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When we moved to Kaohsiung, neither of us had ever visited Taiwan before. We’d never even been to Asia! We did a lot of research before we moved, which helped lessen the culture shock. There were some things that The Internet warned us about, but even more that we learned for ourselves. Here are the top 3 things you must know before you go to Taiwan.
7-Eleven can do everything!
Send packages, call a taxi, and pay your utilities, taxes, and parking tickets. Then, grab some pretty good coffee, some rice balls, and whatever else you need.
You’ll find either a 7-11 or Family Mart on pretty much every corner. Check them both out and pick your favorite! I usually prefer Family Mart. They’ve got their own store brand of iced tea, snacks, and dumplings that are some of my favorite for late night cravings!
Driving is a different world
Welcome to Taiwan, where the road rules are made up and the traffic lights don’t matter! Driving in Taiwan is not for the faint of heart. Everyone drives scooters, but if you don’t want to you can get around the cities easy with public transportation and taxis.
Despite their aggressive driving, the taxi drivers are great. They’re knowledgeable of the city, and are often excited to meet foreigners. Do yourself a favor and don’t pay attention to that red light while you’re hanging out in the back seat.
Even the trash is different
I didn’t expect the trash to be a big difference between Taiwan and the US! Garbage trucks play ice cream truck music. If your apartment doesn’t offer trash collection like ours, you have to bring your trash out to the truck when you hear it coming down the street.
Luckily, garbage trucks come by several times a day in many areas because trash cans and bags are also much smaller than we’re used to in the states. There’s also no public trash cans, but very little litter in the streets. Just remember that when you bring a coffee cup on your walk through the park!
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Have you been to Taiwan? What did you think? What’s your top tip? Let us know in the comments below! Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter so you never miss an update.
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