Showing posts from May, 2021

Bringing a cat into Taiwan part 2

In the first post about my cat, I covered the process on the Canadian side up to the point of sending my cat to Taipei. In this post I will cover everything that occured on the Taiwanese side once my cat arrived. My cat arrived into Taipei at 4:55 am on Friday, as mentioned in part 1. As also previously mentioned, I hired Jet Fast Pet in Taipei to take care of clearing my cat from customs and picking her up from quarantine. I did this, as first it took me a couple of days to get confirmation that my cat will arrive to the cargo building and not the terminal. After I received this confirmation, I could not get the BAPHIQ office to confirm with the quarantine facility NCHU in Taichung that I will be able to pick up my cat at the end of seven days in quarantine. NCHU told me that they would need to receive a clearance certificate from BAPHIQ prior to releasing the cat to me, and that I was not likely to receive this until day 8, whereas BAPHIQ insisted that I needed to pick up the cat a

Taiwanese lunch and dinner dishes

 Since I covered breakfast foods, figured it is only fair to cover some traditional lunch and dinner dishes. 刈包  Yì bāo - Taiwanese pork belly buns 地瓜球  Dìguā qiú - sweet potato balls 大腸包小腸 Dàcháng bāo xiǎocháng - sausage in sticky rice bun 大腸蚵仔麵線  Dàcháng hézǐ miàn xiàn - noodle soup with oysters and pork intestines 控肉飯  Kòng ròu fàn - braised pork on rice 水煎包  Shuǐ jiān bāo - steamed fried buns that come with a variety of fillings 滷肉飯  Lǔ ròu fàn - stewed pork rice 火雞肉飯  Huǒ jīròu fàn - turkey rice 牛肉麵  Niúròu miàn - beef noodles 皮蛋豆腐  Pídàn dòufu - century egg tofu 肉圓  Ròu yuán - Taiwanese meatballs 胡椒餅  Hújiāo bǐng - pepper cake 臭豆腐  Chòu dòufu - stinky tofu 蒸臭豆腐  Zhēng chòu dòufu - steamed spicy stinky tofu 蘿蔔糕  Luóbo gāo - turnip cake 蚵仔煎  Hézǐ jiān - oyster omelette 水餃 Shuǐjiǎo - dumplings 鍋貼 Guōtiē - fried dumplings 車輪餅  Chēlún bǐng - crispy wheel cake 鳳梨酥  Fènglí sū - pineapple cake 剉冰  Cuò bīng - shaved ice dessert with various toppings 花生捲冰淇淋   Huāshēng juǎn bīngqílín - pean

Taiwanese breakfast foods

One of the greatest aspects of Taiwan has to be the food. This post will cover traditional  Taiwanese breakfast dishes. Master the Chinese of these and you will be able to order them anywhere. 油條  Yóutiáo - deep fried dough stick which is extremely delicious 燒餅  Shāobǐng - these are sesame biscuits that come in a variety of filings. and can be fully customized 蛋餅  Dàn bǐng - Taiwanese breakfast quiche that come in a variety of filings. and can be fully customized 蔥油餅  Cōng yóubǐng - green onion pancake 飯糰  Fàntuán - rice ball that comes with a variety of fillings 鹹豆漿  Xián dòujiāng - salty soy milk The following is a list of items commonly added to the above: pork - 豬肉 Zhūròu beef - 牛肉 niúròu chicken - 雞 肉 jī ròu egg - 蛋 dàn green scallion - 青蔥 qīngcōng

Bringing a cat into Taiwan part 1

Can't forget the cat and the cat adventure. As I have included previously, discovered the issues that pertain to bringing the cat into Taiwan in September 2020, which required me to begin altering my plans. I managed to book the cat in for her rabies vaccine in October 2020, with a follow up for a titer test 30 days later. The rabies vaccine was straight forward, and so was the titer test. Got the titer test results just over 4 weeks later. At this point I started to figure out where to put my cat as I was planning to leave Canada before the 180 day mark following her titer test. I found Cats Castle in Oakville. It was the best decision I could have made. I will return to discuss Cats Castle shortly. With this set up it was time to find a company to ship the cat to Taiwan. For a pet exporter I turned to This site has registered exporters by country and city. I chose to go with Worldwide Animal Travel  ("WAT"). More on WAT further down. With the ca

