Keeping in touch in Taiwan is easy given the country's fast and reliable internet. There is free Wi-Fi in many coffee shops, restaurants and public spaces such as metro stations. ADSL lines are also reliable.
The media industry is free and highly competitive, with an abundance of radio, cable television and newspaper choices, including English-medium sources.
Mobile phones in Taiwan
Foreigners can sign contracts with mobile phone companies, although the actual documentation required will differ from company to company. Some companies will allow an expat to sign a contract if they pay for a year in advance, while others will only allow an expat to sign a contract with a Taiwanese person as a guarantor.
Generally, expats will only need their Alien Registration Certificate (ARC). However, some companies may ask for additional identification. However, braving the process of getting a mobile phone contract is usually worth it, as prepaid options, while available, are generally more expensive in the long run.
Some mobile companies and contracts offer discounted rates in the evenings or to other phones on the same network. It is a good idea for expats to compare packages from different companies to find one that best suits their needs.
Internet in Taiwan
Taiwan's communications infrastructure is excellent and internet connections are generally fast and very reliable. The internet isn't censored in Taiwan and social networking sites, as well as instant messaging services, are available and unregulated.
There's an abundance of internet cafés, and most coffee shops and restaurants provide free Wi-Fi. In Taipei, the city provides a free Wi-Fi service at MRT stations and in some other public spaces. Public telephone booths in the streets also offer Wi-Fi.
English media in Taiwan
There's an abundance of cable television channels in Taiwan as well as five free-to-air television networks. Cable is popular due to the low subscription rates. The free-to-air channels and most subscription channels are in Taiwanese or Mandarin, with only a handful of channels in English. However, many Western programmes are screened in the original language with Chinese subtitles, so expats will probably find there's always something to watch.
Are you an expat living in Taiwan?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Taiwan. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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