51 Ways Taipei Will Always Be the #1 City. Stop Playing Around. Seriously.

By Lewis Clark | Published 2015/01/22 3.96/5 (85) Posted in FUN & ACTIVE, READ



I read this article on Buzzfeed entitled “51 Reasons Living in Chicago Will Ruin Your Life” and all the cities that came after it such as London, Sydney, and Yorkshire (really??). After having visited Chicago on numerous occasions, I thought to myself, “It’s time to talk some trash about why my city is better than yours.” But seriously, Taipei is awesome because…

1.) Taipei is a snack food city, plain and simple.

snackfood Creative Commons – Daisuke Tashiro

Pork rice (above), corn dogs, ENORMOUS deep-fried steak cutlets, bbq meat, and veggies on a stick. This $#!& is amazing!

2.) Taipei Riverside Park > Central Park + Millennium Park

sideriverCreative Commons – 陳良賢

Our park encompasses the whole city, up to the ocean and back again. Along the many offshoots you can find water skiing, basketball, tennis, golf, paddle boats, ferries, art villages, bars, and cafes.

3.) Coffee, coffee, coffee! Taipei is ranked as one of the best cafe cities in the world.


You can see for yourself here!

4.) Our city is greener!


Public parks on every block, national parks all around, and flowers and trees everywhere!

5.) Once again, our city is greener!

recyclingCreative Commons

But in a different way. Taipei also runs one of the best recycling programs on the planet.

6.) Our public transportation will make you wonder why you ever drove anywhere ever!

MRTCreative Commons – Luke Ma

It may not be big, but our subway connects to the train system, the high speed rail, the gondola, and soon two airports.

7.) Our metro system has some of the most-breathtaking scenery around.

MRTaltCreative Commons – Billy1125

The Wenhu line is my favorite to see the beautiful, green cityscape!

8.) You don’t know what convenience really means until you go to 7-11 in Taipei.

tw7Courtesy of 5 Days in Taipei

Pay ALL of your bills, mail something, receive packages, buy tickets, print, copy, buy a full meal, get a freshly brewed coffee, dine-in and order from the 7-11 catalog while using their wi-fi… 24 hours a day. And there are 5000 locations just in Taiwan. Then there are also  FamilyMart, Ok Mart, and Hi-life most likely right across the street, or next door.

9.) The micro-brew scene is creative, delicious, and growing quickly.


My two favorite IPAs are from… you guessed it… TAIPEI!!!

10.) You expect to get a free massage with your haircut or you won’t be coming back.

haircutCreative Commons – Design Dog

A free hair washing after a haircut is standard. Anything less, just don’t go back because you’re missing out! The cheapest cut I’ve gotten was NTD 100 and for an extra 10, I was given a hair wash. That’s less than USD 4, folks!

11.) Cops are actually friendly and helpful. They don’t TRY to get you.

Police Scooter

Generally speaking, they’re there to help, not to waste your time and harass you. Find me a YouTube video with a Taiwanese cop pulling someone out of their car window during a “routine” traffic stop.

12.) Taipei is one of the safest cities in the world.

helmetsafefyCreative Commons 

Second safest city in the world, baby! Check that out here!

13.) It only costs you about $5 US to visit a doctor AND get meds… all within 30 minutes.

taidayiyuanCreative Commons – znchen

An X-ray and some 3 days worth of meds cost me USD 15. And my hospital trip was about 30-45 minutes. That ain’t bad.

14.) The traffic is a well-oiled machine that ebbs and flows without too many accidents.

trafficCreative Commons – zhchen

What’s the key? REACTION SPEED

15.) Cabs are plentiful and CHEAP!

taxiCreative Commons – Richard Masoner

Minimum fare is only about $2US.

16.) We prefer to solve our problems with our words, not fists. Unless you are in politics…

gov fightyoutube

Sometimes you just have to duke it out in the legislature.

17.) There is at least one, if not more, typhoon day every year!

typhoonCreative Commons – Alexander Synaptic

Disasters are never good, but a day off work is!

18.) We have a hot spring district.

TOSHIBA Exif JPEGCreative Commons

BTW, Taiwan’s Green Island also has 1 of only 3 salt water hot springs…. IN THE WORLD!

19.) We have more artifacts from China than China does! #nationalpalacemuseum

museumCreative Commons – Alex Yo

The National Palace Museum is literally a treasure vault filled with some of the oldest and most amazing artifacts from ancient China.

20.) Our cost of living is ridiculously low!

livingCreative Commons – Shiwa

Living in NYC is 243% more expensive than in Taipei; London – 241%; Tokyo – 176%; Chicago – 164%; Beijing – 123% ***Source***

21.) We have a whole MONTH devoted to ghosts, not just a day.

ghostmonthCreative Commons – Wm Jas

During ghost month, spirits are offered food, money, and even clothing by burning them. Stay out of water and you had better not whistle at night! See why!

22.) Driving a scooter is the best way to travel in the city.

scooterCreative Commons – Luke Ma

Cheap, fast, and easy to park, scooters trump cars in Taipei, and they are one hell of a good time.

