned to believe that they are inferior, so they have a complex, unfortunately. I have a very pretty Taiwanese friend. She is naturally pretty, although she is not 20 anymore and has a daughter who is close to 18. She does not believe that she is pretty, though. Some young Taiwanese girls are aggressive to westerners because they are conditioned to be like westerners and feel they have to take it out on someone. Although there are some good Taiwanes movies, some movies show women saying “Fo… You” to their husbands, an example of “conditioning. I noticed a young boy who had an attitude, and I also noticed that he had just finished a McDonald’s meal. McDonald’s food may change your mood because it is not healthy.Taiwan should be the envy of many countries, including the US. Their train system, and their Tapei main station put New York’s Grand Central Station to shame! http://objectivetruthaboutharrisho.blogspot.tw/2016/04/harris-ho-is-selling-american-hype.html

    1. Strategical Blog Post author

      Hi, thank you for your post, your blog about english teaching is very interesting.

      Back then, some random english school offered me a teaching job, but the pay was too lown and the condition very anti-freedom, so I declined : D

      I think few people can unverstand what is like to live there, also the obsession of the “western type” and all superficial things going arround.

  13. Marie

    I’ve lived there for 4 years and Taiwan is amongst the coolest countries I’ve ever been to (and I’ve traveled a lot).
    I do not share the same opinions: first, we can find broad varieties of culinary, i’ve never heard foreign people complaining about food there. The price range varies from 2usd to 200usd with plenty of options between. Street food has worst hygiene but still acceptable, while restaurants (especially chain stores) are really clean. Actually there is an infinity of teashops, clubs and places to relax, especially in Taipei. I admit i don’t really like typical traditional taiwanese cuisine, but rather than saying “the food is disgusting”, i’d have said I simply have different taste…
    Second, you wrote nobody knows to swim, and nobody walks either. This is obviously untrue. In the contrary, I don’t know a single person from Taiwan who doesn’t know to swim, and even if the country is loaded with scooters everywhere, it is not to show off. Actually scooters are cheap there.
    In comparison to some other countries I’ve lived in (e.g. France or Belgium), Taiwan is relatively cheap, and much more convenient (thanks to the hard working people), services are excellent. While cow milk is expensive as you said, soy milk is like 5 to 10 times cheaper. I don’t know which veggies or fruits you’re talking about but watermelons, lychees, mangos, ananas, dragon fruits, guavas etc etc are really delicious and cheap. And the same goes for seafoods!
    Even if Taipei is moderately polluted (I use “moderately” because I’ve seen worse), the streets are in average clean- it’s less likely to see dog feces or cigarettes on the ground compared to other capitals, and the metro stations are undoubtedly the cleanest I’ve seen so far. Finally Taiwan does have beautiful beaches, stunning mountains and pristine lakes. I regret not having spent enough time traveling there and I’m looking forward to get back soon.

    1. Dewy

      Taiwan is shit I lived there a year and was bored shitless and the food is vile all fried shit tepid noodles 7-11 junk and disgusting soup with pieces of fat and gristle floating in iteverything is loaded with sugar too

    1. Dewy

      There weren’t any its piss boring and the beaches were shit Taipei is overpriced and the people there are rude twats Thailand is Miles better

  14. Dewy

    I worked here and found the country crap the wages low and the food shit the people are weird also would not go back was very boring aswell Thailand is much better Taiwan is crap.

  15. JJ

    While some comments are true, I would not dismiss the country as a whole.

    I’ve worked and lived in Beijing for 7+ years and, believe me, Taipei is a much easier place to live in if you choose to work there for a few years. While the wages are lower compared to big cities like Beijing in China, the cost of living is also more reasonable. Choices of housing vary widely depending on where you choose to work/live. A modest apartment of 300 sq. ft costs about $500/mo. in the outskirts of Taipei, while the same (much cleaner/newer with furnishing) will set you back over $1500/mo. Street foods are cheap ($2 gets you a heart portion of fried rice) but big name restaurants like Mortons can cost more than $200 without wine. Transportation cost is reasonable via well-developed subway systems at $0.50 and up. Taxis are relatively inexpensive compared to most big cities (30km ride at $30 vs. a similar trip in other Asian countries costing twice as much).

