Taiwan is a place of good tourist spots. And aside from that, it’s also a country where there are OFWs working for the short and long term. In case you are heading to Taiwan anytime soon, you need to be informed of the local norms there. It’s not necessary that you know all the laws and basic rules and regulations. But, it’s essential that you know at least some of the manners that are acceptable and not.
Also Read: How Much Does a Caretaker Earn in Taiwan?
In this blog, we are going to share with you the basic dos and don’ts in Taiwan that you should be aware of before going there. This may serve as your guide. You can also forward this to your family and friend who will go to Taiwan.
How to Behave in Taiwan
To behave in Taiwan, you have to do simple things. First, you ought to know the acceptable behavior and those that cannot be practiced. In this way, you will have an idea of what to expect from the locals. If you know what to expect, then you can adjust faster in Taiwan. Even if you don’t know all the laws in Taiwan, you can still survive and be able to mingle with the locals without getting rude.
Dos in Taiwan
The dos in Taiwan are the practices that you can do whenever or wherever you are. We compiled here the simple dos that you can practice without adjusting to your new environment too much.
- Do receive or give gifts using both of your hands. It becomes a norm in Taiwan to use both hands when handing over gifts. Also, make sure that you are opening your gifts at home, not in front of the person who gave the gift to you.
- Do feel comfortable when someone declines your gift at first but accepts it when you insist. It’s normal for Taiwanese to decline offers during the first time.
- Do give gifts that are made in Taiwan. It’s rude to give gifts that are not from the country unless you know that the person really wants what you are going to give.
- Do use the shared chopsticks when taking out food from the plate. You can use your own chopsticks when taking out food from your own plate.
- Do accept the food offered by the host. Hosts in Taiwan usually place food on the guest’s table. Appreciate it and don’t refuse.
- Do bring the bowl of rice close to your mouth when eating but all other plates should remain on the table.
- Do offer your seat to the elderly or pregnant when you are riding a bus or MRT. It’s part of the manners in Taiwan. If you don’t offer your seat to them, you might get scolded.
- Do always stand on the right side when you are riding the escalator. The left side of it is used for walking.
- Do remove your shoes when you enter the house of a person who invited you. It’s common in Taiwan.
- Do place your chopsticks either on the side of the plate or on top of the bowl or plate.
Don’ts in Taiwan
The don’ts in Taiwan are the practices you should avoid doing. Why? Because if you do these things, you will appear rude and without manners before the locals. You need to be mindful of the things you should avoid. Here are the don’ts.
- Don’t give gifts such as handkerchief, clock, umbrella, and shoes. In Taiwan, giving a handkerchief means you are giving someone a reason to cry very soon. Giving a clock means you are attending a funeral. Giving a pair of shoes implies sending them to heaven. Giving an umbrella to your girlfriend or boyfriend because means you are ending your relationship with him or her.
- Don’t stick your chopsticks vertically into the bowl. It’s a huge taboo. Place them on the side of your plate or on top of the bowl or plate.
- Don’t stand on the left side of the escalator. That side is used by people who are hurrying to go up or down.
- Don’t just sit knowing that there’s an elderly or pregnant woman standing when you are riding in MRT or bus. Offer your seat.
- Don’t initiate a conversation about Taiwan-Chinese political issues. If they started the conversation, that’s the only time you should engage in discussing the topic.
- Don’t give tips. It’s not customary in Taiwan to give tips in hotels, taxis, and restaurants. However, you can always leave tips in bars.
- Don’t step on the extra step you see in a temple. It is designed to separate the outside and inside of a temple.
- Don’t feel offended when someone rejects your offered gift for the first time. Insist what you want to give to someone until he accepts the offer.
Tips when going to Taiwan
The best preparation you should make when going to Taiwan is knowing the basic dos and don’ts. If you know the basic manners observed by the locals, you will know how to mingle with them. It’s a good strategy as well to know their culture and tradition. If you know Taiwan’s culture, it’s easier to please the locals. Remember that it’s normal to make friends with the locals especially if you think that you will stay in the country for a longer period of time. The more you know about their country, the more you can engage in a conversation with them.
Also, don’t forget about the laws and local ordinances. Aside from the dos and don’ts, it’s also important to know the laws in Taiwan. Some examples are traffic laws, employment laws, residency laws, and so on. You don’t need to memorize them all. You only need to be aware of the basic ones. As you explore Taiwan, you will learn things slowly. Don’t worry about the rules that you won’t be able to remember right now. Whenever you feel like you need to go back to this blog to check the dos and don’ts, don’t hesitate to read them again.