I know a lot of people love Asian culture and would love to move to Asia someday. But there are a lot of countries in Asia. Which one is the better choice??
I would say Taiwan!
Taiwan is located north of the Philippines and the South China Sea, about 180 km off the southeastern coast of China, separated from the mainland by the Taiwan Strait. The island shares maritime borders with China, Japan, and the Philippines.
Why do I recommend Taiwan??
- Well located
You can easily buy cheap flights to East Asia and Southeast Asia. From Taipei to Hong Kong are only an hour and a half flight. There are flights every 15 minutes for this route. 2 hours, you can fly from Taipei to Manila, Philippines.
- Nature, mountains and waterfalls
For the hikers and nature lovers, Taiwan is a haven for you. Over 20% of Taiwan is made up of protected land – either in the form of a national park, forest or state reserve – and a further 30% is made up of forest. The country is made for hiking. Taiwan has a well-established network of hundreds of hiking trails, and the vast majority do not require a guide. Hiking tracks are rarely crowded, and visitors are more likely to meet rambling locals than other international visitors.
- Cost of living
[Feb 2020] 1 USD to 30 NT$
It’s inexpensive to live in Taiwan. Taipei the capital might be a bit more expensive but still very affordable. For rent, it is around 5000 NT$ (studio) to 35000 NT$ (3-4 bedrooms) per month. I used to live in Tamsui by myself. I paid only 4500 NT$ per month (not included electricity bills) for a studio with a private bathroom and a shared washing machine.
Dining out is actually cheaper than cooking at home. I personally don’t know how to cook, but luckily there are always tons of local restaurants around. Local “lunch box” 便當 usually cost around 75NT$ to 120NT$, depending on what you order.
The main language is Mandarin Chinese. But a lot of Taiwanese know how to speak English and there are a lot of signs in English as well. For me, Taiwanese mandarin is easier to understand. It is a lot softer and less “R”. The opposite of the Beijing accent.
- Convenient stores
The latest estimates show that there are roughly 10,000 convenience stores in Taiwan. Roughly 1 per 2,300 citizens – the highest density of convenience stores in the world! You can do tons of stuff there. Like sending and receiving packages, printing, using the WiFi….. Also, they make an incredible and strong americano. Most of them open 24 hours a day. So if you are a broke student and want some beers, those convenient stores will be your best friend.
Taiwan is one of the safest places in the world. I sometimes got drunk and went home by myself with my headphones on. There aren’t many people on the street but there are street lights. I was totally fine all the time. Taxis are very safe too. Putting phones and wallets on the tables are perfectly fine. None of my friends has their phones or wallets stolen the whole time they were there (6 months – 1 year).
- Metro (MRT)
There are 107 stations throughout the centre and 5 colour coded lines. One-way tickets cost between NT$20 and NT$65, increasing based on the distance between stations. It runs from 6:00 am to midnight. All announcements and signage are in both Chinese and English, making it, by far, the easiest way to get around Taipei.
In Taipei, they cover sections of the city and surroundings that aren’t well serviced by the MRT. Compared to the metro, bus journeys are slightly cheaper. Most fares are just NT$15, paid either upon entering (上) or upon exit (下). The most you’ll pay for a bus journey in Taipei is NT$30. Paying with an EasyCard is the simplest and quickest method.
Thank you for reading.