Customs and Traditions To Know Before Visiting Taiwan

  • SumoMe

Taiwanese Customs and Traditions

The Importance of Saving Face

Saving face is an important fact of life everywhere in Asia. Even an accidental infraction is seldom excused. “Face” is a mixture of reputation, pride, dignity, honor, social standing and influence. If you cause someone to lose face, you have committed a great disservice. Many things may cause someone to lose face, including:

  • Causing a scene in public
  • Pointing out the error of someone’s ways, be it a mistake or lie, in front of others
  • Failing to offer sincere compliments when deserved
  • Refusing a gift; gifts should be refused at first but always accepted with both hands in the end
  • Not allowing a vendor the final say in negotiations
  • Showing disrespect to elders, those in uniform, or who have rank or title
  • Refusing to let your host pay for dinner if offered

These are just a few of the ways you could cause someone to lose face. Losing face is a great insult, so tread carefully.

Tipping in Taiwan

When you travel to Taiwan, tipping is not expected.  Higher end restaurants will add a service charge directly onto the bill. Throughout much of Asia, a tip is usually only expected in luxury hotels or at four and five star restaurants. You are never expected to leave a tip at local eateries, hostels, or for street vendors serving up fried foods and rice right of the rice cooker in an alley.

Study Taiwanese Customs

Although saving face is critical throughout Asia, there are some differences in customs in various countries. Japan and Taiwan do not share all the same customs and neither do other countries across the continent. There are different rules about visiting temples, greetings and departures, table manners, and other customs and traditions of each individual land. In order to prevent embarrassing yourself and to be a good representative of your native land, take the time to research the customs in each of your destinations.

Traveling to Taiwan is an adventure and an opportunity you may only have once. By preparing to follow proper etiquette, you will enhance your amazing journey.

Leave a Reply