    Language, however, might be an issue for foreigners as most Taiwanese (especially outside of Taipei) do not have the basic language skills to deal with foreigners. On the contrary, most big companies require employees to have basic knowledge of the English language, so it is not difficult to work with Taiwanese in that respect.

    In general, Taipei may not be the best place to live in (killer scooters for one), it is certainly not the worst Asian cities you might stumble upon. Of course, this is al based on my own experiences living in Taiwan.

    1. Strategical Blog Post author

      Hi JJ,

      Thank you for sharing your experience ; )
      I have heard many people say China was worst indeed.

    1. Strategical Blog Post author

      Hi,

      Good in what?
      “modern” and “High future” doesn’t even mean anything.
      Care to develop?

        1. Strategical Blog Post author

          Sorry for your city.

          But you seem to come from a much poorer place ?

    2. David

      no its not modern, its extremely backward and dirty, its only modern for someone coming from a 3rd world country. and judging by your name you are from indonesia which is evn more backward so taiwan does seem modern to you i suppose.

  16. wendy L.

    Even though I haven’t back to Taiwan for longer than a decade and I left Taiwan in 1992 for a good reason, I have come to notice that you haven’t been many places other than some European/western tourist spots! Hence, Taiwan indeed looks ugly enough in comparing to one of those tourist spots such as Barcelona. Fair enough!

    I only hope that you have moved on from Taiwan to experience the life in many other Asian countries , such as the great China or the modern South Korea. Also traveling to other Asian countries as many as you could, such as Thailand, Philippine, Vietnam! Don’t forget India, and some other Middle eastern countries as well. I would sincerely look forward to reading your traveling blog about all your experience and opinions on those countries!

    Also, I put a travel YouTube channel link here so you might want to experience some more countries which you might haven’t yet get a chance to visit! Then, please tell us how you think about those counties in comparison to Taiwan after you watched those videos!
    https://www.youtube.com/user/keeezi/videos

    Sincerely, Wendy

  17. David

    ended up in taiwan recently, really hate it here,

    ugly dirty old buildings everywhere (they have absoluely no sense of aesthetic and apparently theyve never heard of urban planning either, or maybe just wanted to get an award for ugliest major city)
    many places have no sidewalks (or theyre blocked with parked scooters),
    scooter stench and noise everywhere (apparently everyone has a scooter),
    dirty street food sold right next to cars and buses (enjoy your food with a dose of dirt from exhaust pipes etc),
    extremely rude people (in general – my co-workers are nice but its an international company so standards are higher)
    watch out at all times, those freaks are riding scooters on sidewalks as well.
    adverts and big banners everywhere
    idiotic flashing lights outside all shops

    i have nothing positive to say about this place. lived in china for several years before and must say – taiwan would be much better off under Beijing control
    many taiwanese hate mainland china tho (most of them have never been to china and zero clue about how things are in mainland china)
    on the other hand those of my friends who have been in mainland china are all impressed and complain about how stagnant taiwan is.

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  19. K.Lee

    Finally, a blog who says the realities.
    I am from Taiwan. Before moving to France, I’ve lived in Taipei for 22 years. I can’t agree with you more about all the points you’ve mentioned here. Oh there’s one point you didn’t mention in your article, which is extremely important and annoying, that 90% of people don’t close their mouths when they are chewing their food!! This irritates me a lot!!

    I used to share my thoughts about these dark sides facts of Taiwan with my friends, my family. But they just concluded that’s all because I don’t like my country, that I think everything is better abroad. Meh, that pushed me to leave the country.

    I hate scooters toooo! I believe that Taiwan (at least Taipei) would look much much better (and of course much safer as well) without these scooters.
    There are many things the government can do to this country but instead, they put too much attention into the political relationship between China and Taiwan, so do the media and the citizens.

    1. Strategical Blog Post author

      Thank you for your comment. ; )
      A lot of things could indeed be better. Didn’t notice much for people eating, because I was making my own food and eating at my place 🙂
      I live in France too.

  20. OompaLoompa

    Lol, I’ve never been to Taiwan but this is 80% true for China. I guess the only thing Taiwan is lacking is non stop construction which pollutes your air and ears more than you can imagine.

