I’m always intrigued to find out what foreigners think about Taiwan and why do they want to travel to this small island to learn about Chinese culture/language. So I’ve been eagerly searching for some blog/journals kept by foreigners who live or travel to Taiwan before.
After reading through a couple journals, I realized foreigners tend to catch some little social habits that us native Taiwanese neglect. For instance, the first thing they usually notice is how bad Taipei traffic is. Tons of people and tons of scooters around. No one seems to follow the traffic signs and just randomly drive according their own rules. No one yield for ambulance and police car either.
Food is another issue for those foreigners who cannot completely accept traditional Chinese food. They usually rely more on the American fast food restaurants. However, they may realize the fast food places in Taiwan serve different taste of food than elsewhere. McDonald hamburger taste very different than the ones here in US. Pizza Hut often do not have pepperoni as topping option but you’ll see lots of green peas and corns on the pizza in Taiwan. The taxi driver chew on beetle nuts and spit off red saliva also scared off a lot of foreigners too.
On the other hand, a lot of foreigners are impressed by how friendly Taiwanese people are. If they got lost, most people are eager to help out. Many foreigners are also amazed by the natural beauty in the mountains and national parks throughout Taiwan, whether it be the cherry blossoms at Yangming Shan, the scary winding cliff road at Taroko Gorge, the sunrise in Ali Shan, or the beach and jungle in Kenting National park.Each place has its own unique scenery that attracts thousands of foreign visitors each year.
Below are a few sites I’ve visited:
Mike Kersten’s Blog
This is actually the first site that got me started in finding out how foreigners live in Taiwan. In this case, this guy is a young American missionary who lives in Chiayi for mission work and also teach at Concordia Middle School. His website includes links to many other foreign missionaries preaching God’s words in Taiwan.
Lone Locust Travel Adventure
This guy married a Taiwanese wife and often goes back to Taiwan to visit her family. At the beginning, he doesn’t really fit in well to the culture and the food in Taiwan. He’s too tall for the doorways and beds in Taiwan. He always hit his head on the doorway and his legs are usually hanging outside of the bed for his 6″4′ height. But he has good sense of humor and great observation to make notices of all the cultural differences between Taiwanese and Americans. I always find myself cracking up while reading his travel journal.
Corbett Wall, a famous saxophone performer who’s been living in Taiwan for 16+years, keeps a very interesting blog. Not only does he writes about his daily life with his music production and his exciting night life at his lounge bar/restaurant, he also shares many cool links and perspectives to Taiwan and worldwide news. His site is voted #1 in Taiwanese blog.