23.) Our garbage trucks play classical music to us to let us know they are coming.


garbagecreative commons – Jin

24.) We have the world’s first 24-hour book store.

bookstoreCreative Commons – duremi

25.) Speaking of which, there is also 24-hour shrimp fishing.


Drinking some beers for a few hours and then barbecuing your catches is a great way to spend time with friends, afternoon and night!

26.) 24-hour KTV

ktvCreative Commons – Alexander Synaptic

27.) The greatest variety of fresh fruit in one place, and mangoes that will blow your mind!

fruitCreative Commons – Maya-Anaïs Yataghène

Fresh fruit in the morning for breakfast, and at the night markets you can get fresh fruit smoothies, too!

28.) It is the land of cuteness, and Hello Kitty is everywhere.


Everywhere. We even have a Hello Kitty Maternity Hospital and store that only sells Hello Kitty tiles for your kitchen and bathroom.

29.) We have art and creative design everywhere: 2016 Art n Design Capital of the WORLD.

taipei art

Info here!

30.) We also have some of the best, legal graffiti spots in the world.

graffitipark grafpark2

31.) Our city is one big, free WIFI hot spot.

taipei wifi

“Oh no, I went over my data plan.” Never again. Move to Taipei!

32.) Oh, your city has themed restaurants? Please, let me show you ours:



Yeah, the second one is poop (chocolate) ice cream served in a toilet bowl…

33.) Taipei is also a giant lost & found.


My wallet fell out of my pocket once on the bus. The bus company recovered it. I picked it up. NOTHING missing. Boom.

34.) The crosswalk guy walks/runs.


It sort of reminds me of Atari, that old school gaming system that brought the world Space Invaders and Pong.

35.) Our breakfast shops are far superior.


Google 蛋餅.

36.) You can be in a different climate in less than 3 hours!

hsrCreative Commons – Billy1125

The HSR (Taiwan High Speed Rail) can take you around the country at 293km/h (182 mph).

37.) We’re in the middle of a tropical paradise.

beachaccessCreative Commons – Enixl

This shot is of Taiwan’s annual Sand Sculpting Art Festival. And check out the accessible water activities!

38.) Scuba diving and snorkeling are only an hour away. #fulong #longdong


Actually it means Dragon Hole in Chinese, but we’re not sure that name sounds any better.

39.) So is surfing.

surfCreative Commons – David Hsu

Great surf north and south of the country! In the north, the beach is only 1-2 hours away!

40.) Para-glide to the bottom of our mountains!


Absolutely beautiful. I <3 Taiwan!

41. The city is surrounded by nature.

greentpeCreative Commons – Pohan

Taipei is not too far away from mountain ranges that surround the city! From Taipei 101, it’s only a 15-minute walk to Elephant Mountain.

42.) Taipei is built for cycling.


We now have Ubikes, which are a form of public transportation! Just swipe your Easy card and you can pedal away!

43.) And for Cycling.

cyclingCreative Commons

Taiwan holds the world record in having the largest bicycle parade according to the Guinness Book of World Records!

44.) The Maokong Gondola is a great way to view Taipei, especially right before visiting our zoo!

gondolaCreative Commons – Connie Ma

Please take a gondola with the glass floor. It makes the view even more breathtaking!

45.) Markets, markets, markets!

jademarketCreative Commons – RiNux

Jade, flowers, jewelry, food, paintings, sculptures, pets. What more do you want!?!?

46.) Because you’re super gay….friendly.

IMG_6544Creative Commons – Carrie Kellenberger

47.) We have some of the friendliest, most helpful people in the world!


 48.) Ubike is Everyewhere, And It’s Free!


A pick-up and drop-off bike service that is free to ride under 30 minutes. How many cities could have this with out it getting stolen/vandalized. I’m looking at you New York, Chicago, London.

49.) Because you want some islands in yo’ islands!


Quiet paradise is so close to home.

50.) Taiwan is the heart of Asia – Taipei is Taiwan’s


51.) And then there’s that feeling you get when you come back to Taipei.

daanstationCreative Commons – Chao Wei Juan

I haven’t been home in 2.5 years. And I just gave you a boatload of reasons why. So, please….


Stop this “Best” city nonsense. You’ll never win. Ever. Just go to bed knowing you’ll never be #1.

What are your favorite things about Taipei, or even Taiwan? Let us know!

To read Buzzfeed’s article, check it out here.

And see more of Taipei’s beauty here!

Please rate this

Author : Lewis Clark

Profile Photo

I'm probably the craziest and most energetic of the team! I love life and I see losses and sad times as a chance to grow and explode!! I've had the privilege of working with Taipei Trends since April 2013. Before I came to Taiwan I thought I'd be in the country for 2-3 years, but after having lived here and experiencing so many fruitful times in Taiwan, I've made it a goal to help others fall in love with Taiwan just as I have. Hang out with me and you'll laugh, be entertained. I'm an all-around social butterfly. You can find me doing anything from checking out new restaurants, to playing in an American flag football league, and enjoying all the nature Taiwan has to offer!

