Your Home Away from Home

This island nation is an absolute gem, hidden between its sisters South Korea, China and Japan to its northwest and brothers in Southeast Asia.

Taiwan is the model example of diversity. Tropical temperatures year-round and high earnings-savings ratio makes Taiwan your ideal home-away-from-home destination. Its advanced infrastructure and transportation system allows you to visit modern cities, gorgeous mountains and beaches in little to no time.

Taiwanese local’s kindness and welcoming spirit is one-of-a-kind.

At HESS, we channel the spirit of Taiwan, and offer possibilities beyond expectations.

Taiwan

hess-locations-taiwan-culture Culture

Taiwan’s population of 23+ million is comprised of Taiwanese, Han Chinese, and many different aboriginal groups speaking primarily Mandarin Chinese as well as Taiwanese and aboriginal dialects. It is a thriving mosaic of tradition, culture, and high-tech development, merging Eastern and Western influences.

Mandarin Chinese is the official language of Taiwan and is spoken by almost everyone except some members of older generations. Taiwanese is often spoken by locals in their homes and at markets. Hakka and aboriginal dialects are spoken in some areas. English and Japanese are the most commonly taught foreign languages.

 Food

Eating is a big and very important part of Taiwanese culture, so there is no shortage of different places to eat here. Many Westerners feel somewhat overwhelmed by the diversity, language barrier, and unfamiliar foods. Sure, some of it seems pretty strange at first, but if you look deeper, you can find a wide range of eateries that will satisfy your appetite.

The basic Taiwanese meal is typically rice or noodles with vegetables and meat either mixed into the plate or bowl, or on the side. Dumplings are widely popular, as are many forms of soups. You can also find more types of tofu here than you can imagine. However, being Taiwan, you will be surprised to find most of the foods from your country of origin.

 Transportation

Scooters and motorcycles are the most popular choices for transportation in Taiwan. There are more than 1 million scooters in Taipei alone! Many foreigners own and drive one during their time here. If you prefer to take a more your travels a little slower, public bicycle rental is also widely available.

Inner-city buses usually cost NT$15 for a one-way trip, and long-distance buses range from the usual public bus service to much more comfortable private bus lines between major cities. Most Taiwanese cities have an abundance of taxis.

 Housing

The buildings often look grey and old on the outside—or have a lot of “character”—but are usually very nice on the inside. It is hard to maintain a pristine exterior and a fresh coat of paint in a tropical climate.

Apartments are often unfurnished and almost never carpeted. (Tile is normal for floor surfaces, although hardwood is found in some places, too.) A telephone, refrigerator, and air-conditioning unit are not uncommon furnishings, but don’t count on them. You can negotiate with the landlord for these kinds of extras or get them easily on your own. You will also have to provide your own stereo, TV, etc.

At HESS, we understand that housing is something you care a lot about, and why shouldn’t you, it is where you will rest and relax during your time in Taiwan. This is why we have a support system in place to get you in comfortable housing that fits your budget.

 Geography

Taiwan is located in the Pacific Ocean only 160 kilometers (100 miles) from Mainland China and 580 kilometers (360 miles) northeast of Hong Kong. The island straddles the Tropic of Cancer. Taiwan is 394 kilometers (236 miles) long, and 144 kilometers (86 miles) at its greatest width. The total area is a little larger than the combined U.S. states of Massachusetts and Connecticut, or about the size of Holland or Vancouver Island.

A central mountain range runs the length of the main island of Taiwan, dividing it into east and west and dominating two-thirds of the land surface. While the mountains descend steeply into the Pacific Ocean on the east coast, the highland levels off gradually on the western side. The terraced tablelands and alluvial coastal plains of the west coast are home to about 80 percent of Taiwan’s population.

 Weather

Taiwan is considered subtropical, as the Tropic of Cancer cuts through the island near the city of Chiayi. Summer lasts from May through September and tends to be very hot and humid. The average daytime highs range from 30-35 degrees Celsius (86-95 degrees Fahrenheit).