    1. Strategical Blog Post author

      Hi, when I was complaining about Taiwan, people (who had been in both places) told me it was even worse in China (but I haven’t been in China, so) 🙂 .

  21. Foreigner

    I support your view wholeheartedly. Taiwan are good in marketing only.I was one of the unfortunate victim being duped to come to Taiwan for exchange program .End up I don’t learn anything and wasting my time here.they are very rigid with rules and regulation They will drag u to the very last day before issued a certificate for u.They hardly speak English.Even their PHD holder or so call professor can’t speak and write English properly. That make me wonder how they get their professorship and Phd.Foods sucked and things here are expensive .Living cost is ain’t cheap here .Hotel is dam expensive .Please stop promoting to the world that their food is very delicious and goods are cheap.The scenary also nothing interesting.The night market are selling similar things .So no point going to different night market .It’s ain’t fun in Taiwan.Night life is boring .Pollution is bad , food is also not healthy. The only way u can get a good food is when u pay the price similar to London. They are generally inefficience ,and work long hours .They talk too much with no conclusion. At short , a overrated place with expensive living cost , nothing great with expensive accomodation. The Taiwanese all are complaining on their live , the low wages and feeling hopeless about their country. I forsee their country will slowly take over by China. As whenever I meet people from China, they are proud of their country and optimistic about their future. Some China people even told me that Taiwan is very laid back compare to their country , like no development for the past 20 years.

    1. Strategical Blog Post author

      Totally agree, Phd level is ridiculous. I still don’t get how some teacher get their Phd degree.
      There is soooo much hypocrisy, truth needs to be told!

  22. Alex

    AS an Taiwanese university student, some of the situation you’ve mentioned is also the serious topic I would like to share and discuss with other students in Taiwan. Can I ask for your permission to translate this article into Chinese and share on an Internet forum? As younger generations myself, I know a lot of us are trying to improve our homeland. And it’s interesting to see what foreigner view us. Although the truth is bitter, it’s always better than pretend Taiwan is fine and nothing need to be worried about. I love this place no matter what cause it’s my home and that’s why I know it need to do something to make it a better place for the next generation. Anyways, thanks for the opinions.

    1. Strategical Blog Post author

      Yes sure, you can translate it and quote me.

      I hope they won’t be too shocked my brutal honesty 🙂 It was a problem then, when I wa there.

      Good luck with making things better. Give some updates!

  23. Greg

    I am a mainland Chinese and have lived in Taiwan for few years, I came across this article by accident. I agree with the ugly buildings and dangerous traffic, but Taiwan is still pretty easy to live , it’s very convenient and crime rate is very low compared to most countries. Taipei is quit friendly for pedestrians, most major road have sidewalks, only small ally lack sidewalks. Taipei MRT is pretty good too, much better than N.Y. or Paris subway. But I agree other cities or counties may not be so easy to get around as a pedestrian. If you really think mainland China is better than Taiwan, you really don’t know China well enough. The air pollution in Taiwan is nothing compared to big cities in China. The living standards is still low for many people in china, there is a huge difference between wealthy and poor here in China.

    1. Strategical Blog Post author

      “If you really think mainland China is better than Taiwan…”

      I’ve never said that China was better! And I never been in China.

    2. Strategical Blog Post author

      Hi Greg,

      I have made a post about what I liked in Taiwan, but it’s in french.
      I didn’t mean to say that absolutely everything was bad there.

  24. Minnie

    As a Taiwanese American woman coming back to Kaohsiung for a visit, I have to agree with everything the post says. In addition, I would like to add that the women here are very bitchy and will talk trash to my face thinking I don’t understand what they are saying.

    They are extremely narrow-minded people and if you don’t look like them with white-washed skin, then you are automatically treated as a second class citizen from other southeast countries. When I correct them that I’m from America, they look at me dumbfounded, and respond with ‘You don’t look American.’ Get some education you red-necks! Not only are they mean ppl, but they like to flaunt their ignorance.

    I cant’ count how many times people have asked me why I have such dark tan skin. When explaining that westerners dont’ care about this sort of thing, and actually like to be tanned, they just ignore and keep asking the same question. It’s like they don’t process or think when interacting with others, like robots!