  • Tusky

    Taipei is an awesome city. There are other awesome cities around the world, don’t understand why there is so much hatred about Taipei in the comments. I absolutely loved it, but sure there are pros and cons to it. Food is great, people are friendly, girls are beautiful. The city is a very nice mix if Eastern and Western cultures. But yeah, if you are into wild nightlife then head to Bangkok. I lived in both cities, and to me Taipei is more appealing because it’s more organized, MRT is super cool, and the standard of living (among locals) is higher and that (sad, but true) really makes a difference.

  • Mario Rossi

    Sorry, lived the first 2 years and partly agreed. Spent another 12 and well… i find the list a joke, bad one.

  • International Observer

    This must be from straight out of The Onion…

  • AnnieCheung

    As to Taiwan,I have known too much,as there are massive political immigrants from mainland China,includinging my uncle.And,the Taiwan province is the fixed keeper of Chinese traditional culture,for a slew of famous universties and scholars had moved to Taiwan,because of the second civil war in China.
    Increasingly,I have a strong desire to visit Taiwan as well as meet my uncle,

  • Chris O’Dell

    this article is spot on!

  • Finlan Hsiung

    I can not agree more. The 11st is the best. The police are so kind and friendly at Taiwan!

  • HenryHuang

    I grew up in Taipei. Lived half of my life in the States, and I don’t have all the positivity the author has for Taipei or Taiwan. I admit if you are an immigrant and single, Taiwan has a lot to offer. But if you grew up in Taipei/Taiwan, or is about to have family there, it’s a totally different story. For traveling and visiting, heck yeah Taipei/Taiwan is a great place to be.

  • Dylan Hunt

    Good article. And agreed

  • 慕容灣


    線上叫小姐 Line:893520 ◆ Skype:naimei8





    請加入小爽爽 線上服務 享受最優質的貼心性愛服務~

  • Jenny Jusuf

    “Hang out with me and you’ll laugh, be entertained.”

    Sold. How could I reach you the next time I’m in town? Do you have personal social media handles?

    I, too, have a mission to make more people fall in love with Taipei/Taiwan. Would love to discuss some ideas regarding social media platforms. I can be reached through my Twitter/Instagram account: @JennyJusuf.

  • Gatteo

    I doubt the bike-friendly, low traffic and low accidents points…
    I am a biker and mostly of the time I feel really brave to deal with crazy traffic during rush hours.
    Also green areas. Some district are actually green, but mostly of the town is a grey concrete stronghold
    All the other points, though, I cannot but agree!
    Taipei is lovely!

  • 83D

    Taipei isn’t even the best city on the island. After a year of living in that overpriced, polluted, cesspool of traffic, horrible weather, concrete and stench I fled south. While not perfect, Kaohsiung is a thousand times better than Taipei. Taipei is easily a top 5 worst place to live in Taiwan.

    • 83D

      4. The city is quite polluted and dirty as are the surrounding coasts and beaches.
      6. The MRT is quite poorly thought out requiring you to take an MRT+Bus+taxi to get most places. There are many cities out there with better public transport systems. Taipei isn’t horrible but not worthy of bragging.

      8. Or any other 7-11 (or convenience store) in any other city in Taiwan, Japan or Korea. This has nothing to do with Taipei.
      11. This is simply factually inaccurate. The police in Taipei are generally either corrupt, lazy or apathetic about the law and its enforcement.
      13. This is factually inaccurate. You may ENORMOUS amounts of money in the form of your healthcare taxes and additional private healthcare is required because the government system doesn’t cover much of anything. Every month most foreigners are paying 18% of their paycheck towards the supposed “free” healthcare.
      14. If by well-oiled you mean gridlock, constant accidents, oblivious and unskilled drivers, and lack of respect for any traffic rules than maybe this could be right.
      17. Is wrong, 2013 and 2014 did not have typhoon days. In fact, Taipei has the fewest typhoon days of any place on the island because the mountain range shields them from most major typhoon action and its so far north. So while the rest of the country gets the day off from work, we all get to drive to work on our scooters in the crappy traffic in a downpour that’s just slightly less than a typhoon.
      18. So do about 100 other places in Taiwan and those don’t stink of sulfur like Beitou and aren’t wall to wall crowed.
      20. And yet the highest cost of living in Taiwan with no real advantages over other cities.
      22. If pollution, danger and rain are your things I guess.
      23. Yeah, nothing like a trash truck at 10pm waking you up when you have an early morning the following day.
      26. KTV being a good thing on your list says a lot about this person and how clueless they really are. We all love loud obnoxious establishments disturbing everyone around them and funneling money to the city mob.
      27. Except for the rest of the island you mean, and Thailand, and Cambodia, Malaysia and a million other places where the fruit is actually fresh, not trucked in. Has this writer ever even traveled outside of Taipei?
      28. Except for Japan and Korea you mean…
      31. That doesn’t work….
      32. And yet none of them have good food. (We’ll also ignore Tokyo, Chicago, LA, Berlin and a million other places with themed restaurants with good food. Oh and Taichung, Kaohsiung, Nantou, Hualian, and Hsinchu all have themed places.)
      35. They’re identical to the rest of the country.
      36. The first one I agree with! It’s easy to leave Taipei!
      37. In the middle? Have you ever been to Taipei and the outskirts? If pollution and ruined nature is your thing than paradise! Yeah! Better bet…go south where this is actually true.
      38. Everyone knows the good diving is down south. Long Dong bay has diving for a quarter of the year and it’s pretty uninteresting compared to Kenting, Green Island, Orchid Island andTaidong.
      39. Everyone knows the better surfing is south.
      41. Yes, surrounded…as in FAR AWAY.
      42. What part is built for cycling? Most of the city is too congested and narrow.
      44. Everyone knows the better gondolas are in Nantou. Makong is mediocre.
      46. Yes, a bunch of guys wandering around in their thongs. Great…
      47. People in Taipei are well known to be quite self-centered and rude. I can think of at least a dozen
      times I observed people having bike and scooter accidents while the rest of the traffic just drives right on by with not a single person offering to help. Try walking on a sidewalk sometime, they just plow into you without once even thinking of moving because they’re on the wrong side.
      48. Kaohsiung, Taichung, Tainan all have free bikes.

