Do's and Don'ts in Taiwan

Taiwanese Etiquette Tips

1. Dress Attire

DO wear conservative clothes, don’t reveal too much skin.

2. Table manners

DO eat with chopsticks.
DON'T put your chopsticks upright in your bowl.
DO talk with your mouth full. Slurping is also allowed.

3. Tipping

DO give tips to bell boys. It’s not normal to give tips in restaurants. If restaurants want a tip they will include it in the bill.

4. Body Gestures

DON'T embarrass Taiwanese people when with others. Asia is known for their fear of “loss of face”. This is taken very seriously, so take this in account.
DON'T use bad omens as a joke or statement. Only talk about death, diseases or disasters when you’re in a serious situation.
DON'T wear flip-flops or sandals, people will say this is the “farmers’ style”.
DON'T wave with your fingers up if you want somebody to come closer. It’s polite to wave with the fingers down.

5. Greetings

DON'T shake hands in a powerful and aggressive manor. It’s considered rude. Of course you can shake hands, but do it slow.
DO nod when you’re meeting men or women. Sometimes people don’t shake hands with the opposite sex,so nodding is a safe option.
DO take of your shoes when entering a house. It’s very impolite to leave your shoes on. Even when the hostess says it’s no problem to leave them on.

6. Business Meeting

DO wait until you are announced by a third party. Always wait before shaking hands as a guest.
DO shake hands when meeting men and women for business meetings.
DO keep in mind politeness is highly regard and direct conflict often avoided. The Taiwanese won’t say no immediately (even though they mean no). Instead possible answers would be: “we’ll try”, “yes” or “I understand”.

7. Gift Giving and Accepting Gifts

DO give a small gift when visiting someone’s residence. The best gifts are flowers, chocolates or biscuits.
DON'T give a clock as a gift. Clocks are associated with death and funerals and a clock as a gift can be seen as a sinister action.
DON'T give sharp gifts, like knives, scissors and cutting tools. These symbolize the “cutting of friendships”.
DON'T give an umbrella when someone’s leaving and it’s raining. It’s a bad omen to do so. Umbrella has the almost the same meaning as “to break apart”.
DO accept gifts with both hands.

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