Expats moving to Taipei will find themselves in a global city that presents a seamless blend of history and modernity.
The pace is frenetic in Taipei and change is constant. As such, the metropolis hums with the activity of millions of people living, working and entertaining themselves – all of which happens under the shadow of Taipei 101, one of the world’s tallest skyscrapers and the defining image of the Taiwanese capital.
Expats working in Taipei are positioned at the economic centre of Taiwan. Relatively unscathed by the Asian financial crisis, the city has exhibited a steady growth which is driven by high-tech industries, manufacturing and an expanding services sector.
It is also at the heart of Taiwanese culture and lifestyle in the city is characterised by its fantastic food. From tasty fare at five-star hotels to xiaochi snacks served at street level, Taipei is a culinary wonderland. Its almost endless choices reflect the history of the city, combining the influences of indigenous tribes as well as Chinese and Japanese cuisine.
As the capital, it is also the most Westernised city in Taiwan, making it a little easier for Western expats to find the things they miss from home. Despite this, Western goods can be expensive and the cost of living in the city is generally quite high by Taiwanese standards. Accommodation, which consists mostly of apartment living, is also on the pricey side. Fortunately, foreigners working in Taipei will have access to Taiwan's excellent and heavily subsidised public healthcare system.
Despite its large population being concentrated in a small area, getting around in Taipei is easy. Expats will be able to navigate the city using the MRT subway system and an abundance of yellow cabs. Scooters outnumber cars on the road and provide a convenient, popular and thrilling mode of transport.
Although it is densely urban, Taipei is close enough to the natural beauty of the Taiwanese countryside and beaches, contributing to the attractions of a city that offers expats prosperity and a high quality of life.