Taiwan : What’s Special?


On the third day of our visit in Taiwan,

Papa Ed asked : “Do you like Taiwan?”

Me : “Why? You don’t like? Not up to your expectations?”

Papa Ed : “I expect Taipei to be more modernised but the majority of the buildings are not what I expected to see.”


Actually, the nolstagic feel is what I prefer in Taiwan. Day to day dwelling in Singapore, it’s becoming a rare sight for us to see these buildings/shophouses in Singapore except for areas like Chinatown, Geylang.  The private apartments in Taipei are mainly brown and earthy tones and those bungalows that we sighted are not as extravagant as those in Singapore.  And….it is precisely, a escapade from city life in Singapore that I am looking forward to in Taiwan.  As for Papa Ed, his visual pleasure was nevertheless compensated by those geographic formation and mountains and abundance of lake/river/sea in Taiwan.






6 days in Taiwan, I would say I am impressed. There is culture there that we could learn as Singaporeans. 



Clean and go green

Although Singapore street is as clean as Taiwan (or if not cleaner), I am pleased that I hardly caught sight of any roaches at night in the small alleys of shophouses. Dustbins are hard to find in certain places but yet residents are able to keep the place litter free. Like I have read and confirmed with our tour guide, Taiwanese carry their own garbage bags and dump them into garbage trucks, not forgetting to separate them into different recyclable items before the dump.

If you are thinking of buying groceries from shops there eg. 7-Eleven, do remember to bring a bag along because they do not provide shopping bags unless you pay. Yeah, regretful to say we only practise this in limited retail shops like IKEA and NTUC (on certain days only) in Singapore. When I visited Raohe Night market, I was hunting for dustbins to dump my food wastes but found it only at the entrance of the market and how do they maintain the streets so clean? Haha! No wonder I spotted their ladies carrying big handbags (oops! just a guess).


Standardised and organised

I mentioned about apartments mainly in earthy colours and the cabs are uniformly bright yellow, regardless of operating companies.  Personal observation : Even their handsoap at public toilets are commonly white. I like the concept of toilet flushing being performed by the foot too (for hygiene purpose). I was a little disorientated when I went on their escalators. They are really disciplined in standing only on right side of escalators eg. at MRT stations (Singapore, we stand on left right?) Sometimes, we also  stand in pairs but they really stand only in single fold, leaving the left side for passengers in a hurry to walk. Their transport system is quite complete and with clear English and Chinese signages and we had little difficulties commuting around.




It’s common to see people with face masks. I guess generally we are still shy to put on these face masks in Singapore in public.  As our tour guide had informed, some are swift to put on their face masks too to reduce risk of being infected. Ha! I remembered how I made my first trip on the MRT to Tamshui and a most helpful middle- aged passenger was waving and shouting out to me so that our kids could take a seat at the reserved seat. She was holding on to my shoulder before I alighted to keep me secure noting that I was also holding a kid. What can I say? Touched and heartwarmed. Like our tour guide said, their older generations are still very warm and helpful lot.


Where Dogs are privileged

I guess Yuki would have a much better life in Taiwan. Dogs are a common sight in public places especially old streets and night markets. I was told they could be taken on board public tranpsorts too if carried in baskets or bags. They were sitting around in restaurants. Many pet lovers are basically strolling, shopping and wandering on the streets with their pet dogs. Aww…these pet dogs are like their kids to them. A mystery though : Why are pet dogs in Taiwan generally mini in size?




Interesting shop names/gimmicks

I love walking down the night streets simply amazed by their shop names and gimmicks. From chicken cutlet shop named as “Bigger than face chicken cutlet shop”  to “Modern Toilet restaurant ” to cosmic themed  restaurants and maid/hospital themed to artistic themed eg Five Dimes restaurant. Kept our eyes opened and we managed to patronise a few :)



 Healthy living

With so much greenery and fresh air, scenic mountains and water sight, and hot spring…how envious. Oh Mine! I climbed the most flights of stairs in Taiwan! 98 steps for one and more and less…haha…lose count. I feel so ashamed because even their elderly can climb more energetically than me :(  As our boys sped past me and to the top of countless steps, I was so glad that my partner was there for me, giving me a pushing hand.  Not so bad because if not for my knee injury, I guess I could have performed better but not excluding the panting *haha*.


How not to have better health by climbing steps and for those who prefer not to commute by motor bikes, walking is definitely a healthier option.  I am really inspired to climb more steps - all for those eye and mind rewarding views. 



And for my original concerns that our kids would not like Taiwan, it was so unfounded. Despite their imperfect mandarin conversation there, the food, destinations and companion we have - is almost perfect. If only the rain could go away…Hmm…have I also mentioned that it is amazing how our boys can speak 20% better mandarin now — just after one week? Gambatte!

BTW, continue to stay tune because I am finding time to post our day-to-day journey in Taiwan:)

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4 Responses to “Taiwan : What’s Special?”

  • wenn says:

    would love to go taiwan again. I was there in 2010.

  • I will be going to Taiwan too, miss the place.
    It is an interesting place to visit with something for everyone in the family.

  • Denesa says:

    Yeah. Good destination for elderly too. When we had abit too much of frequent trips to Malaysia, HK, Thailand and China, Taiwan will always be an ideal nearby destination for us. Best there is still the South, Central Taiwan for us next:)

  • slavemom says:

    Taiwan is in our list of hol destination (for the food) but not sure if it’ll be interesting for the kids. Can’t wait to read abt ur adventure.

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