    I’m sad to say this, as I grew up with this culture. But I have come to conclude reluctantly, that the Taiwanese culture is empty and inane. Their culture is absolutely superficial and dogmatic, in that if you don’t follow the basic rules of 1) study hard, 2) make a lot of money, 3) get married, 4) look like a doll, then you are worthless. They treat their people like shit honestly. They are blindly worshipping the white man, without any pride in their own culture. Now I know why, b/c they have no culture sadly!

    What once was one of the Four Asian Tigers, is now a backward country full of depressed country bumpkins who only gain satisfaction by remaining close minded to foreign influences, with the exception of the white blonde guy. After this experience, I hope that China does take over Taiwan, b/c they badly need to evolve otherwise remain obsolete with no foreign allies on the international scale.

    Other asian countries like Bali, Japan, and Thailand is so distinctively their culture, proud to represent, and we have Taiwan, who is so ashamed to even exist. It’s really sad, but the people bring it upon themselves as they lack integrity.

    I really hope any young Taiwanese person would be willing to open their minds to hearing this opinion! I used to love Taiwan, but now I’m a bit ashamed to even be associated!

    1. Strategical Blog Post author

      Hi Minnie,

      Thank you for your review. Hope things are easier in USA.
      I noticed the obession for white skin, store are selling whitener everywhere – super weird.

  25. Christina

    I am a Taiwanese and I hate Taiwan. First, almost every food in Taiwan contains chemicals, some of the chemicals exceed the international standard and some of them are not even legal to be used(and yet they used). The worst part of this is Taiwanese don’t seem to care about the food safety. They may get angry when the food scandals first spread over Taiwan, but after like three weeks, they either stop caring about it or just simply forget all the incident. The manufacturers that make toxic food just need to re-manufacture their products and repackage them, and then they will be fine. Also the laws barely punish those manufacturers and will not be able to protect customers from getting those toxic food.

    Second, the media in Taiwan is absolutely trash. Most of the news companies in Taiwan are not objective they deify some certain politicians and often promote them on the news. They also make funny Youtube videos/funny online articles into news, focusing on what Internet celebrities do and their personal lives and then televise them. Sometimes the Taiwanese media also promotes places to eat delicious cheap big portions. Do you know why this kind of low quality media exists? It’s because Taiwanese love it. And do you know why you rarely see Taiwanese media reporting international news? It’s because most of the Taiwanese don’t give a shoot about other countries but themselves.

    And finally, the pollution in Taiwan is miserable. As you’re breathing in Taiwan, you’re breathing PM2.5. Rivers filled with industrial wastewater and there are trash sitting by the roadsides in both cities and countrysides. Taiwanese are also unconcerned about the over-developments of natural environment in Taiwan.

    I think the food safety is still the worst problem of the three. Taiwan is not a place to live if you come from a developed country. Instead of visiting Taiwan, foreigners can visit Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Laos, Philippines and so on. They are way more unique and intriguing.

  26. Jasmine

    I have recently traveled to Taiwan for the first time and I must say, even as a Chinese myself from an Asian country, I feel that people are rude and unfriendly, and are totally different with other countries I visited like Thailand and Korea. Several times in night markets, especially in popular stalls, some vendors were just plain rude and talked angrily to the point of screaming, even though I only wanted to enquire things like confirming the price during payment. There was once in Chiayi- I visited Wenhua night market, I bought Takoyaki balls from a popular stall called 日船 章魚小丸子), from a pair of stall owners. He heard my order wrongly: I said I wanted choice number 4 in the list, but he ended up giving 4 boxes, and got angry when I reminded him that he have misinterpreted me. Even though I offered to just buy the 4 boxes, he scolded ‘f*** you’ in chinese in front of everyone and at the point, I was so angry that I returned the boxes back, did internal meditation, and walked off. Never have anyone throw vulgarities and foul words in my face before, and that is a disappointing experience. I will never visit Taiwan anymore. I met a fair share of rude taxi drivers and strangers as well. Impatience seems to be ingrained in their culture. Motorcycists drove so dangerously without consideration for pedestrians. People parked their cars in a way that blocked the pedestrian pathway, I’m just not sure if they can’t do parallel parking or they are just plain lazy. I sincerely wish that people in Taiwan will be more patient and thoughtful, even a smile will make someone’s day.