      • Guest

        I was born in the US but I go to Taiwan every summer and I have noticed that the pollution is getting worse, mainly because of China. The pollution from China is spreading to Taiwan. I don’t know where you’ve been in Taipei but I haven’t had any encounters with rude or self-centered people. In fact, I find Taiwanese people way more pleasant than strangers in the US. There is still way too much racism and ignorance in the US in places that are not culturally diverse.

    • thclr74

      except that it exploded like…two times?

  • Frog

    #7 looks more like Line 2 Tamsui-Xinyi line near the nature preserve center rather than the Wenhu line.

  • Bruno

    bullshit, self contradicting list. I love living here too, but this is a fluff piece at best. A kool-aid induced, rose colored version of the real thing. I guess when you’ve got a writing assignment, just put out anything huh

  • Camila

    <3 LOVE THISSSS. Been here only for 5 months and I can't think about a better place to be.

  • Guest

    1. Tainan have more snack
    2. Taipei’s park SUCKS
    3. naw…..that’s like every single city in Taiwan
    4. ehhhhhhhh no….Taichung and Kaohsiung are wayyyyyyyy greener
    (Taipei aint got no bike lane…)
    5. That’s just Asian being ridiculously recycle…or else Jap should be the cleanliest in all Asia (not to mention singapore)
    6. Please do explain the MASSIVE amount of motorbike on the road…..
    7……yeah…and no….you can’t even see anything with all the smog around….not to mention, that’s only one branch of the metro
    8. IN TAIWAN
    9. sighhhhh…they dont even,make beer in taipei county or city
    10…..ummm….that’s all asia…maybe minus china and korean cuz they cheap cheap
    11. COPS DOESN’T DO ANYTHING……they can’t, people record them so much that they rather not get into trouble
    12…….picture proof…..MASSIVE AMOUNT OF MOTORBIKE
    13….false…you forgot that healthcare is within the tax…PLUS Taiwan and US GDP differences
    14…YEPPPP….motorbike D:
    15….yeah TOO MUCH = pollution = smog….and once again…GDP differences
    16….ummm no…we don’t solve problem at all
    17….true for Taipei…..but then again, I dont want to get sick in the summer
    18…..yeah and nantou have a hot spring COUNTY
    19….not according to the KMT, since we’re Republic of CHINA…..
    20….GDP differences
    21…That’s not only Taipei….that’s like whole Taiwan, and whatever other countries that havwe a chinese influences
    22….and they were talking about public transit and the city being green? CONTRADICTION
    23. whole Taiwan please
    24….no that’s Japanese
    25+26. referr to 24
    27….whole Taiwan….plus mango ain’t from Taipei
    28…whole Taiwan pleaes
    29….Taipei finally got some creative metro station and monument AFTER the Kaohsiung’s Formosa metro station got into top10 metro station of the world
    30. whole Taiwan plese
    31….and it sucks…..beside data plan is cheaper than talking plan in Taiwan O_O
    32….can’t deny since most celebrity open up in Taiwan
    33~41 whole Taiwan plese
    42….ehhh nope….Taichung is way more superior in that sense….Kaohsiung got modified into a cycling city….NOT TAIPEI
    43….That’s like for an event, you can’t really do road biking during every day life…NOT WITH ALL THE MOTORBIKE
    44. The Maodong thingy is a waste of money and the food there sucks
    45~47 Whole Taiwan plese (maybe not the gay one)
    48. Kaohsiung metro implement the first free bike rental thingy…..5 years later….Taipei decided to copy
    49 smh….the author is just bsing now
    51……that Daian park is quite disappointing….

    • 83D

      This guy knows what he’s talking about unlike the author of the article.

    • Guest

      whats wrong with motorbike……

    • Astroboy888

      Way to stand up for Southern Taiwan! Much respect.

      Lets get the Northern vs. Southern Taiwan rivalry going! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Snacking in Southern Taiwan is better. And Southern Taiwan in general is a tropical paradise – much better beaches.

  • Wojtek Gorski

    not sure about the whole built for cycling thing, but the rest is good.

    • Tree

      Taipei is definitely not built for cycling, being a now so new city plus all the smog around.
      But other cities in Taiwan got modified to a more cycling friendly city

  • Oliver St.John-Mollusc


    Go to a barber shop and men will get a free haircut with a sticky/runny massage

  • Oliver St.John-Mollusc

    #46 pic – great for mushrooms.

