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Cinthia Douglas: Taiwan – So Different Than What I Expected

Prior to our trip to Asia, I associated Taiwan with the “made in Taiwan” I often noticed in the products I purchased here in the US.  I imagined an extension of industrial China, where pollution was a problem for place full of factories.

Once I arrived in Taiwan, I was impressed at how organized the road system was and just how easily we commuted for an hour as we made our way to Taipei over an elevated highway.  Arriving in Taipei was pretty amazing.  Right away I noticed how modern and incredibly clean the city was.  As we checked into the Conrad Hotel, I started to feel at ease and very comfortable with our surroundings.  A few of the top things that stood out for me include the metro system (incredibly clean and efficient), the large number of scooters that moved about (including carrying children as passengers), the easy access to American brands and how kind everyone around me was.

Taipei at night

Taipei at night

During our days in Taipei, we visited the American Institute, Shangri-La Hotel, toured the Ford factory and visited the Asia Pacific Fuel Cell Technologies all with the core purpose of learning how to do business in Taiwan.  We discussed all the advantages Taiwan is experiencing as it’s separated from China with the ability to thrive on a democratic economy.

One of my favorite cultural visits was the Taipei 101, the 5th tallest building in the world.  Taipei 101 gave us a panoramic view of Taipei with a wonderful restaurant at its base offering the most delicious dumplings I have ever eaten – the Din Tai Fung.

Needless to say, Taiwan was much more than I ever expected.  By the time we were leaving, I could easily see myself living there temporarily.

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