    1. Strategical Blog Post author

      Hi Jasmine.
      I understand so much. I always felt in danger while walking in the streets because of all crazy drivers.
      Also, if you are white, vendors try to scam you :/ Very often, they changed the price for me, and I had to show them the real price on display, very annoying.
      Anyway, I don’t get why people are so stressed there, there are very few tourists and very few foreigers willing to stay.

  27. Vynn

    I’m not sure if anyone would see this. I am a Taiwanese and I think it is very true. I went study abroad last year in Britain and I got so used to how Europeans live their lives that after I came back, I have since felt deeply depressed and baffled. I broke up because all my ex wanted was to be my shadow (I’m a medic). I tried to connect to people as I had done in Britain but the work all went in vein. Students don’t care about learning except if the content will be on the exams. People are so awfully self-contained (in a bad way) that you can feel how people try to rush away from you when you casually approach people just to have a chat. People are so obsessed with their phones, their lives. You can certainly hear Taiwanese saying it’s hard to make friends after leaving school. And imo, I think it is because they fkn don’t know how bondings work. They are so used to being trapped in a classroom and forced to know people that some people, after graduating uni, have no social skills whatsoever. I really really want to flee from here. It’s hell

    1. Strategical Blog Post author

      I agree and feel sorry for you.
      Have you tried meet foreigner people in Taiwan?
      They would be more friendly and seek for knowing a taiwanese that would happily talk to them.
      I would have like to meet you when I was in Taiwan, but it was really difficult to make friends with taiwanese, it is like you said they don’t know how to make bonds (they just wanted my picture so they could post it on facebook to brag about their “french friend” and never talk to me again -_-). Good luck!

  28. Bob

    Pretty accurate. But I’d also say the nightlife is also shit. You either can goto high end bars that charge London prices or shitty foreign bars full of girls who will have banged at least 2-3 other foreigners you know. Awful sheep culture, love brands, edm and anything mainstream. Women are entitled and act famous on their IG. It’s really odd. They also cheat a lot. The reputation about being “easy” pisses them off a lot, and the reason is because there is a lot of truth to it. I don’t know any foreigner who hasn’t had sex with under 30 women in their first year, many married or with gelding purse carrying beta males. Apartments are shit. Landlords don’t clean or decorate them. Taiwanese look down on south East Asians or darker skin yet have worse food, and worse apartments, night life than Thailand or Vietnam. I’d recommend skipping Taiwan and goto japan. Japan has a reputation for being expensive but I think Taiwan has overtaken it, especially nightlife. 200nt beers, in Japan it’s 80nt. Apartments are basically the same, you may get more space in Taiwan but that’s basically it. It’s a dump otherwise. Taiwan is the polished turd of the east.

    1. Strategical Blog Post author

      Ahaha, yeah, foreigners warned me about nightlife. Wasn’t interested to go to a taiwanese club anyway.

  29. adsfasdadsf

    tbh, I wouldn’t say Taiwanese are ‘friendly’ either, people I met in general (especially in college setting) were just as bad as typical Chinese which is not surprising.

  30. Jess

    Hi, Taiwanese here and currently living in London.
    I am sorry to see so many things you don’t like about Taiwan, and here are some points i agree with you. The scooters are disasters. They are ugly, occupying all the walking spaces and causing air pollution. Most of the drivers are really rude and honk a lot, so the traffic is also very unpleasant and dangerous. It’s not a very pedestrian-friendly country indeed. I also agree that the education needs a lot of improvements here. The cram school is part of a deformed notion in Chinese education which, fyi, also appears in China, Korea, Japan, Singapore and all other countries influenced by Chinese culture. Also, the wages are absurdly low and not proportional to the housing prices here. I doubt any young Taiwanese at my age could afford a teeny flat without family support. I can see why you said it’s an ugly city, though my neighbourhood is actually pretty nice looking. Again, I am sorry to see these many things you hate abt taiwan.
    However, please allow me to defend it about some points you made. I’ve travelled around some european and asian countries and i think it’s valid for me to say these.
    The streets in Taiwan are cleaner (with less litter) than most of the european big cities I’ve seen and the food variety here is really wide even among asian countries. I’m talking China, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Vietnam. And a lot more affordable than in European cities. The man in the comments saying that you have to pay the price as high as in London for decent food is absolutely not true. (Maybe it’s true in bar and pub, but i believe it’s only bc we don’t drink alcohol as much and we all know when things are rare the price goes up.) I strongly disagree with you about the work efficiency part. I really don’t know who you’d been working with, but, what I’ve experienced in Europe is much worse. About the nightlife, I can only say we are really living with different styles. There are a lot of activities in London, yes, but as a non-drinker like myself, I find the nightlife in Europe is quite poor. Shops are all close really early and it’s hard to find my friends and I some cheap places where we can have small refreshments and “soft drink.”
    I can’t say that i love living in Taiwan, (and i doubt anyone could find their home countries with no flaw.) Only that I can live with the things i don’t like in my city and i enjoy what i have. More likely, it’s just a matter of whether the city suits you or not.
    Anyway, I still appreciate you for writing this article. You let me the Taiwan I didn’t really think about before and we all learn something new.