  • Oliver St.John-Mollusc

    Foreign musicians deported for playing live music TOO LOUD – while I’m at it, any foreigner diagnosed with the HIV virus have 5 days to get their affairs together and leave the island, otherwise they are forcefully deported. I know whereof I speak.

  • Oliver St.John-Mollusc

    and don’t forget all the prostitutes!

  • totowor

    Back up #3 with a list of great cafés and I’ll believe you.

    • ttdude

      Here, are some of our favorites, but there are so many we don’t even know about!


      • Tree

        There’s one thing tho, Cafe are all over Taiwan so it shouldn’t be saying Taipei is #1 city just because they got them

    • Astroboy888

      Thing about Taipei cafe and really cafes all over Taiwan that they are mostly boutiques. As such every one of these private cafes reflects the owner’s interest themselves. You see a lot of personality in them in the way they are decorated, the drinks / food they serve. It’s eclectic. They are not so much businesses, but private shangri-las. A places for peace and quiet reflection. (this part is a bit more Asian I suppose).

      The best Taipei cafes are hidden paradises in quiet neighborhoods. They are like gems and surprises that you find as you wander around the city. Very much in the spirit of small town neighborhood European cafes.

      Yes there are big chains, but they are mostly for tourists.

  • Adam Shrimpton

    WHAT???… I can’t believe they’re listing ‘food’ that has no taste to it and uses dodgy oils and are really clutching at straws when they harp on about convenience stores (seriously, try telling me TW convenience stores aren’t smelly piles of crap that sell disgusting things only after going to a convenience store in Japan; oh yes and all the ‘services’ you can get at a konbini in TW you can get in Japan (and Korea), as well as a lot more)…

    Then all the crap about the metro / public transportation system. Has anyone ridden out towards Odawara recently or gone towards Takao? Tokyo’s public transportation system even boasts views of Mt Fuji.

    Markets? You mean night markets crawling with cockroaches and rats and selling food that really is pretty disgusting compared to the rest of Asia? Pull the other one purleeeze! Sure, they’re good fun to visit if you’ve never been to one (and they’re all over Asia anyway, so why go to TW to see one?), but at night there really is nothing else to do…

    …oh 24hr KTVs? And where did the concept of 24hr KTVs come from in the first place? Not only that, but you have to pay for drink and more in TW and as well as that, the number of songs they have in Japanese, English and Korean is severely limited (go to ANY karaoke in Japan and there are hundreds, if not thousands of songs in English, Chinese, Korean, Tagalog and more in the remote control) and the recording quality is shite and always off key in TW.

    Pandas in zoos? Lots of countries all over the world have pandas. And zoos. And lovely views from mountains / hills over the city.

    Cheap, convenient taxis? Well, they’re always pretty dirty, driven by a rude dude who is constantly chewing betel nut and has no concept of safe driving and will probably ensure that you’ve spewed up whatever you ate that night before you get home. Compare that to the cheap taxis in Seoul or the super-polite, helpful taxis in Tokyo that even explain if roads are busy and if you would like to go another way and often ask you if you have a preferred route.

    Which reminds me of the driving / traffic? People don’t crash??? Seriously? I’ve seen SO MANY people on mopeds being mangled on the roads in TW and drivers bumping in to each other because they think it’s unlucky to use mirrors. I’ve been to some back end places in Thailand, Malaysia, China and all over Asia (where driving is supposedly terrible), but I’ve never ever seen driving as bad as I’ve seen in TW anywhere!

    Bike hire? Unfeasible in London or other places? Have you guys never heard of Boris bikes that are everywhere??? And don’t seem to get nicked or vandalised?

    And tropical climate? Sure, it doesn’t get super cold in TW, but neither does HK. And in 3 hours you can get to a warm, tropical beach? Sure you can. But you can do that in 2 hours from Tokyo on a domestic flight to Okinawa, you can do that in HK and in Singapore. So it’s nothing unique (especially given that the majority of the world’s population live just north or south of either tropic).

    And people friendly? Friendlier than mainland China, maybe. But still, compared to everywhere else I’ve been in Asia and the world (including Paris) Taiwanese people have been the rudest, most pent up people I have ever seen that will not hesitate to stab you in the back at the earliest possible opportunity.

    Seriously, the only time people think the stuff in this article is true is:

    1. If they’ve been in TW for far too long and have forgotten how amazing and pretty damned good and convenient many other places in the world are


    2. They are Taiwanese and have been brainwashed into thinking their little rock is the best place in the world, which in itself makes them very inward looking, not at all interested or aware of the outside world and because it’s such a tiny little place, it’s very parochial.

