Cultural and Social Norms in Taipei

While you enjoy places and food in Taiwan, donโ€™t forget to be respectable of Taiwanes cultural and social norms. Knowing them can only enhance your experience in Taipei. So here are few things you need to know:

  1. Politeness and Respect: Taiwanese culture values politeness and respect highly. Use polite language when addressing others, and be respectful in your interactions. A simple nod or a smile can go a long way.

  2. Shoes Indoors: In many homes, temples, and even some traditional businesses, you'll be expected to remove your shoes before entering. Pay attention to signs or what others are doing, and follow suit.

  3. Gift Giving: If you're visiting someone's home, it's customary to bring a small gift, such as fruit, sweets, or tea. Gifts are usually received with both hands as a sign of respect.

  4. Eating Etiquette: When eating with others, wait for the host to invite you to start. It's polite to try a bit of everything if you're sharing dishes. Remember to place chopsticks on the chopstick rest or across your bowl when not in use, never sticking upright in the bowl, as this resembles incense sticks for the dead.

  5. Tipping: Tipping is not a common practice in Taiwan. Service charges are often included in bills at restaurants, and tipping is not expected elsewhere. However, leaving small change or rounding up the taxi fare is appreciated but not mandatory.

  6. Personal Space: While Taipei can be crowded, maintaining personal space and avoiding unnecessary physical contact is appreciated. Handshakes are common in formal settings, but otherwise, a nod or a slight bow is a respectful greeting.

  7. Consent for Photos: When visiting temples or cultural sites, or when you want to take photos with locals, it's polite to ask for permission first. This shows respect for their privacy and culture.

  8. Environmental Awareness: Taipei residents are environmentally conscious, with a strong culture of using reusable bags, bottles, and utensils. Embrace these practices to show respect for their efforts toward sustainability.

Hereโ€™s a list of Business Etiquette published by the Taiwan Gold Card for further reading.

Join the conversation

or to participate.