Michael A. Turton
I want to come. What should I do? Crime and Safety
What to Bring Health
Finding, Renting, Housing Money
Water Posts and Telecommunications
Transportation Personal Services
Recreation and Travel Learning Chinese
The Social Side Food in Taiwan
Driving in Taiwan Bringing Kids?
Keeping a Pet Living in Taiwan, Returning to America
Email Me Back to Teaching English in Taiwan home page
A street in Taichung. Taichung's broad boulevards are a welcome relief from the cramped 
madhouse that is Taipei.
Throngs thronging in a market. Taiwan's telecom world is slowly being revolutionized by the privatization of the phone company and the rise of competition in telecom service. The phone system is totally reliable and there is an English inquiry service for phone numbers (dial 106).  Additionally, new lines can be turned on in a couple of days, a far cry from the bad old days when it could take three months.
Low light conditions give this local temple an aura of mystery. Internet service is a not a major problem. Dial-up is excrutiatingly slow, so DSL is becoming more and more popular. We pay $1,400 a month for DSL + telephone. In addition to the expensive Chunghwa Telecom, the former national phone company, there is a competitor called Dongsheng that delivers cheap, high-quality DSL. Unfortunately the "last mile" is still in Chunghwa's hands, and it is not available in all areas. 
A duck farm in southern Taiwan. One of the advantages of living in a middle class suburban neighborhood is that nobody else will have DSL, since all the middle-class does is watch TV all day, and your DSL will rip. If you live in a large apartment building or development, it is likely your DSL will run much more slowly. 
Local wildlife rests on a rock. Despite the development and the feral cats and dogs running around, there is a surprising amount of animal life in the areas outside the cities. Cellphones are also very cheap, and ridiculously common. We pay a basic fee of NT$180 a month for hours, and get 20 free minutes. So far we have never exceeded that amount.
Clouds, tombs, and apartment buildings spill over the mountains east of Keeling city.
The post office on its way to another delivery. The Post Office is one area where Taiwan is light years ahead of the US. Mail is delivered twice a day in some areas, and express mail on Sundays. The PO is efficient, fast, and reliable. 
Mickey D's and Snoopy: cultural imperialism, or just bad taste on the part of the locals? International mails from Taiwan are very reliable and very quick. When you get ready to return home there are numerous international shipping services which will ship a modest amount of stuff door-to-door for under US$1000. 
A Taichung mini-mall. Another great thing about Taiwan is the myriad ways to pay for things ordered online. You can have stuff shipped directly to your door through private companies or the Post Office. You can pay at the post office into someone else's bank account, or have it shipped to a convenience store and pay there. Options are endless and credit cards unnecessary. In many ways the US is far, far behind in shopping without risk.

A sign overlooks a Taipei street.
IMPORTANT: if you ship stuff by sea, it must pass Taiwan customs. Once the stuff has been passed by customs, remove it from the premises immediately. The warehouseman will ruthlessly pilfer it. You must push whoever is representing you to get your stuff out right away. In 1996 we shipped through Matrix, NY and their people in Taiwan did nothing to help us. We lost tons of stuff. We don't recommend them. When we shipped from Texas in 2002, we used Zen Continental, out of Houston. Three boxes disappeared en route.
I want to come. What should I do? Crime and Safety Recreation and Travel Bringing Kids?
What to Bring Health Learning Chinese Keeping a Pet
Finding, Renting, Housing Money The Social Side Living in Taiwan, Returning to America
Water Posts and Telecommunications Food in Taiwan
Transportation Personal Services Driving in Taiwan Back to Teaching English in Taiwan home page