    There are a lot of people who are like either of these categories and certainly number 2… I’ve been taken for the ‘best food’ in TW which is apparently in Tainan, but it all tasted of nothing and was as bland as hell (like all food in TW). I mean, there are some noodles in a watery disgusting soup, some pork shit on rice (which doesn’t taste of anything either and has no seasoning or anything) and to be actually able to eat it (and to tone down the flavour of gristle and compacted bone) you need to cover everything in a pile of chilli, chilli sauce or some other sauce you need to carry around with yourself all the time. They’re even scared of using a bit of salt in cooking, so make sure you take your own if you find yourself in TW. And none of this crap is filling. The so-called, self-proclaimed (by it seems TW people only) ‘best food in the world’ is so bland, tastes of nothing and is so unadventurous, it’s actually more simple than something a 5 year-old playing around in a kitchen could come up with. There is no flavour and no imagination, like most things in TW. Plus most of these places are horrendously dirty, infested with cockroaches or rats (or both) and have completely rude table service that has no clue what it’s doing. I mean, I’ve been to dirty cockroach infested places in HK, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea and all over but the big difference is (even though service is just as bad sometimes), the food actually tastes of something, is divine and the dirt and service are things that you can ignore because the food is awesome.

    And a ‘coffee culture’?? Pull the other one please…. Coffee in TW is SHITE. Unless you go to Doutor and that’s only because it’s imported from Japan and there are only 3 stores in TW anyway. Or Gloria Jeans (but that’s imported from Australia, which has the world’s best coffee, period. Plus there’s not many branches in TW anyway, there are more in Japan). TW people get their horribly watered down coffee and usually buy the cheapest one available and then proceed to sit in the same coffee shop, with said tiny coffee on their own, often sleeping at the table for whole days at a time. Coffee culture my arse, more like take the piss culture. They do exactly the same thing in bars…. complete madness!

    Seriously peeps, this is a load of crap. I lived in TW for 4 years and have been spending months there at a time for another 3, and I can honestly 100% say that all the claims they make here are a bunch of lies or things that are not unique to TW / Taipei and if somewhere else has these things that aren’t unique, they’re usually millions of times better anywhere other than TW. So please avoid the place, it’s a festering, stinky shithole full of some of the rudest, most ignorant, parochial back-stabbing people on the planet. OK, I’ve met some great people in TW, some became good friends, but that’s a very small minority compared to the rest of the population (probably less than 0.0001% of the population) I wish more people were like them and did something to make TW better, as it has lots and lots of potential to be a much better place!

    I should make a post somewhere about this and list all the (valid) reasons why you could argue that Tokyo, Seoul, Sydney, London, Barcelona, New York or many other places are the ‘best city in the world’. But to be honest, in conclusion I can only say that there will always be bias in this towards where people live. For me the best city on the planet is Tokyo for so many, many reasons, but that doesn’t mean to say Seoul or Sydney are shitholes (they’re not). However, compared to pretty much anywhere, Taipei IS a shithole, as is the rest of Taiwan and I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to prove otherwise.

    • Joe

      Some of your points about Taipei ring true although some are a little far fetched such as taxi drivers, most I’ve met have been really kind and interested in who I am even when most of them can’t speak English. Any way don’t paint the rest of Taiwan with Taipei’s messy brush. Places like Taidong, Hualien and Kenting are really beautiful, laid back places with some truly stunning scenery, beaches, culture and people. Miles away from hectic Taipei.

      • Adam Shrimpton

        That’s the whole point though, whilst there are some picturesque and pretty places around TW, there’s nothing unique about it; plenty of countries have great, stunning places to go to. And even though these places are pretty, the towns around them are really dirty and have the same awfully bland, tasteless food as everywhere else.

        And taxi drivers? I’ve had the rudest taxi drivers in the world in Taiwan (not just Taipei). I’ll usually tell them the place I’m going to in Chinese and write it down for clarity and then they get all angry and loud when they can’t find it / have gone to completely the wrong place. And that’s not even with me beginning about their driving ‘skills’.

        Pretty much everything in the article that is listed as ‘great’, other than the local (awful) food and scenery (again, not unique to Taiwan), is imported from elsewhere and copied badly. 7-Eleven in Taiwan is owned by 7&i Holdings in Japan, Family Mart (Famima) is a Japanese chain and the local clones (OK, HiLife) are abysmal. The food sold in the konbini is awful (seriously, go try food in a konbini in Japan or Korea and then try saying konbini in TW are good) – and that’s all over the island, not just Taipei. KTVs are carbon copies of Karaoke Box in Japan with hardly any songs in other languages (yes, it is TW, but go and try a Karaoke Box in Japan or Korea, there are 100s or 1000s of songs in many other languages). Not only that, you can’t pay a set fee per person per room for room hire and all you can drink most of the time (places in Japan can be JPY 600 an hour for one person including all you can drink of anything). Then there are non-TW restaurants. Japanese restaurants are poor, have bad ingredients compared to Japan and (like with TW food) omit salt and any kind of seasoning that might actually taste of something. Western restaurants have absolutely no concept of the difference between a starter and main course (and I’m including international chains like TGIs and Outback here). Many times I’ve ordered food and drinks (again, not just in Taipei) and they’ve brought main course, then starter and then dessert. I’ve even had dessert come out first and the drinks I ordered follow the starter – having to send things back because it’s the wrong order many times, only to have the waiting staff get really moody. So all these great things are simply Taiwanese copies of things overseas and all told, really bad copies!!

        And this does seem to be something peculiar to Taiwan. I’ve never come up against any of this crap in other countries in Asia (although granted, konbini do kind of suck outside of Japan and Korea).