Breaking the bank

 There are plenty of posts around that discuss how to live on a budget in Taiwan, but thought it might be a good idea to demonstrate how easy it is to break the bank in Taiwan. Doesn't take much effort at all. Rent - everyone needs a home, and not everyone is looking to live outside of the action. In Taipei finding a 1 bedroom for $4,000 Canadian and up is really easy. Finding a cheap place is difficult. If you are looking for a place, this is the best site around. If you use the translate function the site tends to crash. I have found it best to run a tab with the English version and another with the Chinese version. Use the English version to choose the options on the Chinese site. Any place that is priced right can be gone within a day, so if you see it and like it, you will need to jump on it. Drinks - who doesn't love going out for drinks? This comes with quite the sticker shock. Cocktail bars in Taipei sell drinks for $350 NT ($16 CDN) and up. Beer that costs $35 NT ($1.

Learning Mandarin part 1

I knew in advance of moving to Taiwan that life here would be difficult without knowing Mandarin, but wasn't expecting it to be as difficult as it really is. I should really thank my Taiwanese friend for going everywhere with me to get everything done. On my own I am really not sure what I would have been able to get accomplished. Really don't want this point to be lost on anyone. Now for my Mandarin learning experiences so far. This post will cover everything up to me signing up with NTNU, and part 2 will focus on everything following this and my experiences at NTNU. I have tried all of the following: Language exchange meet up groups - a few of them are: Multilingual Cafe Language Exchange Taiwan Travelling & Language Exchange Language Exchange Taipei Language exchange Facebook groups - a few of them are: 台北語言交換 Taipei Language Exchange Taipei Language exchange|台北語言交換 語言交換在台北Language Exchange in Taipei Finding an online Mandarin teacher/tutor - a few of them are: italki pr


There are a few options for grocery shopping available. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I have tried to rank them from cheap to expensive. PX Mart - limited selection of items but they have all of the basic necessities. They only sell food items and alcohol Costco - can't not put it on the list. They have by far the best prices on things such as bread, dairy, coffee, meat, bacon, ham and the list goes on. In comparison to shopping at Costco in Canada where the savings are minimal here, the savings are huge. It is well worth the trip. You will also find things such as pancake mix, maple syrup and a few others that are only available here. RT Mart - a step up from PX Mart. Generally these stores are two floors with one floor dedicated to household items such as appliances, electronics, organisation tools, and a second floor with food items. There is a wide variety of options available with a decent selection of international food items. Carrefour - there are two formats t

Joining a gym

Somewhere along the line I decided I did not have enough Taiwan adventures and decided I needed to join a gym. Honestly though, I hadn't been to a gym at this point in nearly two years mostly due to travels and then the lockdowns in Toronto, and let's just say it was showing and not in a good way. Step one - scour the net for options. I got lead to the following conclusions: Avoid World Gym at all costs Consider using the gyms based on pay per minute Consider other gyms And so my journey began. First stop was the New Taipei City Tucheng Civil Sports Center. This place pretty much has it all. A gym, skating rink, spin bikes, ping pong and billiard tables. I considered the pay as you go option, but here's how it would work. To use the gym facilities it is $1 NTD per minute, there is limited equipment, and it was extremely busy. The spin classes would cost $100 per class. As I spend roughly 1.5 hours at the gym at a time it would cost me $90 NTD per visit and at 4 times

Getting set up - sim, banking, credit card

With the 21 days of quarantine and self-health management over it was time to get set up as a local. This is when life got really interesting. First, when I applied for my gold card I did not have an address, and as such my gold card was issued without a Taiwan address on it. I never thought this would be an issue until I went to try to set things up.  I should provide a bit of clarification on this. I chose to live in Banqiao New Taipei for several reasons, first it is a full local experience, and secondly the rents are cheaper. There are areas designed more for foreigners such as Da'an district, Xinyi district, Tainmu district, and Beitou district to name a few. You will find it much easier to survive in English and be self-sufficient in these type of areas. Being in Banqiao means that most barely speak English, and landlords are mostly not open to renting to foreigners for a variety of reasons. As previously mentioned my lease was entered into by a Taiwanese friend of mine a