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Taiwan Legislation
 
 
 

Taiwan Do’s and Don’ts

Taiwan is not a particularly daunting place to visit. It's crowded, and it can be confusing, but you'll be pleasantly surprised at how friendly and helpful everyone is.

In general, Taiwanese people are not overly formal or easily offended. Furthermore, most people in Taiwan are very familiar with Western customs, so a visit to Taiwan does not necessitate a crash course in any long list of unfamiliar rules. What's more important is to remember to bring along a generous stockpile of smiles. People in Taiwan are quite hospitable (though many may be shy or nervous when meeting a foreigner), and a friendly disposition will make up for a host of faux pas.

The Taiwanese are also especially appreciative of foreign guests who are curious about their culture. An avid interest in things Chinese, and the unique aspects of Taiwanese living, will win you a lot of friends.

Dressing for Business

For business or formal occasions, the code is almost exactly the same as in the West. Ladies should wear attractive dresses, skirts, or suits with slacks. Gentlemen should wear a tie, and above all, good leather shoes. During the hot months, it is almost impossible to wear a suit coat, but for more formal occasions, it is appropriate to bring one along for show anyway.

Shoes

Always take your shoes off when you enter someone's home. This rule is virtually universal in Taiwan. Usually your host will provide you with a pair of slippers to wear while indoors. If you receive guests into your room or home, it's always a nice touch to make sure extra slippers are ready.

Don't take off your shoes in public places - it's not expected, except in a few restaurants or tea houses with tatami mats.

In Taiwan, wearing sandals or "flip flops" is viewed as a farmer's habit, and therefore inappropriately proletarian. Polite people do not go out on the town, much less show up for work, in sandals. Many libraries and finer establishments do not allow sandal-wearers onto the premises at all. Nevertheless, leather sandals with straps, particularly imported ones that are expensive (or appear to be), are increasingly accepted.

Greetings

When Taiwanese meet each other, people usually shake hands. They generally do not bow as in Korea or Japan, except on very formal occasions.

When presenting a gift, money, a package or a document, it is polite to offer it with both hands. This symbolizes that the present is an extension of your person.


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