        There are plenty of beautiful places in many countries that are much better to go to than Taiwan, mainly because you don’t have to put up with all the bad stuff (which is pretty much 99% of everything) in TW. Although I do admit i like Kenting (though have no idea why it’s chock full of really bad ‘Thai’ restaurants), there are much better places in nearby countries that are much more fun, laid back and have great food.

        • Amber Perng

          … and exactly where do you come from? Better be some heavenly amazing alien planet.

        • Alexandre Dbfs

          you must be very bored to write such a amount of bullshit. Taipei <3

        • Meisa Cheng

          Not gonna read the whole thing because your first paragraph already showing that you don’t know what you are talking about. Obviously you missed the point about pretty places. You get a lot of pretty places and variety of pretty places within a very small area. You can travel between them in a very short period of time compare to other countries AND you have good & cheap transportation for you to go between them too.

          • Jennifer

            I didn’t even bother either like he lives there for long period of time comparing to us or me. I was born in USA went to Taiwan and live there for a while I see lots of changes and give them credit for that. Be honest what he said about coffee, night market and other stuff are totally BS. I’m sorry if I come out rude but he’s being rude about it. The most obvious part is he’s not Asian he’s not going to get used to Asian food besides Korean BBQ and Japanese sushi.

        • Adam Shrimpton

          Not too bored, just telling the truth.

          And I do think I know what I’m talking about. You can see everything in TW in less than a few weeks (and if you really must see absolutely every single little town and village, in a month or two). And that’s a key point. It’s small, boring and copies anything that’s good (but only succeeds in doing it in a bad way).

          And cheap and good transportation? Don’t make me laugh. Taiwan’s public transport is old and falling to bits (apart from the MRTs they keep building, over budget and way-past deadlines). Even the High Speed Rail is completely useless. Pretty much every major station with the exception of Taipei Main Station is miles out from the actual city it’s supposed to be serving which I guess can be super confusing for people coming to TW for the first time. Even the main airport doesn’t have a rail link, you either have to get a taxi, bus or bus + train. Sure there will be an MRT when they finally get around to opening it (whenever that will be), but what kind of ‘modern’ country that claims to have an airport hub has pretty crappy public transport links to it?

          And why is it such a good thing having everything ‘so close to each other’. Half the fun in travelling is the journey and if there’s a fair distance between places, people can discover lots of other interesting places on the way.

          Seriously, as I correctly thought, most people who would reply to this would be Taiwan / Taipei apologists or Taiwanese, neither of which know any better. I mean if you grow up with crap or get brainwashed into accepting crap, then you end up thinking it’s great. And don’t even get me started on what passes for ‘customer service’ in TW. Shocking…

          • Anna M

            I think service is OK here as well as many other things, and never had problems with taxi. But food is sooo bad. It was huge disappointment for me. I spent few years in China, been to other Asian countries, and food here is the worst. It’s very bland, noodles are always overcooked, soups are just water etc. As for 蛋餅 mentioned in the article, it’s the reason why I was in emergency room with food poisoning and 38C temp. Bought breakfast and la-la, my first ever visit to emergency! I must say hospitals here are very efficient, so I got my shots asap. 🙂 Coffee is not so good too, saying it as a coffee lover. But let’s not complain. I think main point in any discussion about why Taiwan and everything in Taiwan is the best is: it’s actually not the best. And people here always say and act like here it’s the best, and the rest of the world sucks big time, except USA, but food is bad there. Lol. And it’s really rude, in my opinion, but that’s the way it is.

          • Guest

            I assure you….that’s just Taipei….
            It’s even consider overpriced for us (I live in Kaohsiung)
            This article took a lot of what people can describe other cities are…..then added into what Taipei is…which is totally bs

          • Guest

            The reason why the foods are bland in Taiwan is because it’s healthier to have less salt in food. People from western culture just eat too much salt and sugar in their daily meal, and no wonder they have soo many people with heart or blood problem. we once had food that’s very salty and heavy tasted, but now we keep reduce that to get at healthier life style.

          • Anna M

            I believe you failed to see difference between non-salty and bland. Food can be non-salty, but bland and over cooked is different matter. In Vietnam, Korea, Hongkong, China I had tried nicely-cooked tasty food. In Taiwan one of locals favorite is 滷肉飯。 What else can I say…? Btw, why do you think I’m “western people”? No need to stereotype so much.

          • Jennifer

            Are you talking about yourself? Then you must be born or grew up in Korea or Japan then and don’t be telling me about Korea or Japan if I am part of it and to answer your question I am not Taiwanese nor Taipei Apologists

        • Jennifer

          I feel sorry you feel that way but I am a straight forward person most of the stuff you said aren’t true at all don’t know where you go to or experience but the night markets I went to was pretty clean they hired people to clean up the night market every day. Be honest you probably been through some drama with some one and that is why you felt this way.

        • Janet

          so much hatred!! I guess you really had a bad time in Taiwan…feel sorry for you!!!

