Taiwan

Top 10 Things

  • What NOT to do
  • What to do
  • When using chopsticks, never stick your chopsticks in the bowl. When people pass, we stick incense stick into rice to pray for them. --Yingyingchen29
    8 0
  • Don't refer to Chinese as "Putonghua" as it's called in mainland China, instead call it Guoyu (guo2yu3). --Crouching Squirrel
    7 0
  • Never wear your shoes in the house. It's considered super gross to track outside filth into a residence. Either accept the (foam) "slippers" you'll likely be offered or politely explain that you prefer to go barefoot if that's the case. --Chenluolan
    6 0
  • Don't say you hate a food or are grossed out by it. (Instead, say you "don't dare" eat it or are "afraid of" it! -- This is a completely forgivable way of avoiding something that we use among ourselves all the time!) --Chenluolan
    6 0
  • Don't talk in a normal voice on public transportation. Only inconsiderate foreigners, old people going deaf, self-centered adults, and as-yet-untrained toddlers do that. --ResidentEgg
    5 0
  • When you're the passenger on a scooter, don't hold onto the driver. Grip the handle BEHIND you instead. This way, if the driver stops short, you can brace yourself easily and won't go plunging into them. --Chenluolan
    5 0
  • Don't use the Japanese word 手紙 as if meant a postal letter. It means toilet paper in Taiwan. --Rad
    4 0
  • Never give a timepiece as a wedding gift (or any sort of gift), as it signifies a countdown to the end. In fact, no gifts are expected--just a *red envelope. (*See entry for guidelines) --Chenluolan
    4 0
  • You don't need to leave a tip. -- Some higher-end restaurants will add gratuity to your bill (which should be noted somewhere on the menu as a forewarning... usually 10%), but otherwise, it's simply not a thing. --Chenluolan
    4 0
  • Don't be obnoxious. Be as different from that loud, clueless, drunk foreigner as you can be. Help change the stereotype. --ResidentEgg
    1 0
  • Taiwanese love to make sure guests are full & happy, so when being treated to a family style meal, mention you're getting full before it's really true. After an "I shouldn't... but it's so good!" you can finish your meal. They'll be pleased it was worth eating more of & you won't be overly stuffed! --Chenluolan
    5 0
  • When dining family style, digging in enthusiastically will not only make your host happy, it'll also show you're not helpless. This is especially key for picky eaters, because if people think you don't know what to do they'll help you fill your bowl & you'll lose your chance to choose what you want. --Chenluolan
    4 0
  • Always carry a pack of tissues on your person, because public restrooms do not necessarily provide toilet paper. (POV: It's already a courtesy to let people use it for free... why should an establishment need to PAY extra to keep it stocked with something people take for granted and waste freely?) --Chenluolan
    4 0
  • When pardoning/excusing yourself for whatever reason, instead of saying 不好意思 "bùhǎoyìsi" or 抱歉 "bàoqiàn", try using the Taiwanese term "pāi sei" (<< unofficial phoneticism for non-students) -- It rolls off of the tongue easier, and will score you points with the locals! --Chenluolan
    3 0
  • It is considered common courtesy to wear a mask when you have a cold or are otherwise under the weather. (Note: This has been true for decades and is not covid-related.) --Chenluolan
    3 0
  • THE gift for weddings is a red envelope with a cash amount that is a factor of two (and 6s are also considered lucky) - Ex. 1,600/2,200/3,600. Note: The total should at least cover your banquet meal(s), the cost of which varies by city/inflation/etc., so researching the venue can be helpful. --Chenluolan
    2 0
  • Although we rarely bow here, a single solid nod of your head goes a long way to show politeness/respect in almost any social situation from being introduced, to apologizing, to thanking the driver that let you cross, to the cashier saying have a nice day, to the grandma you caught staring at you... --ResidentEgg
    2 0
  • Exchange business cards. Offer one to each person. When giving or receiving, bow your head and use two hands. When receiving, smile, say thank you & briefly inspect it before carefully putting it away in your wallet, card case, brief case, or shirt pocket (back pocket not ideal, but okay in a pinch) --Chenluolan
    2 0
  • Stinky tofu tastes better than it smells. Who knows, you might like it right away! But even if you don't, try ONE bite every time you're offered (deep fried only, not in soup). It just might grow on you! --ResidentEgg
    1 0
  • If you have celiac disease, be aware that most Taiwanese soy sauce has wheat in it. Some Japanese soy sauces are gluten-free (in the imports section of some grocery stores). -- Meanwhile, you sadly may find that you must prepare nearly all of your own food to avoid cookware contamination. --Chenluolan
    1 0

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Top contributor: Chenluolan (20 entries)

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