Taiwan is an exciting and fulfilling place to live, and there are many benefits that come with living here.
Cost of living
An English teacher’s salary in Taiwan is more than sufficient to provide a comfortable life. The main living expenses in Taipei are relatively cheap when compared to major western cities. There is a wide range of options in terms of rent, eating out, recreational activities and nightlife.
Taiwan has an excellent national healthcare system. With a work permit, teachers also receive access to the National Health Insurance program, which affords teachers use of the healthcare system at the same rate as Taiwanese citizens. A trip to the doctor or dentist is often less than US$5! Despite the low cost, Taiwan’s healthcare system is routinely ranked among the top in the world.
Traveling in Asia
Taiwan is called the Heart of Asia with good reason. Its location makes it quite easy to travel to many other places in Asia. For example, the flight from Taipei to Hong Kong is less than two hours! Teachers from our school have also traveled to many other places during their time in Taiwan. Some of the places they have visited include Japan, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, South Korea and China.
Of course, living in Taiwan means spending the majority of your time here. There is no shortage of things to do, places to go and adventures to be had. The people are welcoming and friendly, it is very safe, and many expatriates have enjoyed its benefits.
Taiwan is home to a rapidly changing modern society steeped in traditional Taiwanese aboriginal and Confucian culture. Its ever-expanding network of public transportation makes it convenient to explore both the modern cities and the more traditional countryside. Buses, trains, metro systems and the high-speed rail allow people to travel all over the country in a matter of hours.
At the heart of Taiwan is the capital city, Taipei. Taipei is a wonderfully energetic metropolis with convenient public transportation. The Taipei Metro continues to grow throughout Taipei and New Taipei City. Buses go virtually everywhere and catching a taxi is easy and affordable. There is a diverse selection of international cuisines, and restaurants range from very cheap to fine dining. During the day and evening, there are plenty of places to go. The city is packed with options, and it is only a short distance to the surrounding mountains, rivers, and hot springs. At night, there are a number of nightclubs and a variety of pubs and bars open until the early hours of the morning. Taipei Trends is a wonderful source for these and many other options to be found in Taipei (and beyond).
Outside of Taipei, there are other cities such as Yilan, Hualien, Taidong, Kaohsiung, and Tainan that are worth repeated visits. There is also a tremendous amount of beauty to be seen. A few examples are Taroko National Park, Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County, the beaches of Kenting, and several small islands that can be reached by boat or plane.
There are far too many things to do and see in Taiwan to lay out in a brief introduction. Lonely Planet is a great source to get started, and upon arrival you will discover many other adventures!