• Indonesia!

    Indonesia: Lombok. Go Now!

    Indonesia
    This archipelago nation is culturally diverse from big cities to isolated islands. Begin Your Journey!

  • Nepal!

    Nepal: Phewa Lake. Go Now!

    Nepal
    This landlocked country mixes the cultures of the Indian sub-continent with the high Himalayas. Explore Nepal!

  • Mongolia!

    Mongolia: Desert. Go Now!

    Mongolia
    This vast country has a culture that spans past and present... a nomadic life shifting to a modern & sedentary society. Begin Your Journey!

  • Qatar!

    Qatar: Dhows in Doha Bay. Go Now!

    Qatar
    Although little more than a deserted peninsula, Qatar has a thriving culture based on technology and immigration, with Doha (pictured) taking the lead. Explore Qatar!

  • Kyrgyzstan!

    Kyrgyzstan: Tian Shan Mountains. Go Now!

    Kyrgyzstan
    The mountains, including the Tian Shan Mountains (pictured), give Kyrgyzstan a unique culture, partially formed from this isolation from the mountains. Go Now!

Social Life in Taiwan

Behavior

The Taiwanese are somewhat conservative in most aspects of their lives partially due to their Buddhist faith, which preaches modesty. However, they are well aware of the world around them as well as the differences in opinions and behaviors. Because of this they are quite understanding of various cultures and foreigners so odd behaviors are generally accepted, but not encouraged.

The Taiwanese people are very proud people and insulting them or putting a person down in anyway can be very offensive as the person will feel "shamed." In much the same way, the Taiwanese will rarely give you critical advice or insult you in fear of "shaming" you. This is especially true in business. Turning down a business offer in the wrong way may, unknowingly be an insult and could force your contact to feel so shamed that he will actually quit his job; if all hope is lost on a deal or even just an informal agreement, allow your Taiwanese counterpart to gracefully exit the situation so he can save "face." Although shaming a person can result in that person feeling shameful, some locals will stand up in defense of an insult, even if unintentional. In these cases the person feeling insulted may stand up for his honor and shout back at the other. Fortunately, this is only common among locals arguing with each other, particularly over driving etiquette.

Additionally, avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, religion, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart. Also try to avoid being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or getting noticeably drunk in public.

Dress

The people in Taiwan today generally wear western-styled clothing, but some people still wear traditional clothing on a regular basis and many people wear traditional clothing for special events or occasions. The traditional dress in the country varies, as there is the traditional indigenous dress as well as the many styles of dress from the Chinese depending on their historic home, ethnicity, social status, etc. For all of these groups the styles greatly vary from tribe to tribe and from region to region. These clothes vary from loose- to tight-fitting, can be in blue, red, back, or gold, and can be more western- or eastern-styled. Today the people tend to wear western-styled clothes, but shifts and dress for women are many times tight-fitting and in silk, giving them a cross between traditional fabrics and looks with modern styles.

As a visitor to Taiwan there are few dress restrictions. Although few locals wear shorts, especially men, there is no discourtesy involved in wearing them. However, if entering a temple or another religious site be sure to wear long pants and cover your shoulders, if not your elbows as well. Likewise, in business settings, dress is more formal and not unlike that found in North America or Europe. Unlike many beaches in Europe, sunbathing naked is rarely permitted; check with locals before doing so.

This page was last updated: November, 2013