7 Interesting Facts About Taiwan Before Making Your Way There

Image: PR Image Factory / Shutterstock.com

Singaporeans love Taiwan.

Our content partner even wrote an article about our love for anything Taiwan.

We love Taiwan so much that people would jump at an opportunity to buy food from Taiwan in Singapore.

Remember the first batch of Kiki Fine Goods Singapore’s 2,000 packets of noodles?

Image: Kiki Fine Goods Singapore Facebook Page

The Sichuan Pepper (椒麻拌面) and Aromatic Scallion (葱油拌面) were sold out within 6 days of their launch!

P.S: They have since added two new flavours to the list recently, Young Vinegar (小醋面) and Aged Vinegar Hot Noodles (老醋辣面).

So if you’re interested, which I’m sure you are, you can buy them online or in stores.

But for those who are travelling to Taiwan, you can have your fill in the country itself.

But of course, apart from Kiki noodles which originated from Taiwan, there are other fascinating facts about the island so… let’s dive into the juicy news right away!

1. Taiwanese girls like to have fair skin

That’s why they avoid the sun as much as they can. Just look at this young Taiwanese student:

Image: Weibo / Lure Hsu

Oh wait, did I mention she’s a young student? I take that back. She’s 43 this year.

“WHAT?! Don’t bluff leh.”

Ah Hock loved Michelle and asked her, ‘Ai stead mai?’ in the 90s. Today, he tried again but would it work? Prepare some tissue paper and watch their love story here:

I’m not. Her name is Lure Hsu and she’s a designer by profession.

She swears by using sunscreen in summer. “After your skin is tanned, it will become dry. Freckles and small wrinkles would appear,” she told Taiwan’s Friday magazine during an interview.

Coupled with watching her diet, she also takes nutritional supplements like Vitamin C pills and collagen, to help maintain her ever-glowing skin.

2. Taiwan Has Facilities Suitable For Muslim Tourist Too

Image: ttrweekly.com

Taiwan is predominantly occupied by ethnic Chinese with Taoism as the main religion, so Muslim tourists might be leery of visiting the country.

But that’s not the case anymore!

With halal fried chicken and hot springs equipped with prayer rooms, Muslim tourists who visited the country were surprised at how welcoming Taiwan is.

You can easily find halal eateries with Google Maps, including one Beef noodle eatery.

Gaia Hotel in mountainous Beitou, best-known for its natural pools, is one example

They even have minibars that are alcohol-free and cakes that do not include pork-based gelatin. Their hotel kitchen is halal-certified and has a separate cooking and dining area. How incredible is that?

3. 20 restaurants in Taipei awarded Michelin stars

You’re a foodie who’s always on the lookout for good food? Then I’ve got great news for you.

There are tons of Michelin-starred restaurants in Taiwan.

Cantonese restaurant, Le Palais, is the only restaurant to be awarded the prestigious three-stars in the Michelin Guide Taipei 2018.

Image: taiwannews.com.tw

Following behind with two stars each are the authentic Japanese restaurant, RyuGin and Chinese cuisine restaurant, The Guest House.

The other one-star restaurants are Da-Wan, Danny’s Steakhouse, Golden Formosa, Ken An Ho, Kitcho, L’ATELIER de Joël Robuchon, La Cocotte by Fabien Verge, Longtail, Ming Fu, MUME, Shushi Nomura, Shushi Ryu, TaÏrroir, Three Coins, Tien Hsiang Lo, and Ya Ge.

Now you know where to go for a fulfilling meal to satisfy your taste buds.

4. Taipei Metro is one of the world’s most reliable subway systems

Worried about public transport in a foreign country? Don’t be because their Metro is one of the most reliable systems you can find.

It is so reliable that Singapore has sought Taiwan’s help to review operations and improve the MRT system we have here.

Though honestly, they did not shoot to fame immediately.

Opened in 1996, they had their fair share of troubles. In 2003, six delays of over an hour had a major impact on commuters and affected its image.

“The public was very angry,” said Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation president B C Yen.

But they quickly turned the situation around, setting up weekly technical meetings looking at the problems and solutions for it.

Standard operating procedures were written and thus when a fault develops, the staff was able to follow the SOPs quickly to minimize disruptions.

Unlike Singaporeans who are cursing and swearing at our train systems, commuter’s trust in Taipei is soaring high.

Taipei resident, Mr. Wan Qi-Wei, who co-founded a Facebook group of Taipei Metro fans, said: “We won’t make a point of checking for delays before we head out. We’re very confident in the system.”

5. Train ticket fares have not changed in the past 20 over years

And that’s not the only thing. It’s affordable too.

Again, on the contrary to Singapore’s situation, ticket fares have not changed in the past 20-something years.

Mayor Ko Wen-Je, the metro’s boss, said: “If profit is the only criterion … then very quickly, the public transport will break down.”

Well said.

6. Taiwan ranks top 30 in the World Happiness Report 2018

When you go overseas, the last thing you want to do is to get into a country that’s even more unhappy than yours.

Image: World Happiness Report

Taiwan is the only country in Asia that is ranked in the top 30 in the World Happiness Report 2018. Standing at 26th position, it’s 8 ranks ahead of Singapore, which stands at 36th in the report.

That means, if you’re feeling happy right where you are in Singapore, you will be much happier in Taiwan. How wonderful!

7. Taiwanese have the strongest desire to save

Based on a Mastercard survey conducted between May to July in 2017, 87% of Taiwanese respondents have planned to put more money in their savings or keep their savings unchanged over the next 6 months.

Here are the 3 major reasons they are saving money for – retirement, investment, and overseas travel.

I guess, in a way, if you’re worried about overspending in Taiwan, just make your way to where the locals shop and eat at and you’ll see higher savings.

So how? Did you see Taiwan in a different light now? There’s so much more to talk about Taiwan but so little time.

Share this with your friends because there’s something for everyone. It’s time to start planning our Taiwan trip!

Celeste believes that life is a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. She's working towards that one-way ticket.