    1. Strategical Blog Post author

      Hi Jess, thank you for your comment. Hope you can enjoy London 🙂

      About the work efficiency, I was talking about what I witness there:
      Examples: the staff at our university, nobody knew anything (as in the most basic thing a staff would know: student schedule, who was in charge of what, etc) and they were really affraid to ask a superior (or check the info in their computer), so nothing was never done, was really annoying.
      Also in shops, when you ask something to the worker , they always say “yes” even if it is a “no” (and make you lose a lot of time), at the bank employees couldn’t write correctly my family name (several times) on the documents and caused ridiculous delay on the opining of a taiwanese account, at restaurant cookers and waiters could not tell you what ingredient were on the food, etc, etc.
      I think it is because of the “losing face” thing, and also due to the very long hours of work in shops, they start very early and work until midnight (which is not commong in Europe).
      That’s why I said it is not efficient, at least in Europe, they tell you “no”, or “I don’t know” or are able to tell you how long this will take.

      Also, it is indeed true that I have seen in Europe many trash in the streets (because of rude people who can’t use the trash bin), but in Taiwan is was more like huge cockroaches, errand dogs, (made worse by no sidewalk/no urban planning/weird roads), bad smell, pollution/unclean air. So different type of dirty which it seem to me more significant because I was not used to it.

      Anywa, was great to talk with you :), hope you still find some cheap and fun place in UK.

      1. Jess

        Thanks:) Been living here for 4 years and still discover new things i didn’t notice before. i dont’ hate it here but i miss living home. (Not arguing, cockroaches are there because of the weather though. there’s really little we can do abut it)
        I’m sorry again that you don’t like it there. I hope if there is a next-time, we will impress you better.
        Thanks for sharing again:)

        1. Strategical Blog Post author

          Don’t be sorry, it is ok, one cannot like every place.
          I think I would have deal better with everything, if I knew before about many things in Taiwan.
          🙂
          Hope you are not too homesick, you can send me an email if you want.

  31. Traveler of the world!

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for stating what you didn’t like about Taiwan because I agree with everything that you said! I keep seeing all these bullshit articles and what not about “Oh Taiwan is no nice and so delicious and fun” and all that other crap, and it’s just not as impactful for me as Japan or Thailand was for me! I lived there for a month, and yeah it was safe, but it lacked something for me that Japan just had! It lacked that life changing feeling for me that Japan gave for me, and even though Japan is more expensive, the memories I got from Japan were significantly better and more impactful in my life than Taiwan ever was or will be! I’m not saying I hate Taiwan, but after being there almost 20 times and Japan 10 times, I wanna say that I’d spend my money elsewhere rather than back to Taiwan! I have been to 15 countries in my life, and the top 3 countries I fell in love with were Japan, Spain, and Brazil! I’m glad to know that there people out there who agree with me that Taiwan is not all that it’s made up to be! I have been invited several times by friends to go with them on a trip to Taiwan, but I always decline because I wanna spend my money and time elsewhere! I have the whole world to see!

    1. Strategical Blog Post author

      Hi, Thank you for your message.
      I agree, it would be so much better if the websites weren’t labelling taiwan as “perfect”.
      It would avoid lot of disappointment.

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