    • Jennifer

      Be honest everyone has there own thing and you know what I see in a country that I love is that a country that is willing to change and this is why I love Taiwan. Taiwan had changed compared to 10 years ago. I would of agree with you 10 years ago about Taiwan but seeing them changing really caught my attention and I learn to appreciated what they had done. And to be honest I don’t see elsewhere such as you mention Korea or Japan had changed for the better for the citizen of their own.
      Japan Coffee? you serious!! you have not been to Hawaii then. Anyways I’m not here to argued but I seriously think you must had been through a bad relationship in Taiwan that’s way you feel the way you feel. AND GOOD LUCK TO YOU

    • Tree

      I totally agree with you….in some aspect as this article is claiming some of other city’s speciality…

    • Guest

      Hehe…I’m a Taiwanese born and lived for 10 years then moved to America…so I’m not sure which category Im in….
      But then the only reason I’m disagreeing with this article is because I’m from Kaohsiung and people from Taipei look down at us quite a lot.
      Plus there’s a lot of points that are more toward other cities and not just Taiwan.
      (As of capitals…..I like Tokyo more…although their English is the same as Taipei’s…)

      • 83D

        Anyone who has ever traveled around Taiwan would know that Taipei is about the worst part of the country. Kaohsiung is a thousand times nicer.

    • Ana Mila McEwen

      So it sounds like you just need to write your own article. This article is Someone’s opinion on their favorite country (shocker!). How did you miss that? He obviously has a different opinion and sentiment about this country than you but it’s awesome that you think writing comments is remotely valid.
      The truth is every single place has its pros and cons and they are weighed on personal opinion.
      Clearly your time in Taiwan was spent in a dark and sad hole, you did not see the beauty that is in this place and its people.
      It’s actually really sad.
      Your experiences show that you’ve a closed perspective. Such a shame!

    • Stan Ford

      Haters gonna gate. Ain’ter gonna Ain’t

    • Alex Courtois

      Who pissed into your cornflakes this morning?

    • Astroboy888

      Haters are just going to hate. Probably got dumped by his Taiwanese girlfriend.

    • Sara :)

      You sure talk alot of shit about Taiwan for someone who doesn’t have a profile picture face to go along with your pessimistic book on Taipei/Taiwan. Doesn’t matter which country you live in or visit there will always be something that doesn’t fit or please an individual. Plus you overly exaggerated on everythingggg. The food isn’t bland in Taiwan it’s actually too flavorful. There are many kids getting their kidneys cleaned because the food they eat has too much salt. I don’t even want to go through the whole list of things you complained about. It seems like you must’ve had some really shitty job that took you nowhere and had problems getting out of Taiwan. Or maybe someone taiwanese mistreated you and you decided to become an asshole and pick at the whole community itself. Perhaps you should take anger management class, do some meditation for your negative soul, yoga helps too, or just learn to not be a complainer and whine about every little thing jeez.

    • Vera

      I am sorry for your bad experience in TW. But some of your points aren’t ture even you had lived for four years…you are thinking other cities are better cuz you don’t know TW throughly.
      Why mention transportation? Because it is truly convenient. Taipei has Mrt station in every 5-10mins by walk. Can you find this in other cities? Please tell me.

      Why mention Ubike?
      Cuz it is literally everywhere. And you only use one card to access it.
      And that card has a lot more use, such as mrt, shopping, taking taxi, and sometimes identification. You can say it is not a big deal bc you don’t treasure this feature. But you are not saying that taipei can’t boast for this bc other city have this as well.

      Some of your points are also bias-based.

      How do you describe food with no taste? That’s your own taste, seriously. When I went to other countries such as usa I felt like their food are putting too many sugar ans salt. But it’s my own taste.

      How do you described “smelly” Tell me, will every person like the smell of same perfume? No, they won’t. Cuz for some ppl, it smells good, but for some it smells like shit.

      Last, you are saying ppl from TW are rude, but look at you, your comment is super rude. I totally accept criticism, but only for a constructive one.

      I know there is no much thing to say to change your mind, because bias is bias. But again, I am sorry for your experience in taiwan, and I hope you enjoy japan or other countries better.

  • CYang

    Born in TPE but left when I was 3 so the only time I get to visit were during summer holidays. Since I started working it’s been harder to visit due to limited vacation days and the cost of travel plus time of travel from the east coast of the United States. This list is totally 100% accurate and it makes me miss the city soooo much! Thank you for it!

    • Lil

      SAME! I was born in Taipei and left when I was 3.5… haven’t been back since 2002 and I miss it so much. 🙁

  • Alexandre Dbfs

    Totally agree. I lived there for 1 year and loved it ! Sometimes I want to give everything up and just come back.

  • X. J. Chen

    I <3 this list.
    Would you consider adding the municipal hotline "1999" to the list, where the city takes complaints about virtually everything and anything, then follows up your call reporting either an action it took to make your life easier, or helpful info to do so?

    • ttdude

      Haha, for real? So cool. Guess we have something new to try 🙂

  • John Ring

    This is the first list I’ve totally agreed with…I’ve lived here for 25 years, and it just keeps getting better and better.

    • I’ve only been here 6, but I love living in Taipei and traveling in Taiwan. Can’t imagine 25 years. That’s awesome!

    • ttdude

      Thanks John!

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