Taiwan is it’s own unique place. Taiwan ≠ Thailand + Taiwan ≠ China. In case you haven’t been here yet, I’ve put together a quick list of reasons foreigners including teachers, entrepreneurs, digital nomads, and others like me have fallen in love with Taiwan.
If you’re already convinced and need to know how to stay in Taiwan for a year with an entrepreneur visa check out this article.
While most of the world struggles with Covid-19, in Taiwan, due to good planning and quick coordinated action the virus hasn’t caused a major disruption to everyday life (learn how they did it). While there’s been no need for lockdown, a 7–14 day quarantine is is still required for new arrivals.
Taiwan’s Epidemic Command Center Sharing Advice to Other Nations On How To Beat Covid19
Your chances of being a victim of a crime in Taiwan are extremely low. People here have a strong tendency to take care of each other (including foreigners). In fact, Taiwain was recently voted the 2nd safest country in the world.
2020 mid-year global crime index. (Numbeo screenshot)
Cafes with free WiFi are abundant in Taiwan, not to mention a ton of convenient stores. Taipei is also central in East Asia so a 2 hour flight gets you to Hong Kong or Manila and 4-hours to Tokyo or Bangkok. Taiwan’s public transit system includes a vast network of subway, high speed rail, commuter trains, buses, and ride share options like cars, bikes, and the funnest option of course- scooters that you can reserve 24/7 via mobile phone!
tw.skrtshare.com is a great option if you don’t want to wait for taxis or spend time looking for a parking space.
Amongst the developed nations of Asia, few cities rival Taipei in terms of quality of life for the price. On average, American’s relocating to the city here will save considerably on rent and dining out — And if you don’t need to be in the city, living on the East Coast by the mountains and beach is much cheaper.
Taiwanese almost always mind their business, but if you get lost in the subway and ask for help, you’re likely to make a friend and get directions. Not only that, Taiwan’s government also actively supports startup culture, and encourages foreign businesses to set up branches through programs and direct investment. There are also many high quality co-working spaces here like with options for the lone digital nomad and small businesses alike such as my personal favourite- CIT.
CIT Co-working: Great Lighting, Awesome Vibes, Affordable Prices.
If you do get sick in Taiwan, even without insurance, health care costs are low (compared to the US), and quality of care is high. Taiwan residents are also eligible for National Health Insurance which makes it even cheaper- more on how to get a 1 year residency card via the Entrepreneur Visa route below.
Not only does Taiwan take care of it’s own citizens health, it also has been shipping millions of masks around that world to help countries still fighting Covid-19.
Taiwan has been a tech manufacturing leader since the 1960s, and now concentrates in chip manufacture, AI, and med-tech. Taiwan’s relatively low regulatory burden and operating costs, with a highly educated workforce, have led many tech giants such as HTC, Asus, and Acer to huge success. Tech innovation keeps Taiwan’s economy stable, and creates many opportunities.
Groundbreaking Cancer Research at Taiwan BioTech Startup https://www.cancerfree.io
As an entrepreneur you’ll need to take breaks. When you do you’ll have plenty of options, including mountain climbing, rafting, biking, scuba diving, or relaxing in natural hot springs. While Taiwan’s West Coast is mostly city, the rest of the country is a sparsely populated wilderness, ready for exploring.
For those who want to experience traditional Chinese culture, Taiwan (not China) is the place to go. Taiwan’s rich and well preserved history and art, and cultures, including indigenous, colonial, and traditional Chinese have been preserved because Taiwan (technically the Republic of China) escaped Mao’s cultural revolution in 1949. Taiwan also celebrates it’s indiginous peoples and protects them unlike mainland China which forces other cultures like Tibet, Inner Mongolia, and East Turkistan to assimilate.
Yami People Preserve Their Flying Fish Catching Tradition. Seen Here Carrying Fishing Boat.
Maintaining traditional customs and beliefs like Bhuddism, Confucianism, and Taoism, doesn’t limit Taiwan’s capacity for freedom, but has enhanced stability. A deeply ingrained respect for family and life allows Taiwanese to live in harmony with relatively few laws and regulations compared with most places (especially China). Religion, speech, political expression are protected in Taiwan and it was the first Asian country to allow for same sex unions.
Democratically Elected President of Tsai Ingwen Meets With Hagi Mohamoud of Independent Somaliland.
Many like me went to China, assuming the independent island nation of Taiwan wasn’t as advanced as mainland China, but in fact but in fact, in a per capita comparison on almost every level, from productivity, education, and income, to friendliness, honesty, freedom, and happiness Taiwan comes out on top.
My main caution for anyone thinking about visiting Taiwan is really just that you might end up staying permanently- so come at your own risk!
… And for those looking for a way to stay in Taiwan for a year through a well kept secret (the entrepreneur visa) check out my article on the topic here.
J Harvey Lewis is the founder of naturehub.com- a platform designed to help you find and share products & businesses that are healthier & more eco-friendly. Check it out at naturehub.com (web version) or download the mobile app here: Google Play Store and iOS App Store. (currently the app is only available in English).