Moving to Taiwan
Taiwan is an island off the coast of mainland China with one of the highest population densities in the world. Expats moving to Taiwan are equally likely to notice that it is very mountainous, home to the tallest peak in northeast Asia, and has an abundance of nature reserves and hot springs.
Taiwan has ultra-modern cities that still strongly uphold traditional Chinese culture while at the same time embracing a capitalist business culture that appeals to Western expats.
Taiwanese are extremely friendly, helpful and gracious people. They will generally go out of their way to make visitors feel at ease and they pride themselves on being good hosts. Expats may find themselves asking a stranger for directions and end up being personally escorted and then being invited home for dinner. The language barrier is no obstacle to this hospitality and willingness to assist as many can speak English.
The main religions in Taiwan are Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism and almost all Taiwanese pay homage to their ancestors. Homes have sacred shrines where people can burn incense and make offerings to ancestors. Beautiful temples are found throughout the cities, but churches and mosques are also easy to find.
Taiwan has a problematic relationship with China, mostly as China insists that Taiwan is a province of China. While many cultural traditions of the Taiwanese stem from a long history with China, the majority of Taiwanese see their country as autonomous and have no wish to unify with China. This is a sore point and the reason behind the rocky political relationship with the mainland.
Expats moving to Taiwan are unlikely to be affected by political tensions. Many young Westerners move to Taiwan to teach English, and in doing so are becoming part of a thriving industry that is helping to equip Taiwan’s new generation with vital skills pivotal to embracing the wider world.