Winters are generally mild, although the high humidity tends to make it feel very chilly at times. Winters run from December through February with average highs of around 16-20 degrees Celsius (61-68 degrees Fahrenheit). The coldest time is usually over Chinese New Year at the end of January and the beginning of February. Although these temperatures aren’t particularly low, most houses don’t have central heating, so you really feel the cold. This means despite the numbers, you will still need to wear warm clothing during the winter.

Culture Culture Food Transportation Housing Geography Weather hess-locations-taiwan-culture

Culture

Taiwan’s population of 23+ million is comprised of Taiwanese, Han Chinese, and many different aboriginal groups speaking primarily Mandarin Chinese as well as Taiwanese and aboriginal dialects. It is a thriving mosaic of tradition, culture, and high-tech development, merging Eastern and Western influences.

Mandarin Chinese is the official language of Taiwan and is spoken by almost everyone except some members of older generations. Taiwanese is often spoken by locals in their homes and at markets. Hakka and aboriginal dialects are spoken in some areas. English and Japanese are the most commonly taught foreign languages.

Slide thumbnail

Food

Eating is a big and very important part of Taiwanese culture, so there is no shortage of different places to eat here. Many Westerners feel somewhat overwhelmed by the diversity, language barrier, and unfamiliar foods. Sure, some of it seems pretty strange at first, but if you look deeper, you can find a wide range of eateries that will satisfy your appetite.

The basic Taiwanese meal is typically rice or noodles with vegetables and meat either mixed into the plate or bowl, or on the side. Dumplings are widely popular, as are many forms of soups. You can also find more types of tofu here than you can imagine. However, being Taiwan, you will be surprised to find most of the foods from your country of origin.

hess-locations-taiwan-food Food
Slide thumbnailhess-locations-taiwan-transportation

Transportation

Scooters and motorcycles are the most popular choices for transportation in Taiwan. There are more than 1 million scooters in Taipei alone! Many foreigners own and drive one during their time here. If you prefer to take a more your travels a little slower, public bicycle rental is also widely available.

Inner-city buses usually cost NT$15 for a one-way trip, and long-distance buses range from the usual public bus service to much more comfortable private bus lines between major cities. Most Taiwanese cities have an abundance of taxis.

There are also excellent island-wide train, high-speed rail, and mass rapid transit systems (MRT). Taiwan’s domestic airline industry is quite active. Flying is as common as taking long-distance buses, and flights are always fully

Transportation
Slide thumbnailhess-locations-taiwan-housing

Housing

The buildings often look grey and old on the outside—or have a lot of “character”—but are usually very nice on the inside. It is hard to maintain a pristine exterior and a fresh coat of paint in a tropical climate.

Apartments are often unfurnished and almost never carpeted. (Tile is normal for floor surfaces, although hardwood is found in some places, too.) A telephone, refrigerator, and air-conditioning unit are not uncommon furnishings, but don’t count on them. You can negotiate with the landlord for these kinds of extras or get them easily on your own. You will also have to provide your own stereo, TV, etc.

At HESS, we understand that housing is something you care a lot about, and why shouldn’t you, it is where you will rest and relax during your time in Taiwan. This is why we have a support system in place to get you in comfortable housing that fits your budget.

Housing
Slide thumbnailhess-locations-taiwan-geography

Geography

Taiwan is located in the Pacific Ocean only 160 kilometers (100 miles) from Mainland China and 580 kilometers (360 miles) northeast of Hong Kong. The island straddles the Tropic of Cancer. Taiwan is 394 kilometers (236 miles) long, and 144 kilometers (86 miles) at its greatest width. The total area is a little larger than the combined U.S. states of Massachusetts and Connecticut, or about the size of Holland or Vancouver Island.

A central mountain range runs the length of the main island of Taiwan, dividing it into east and west and dominating two-thirds of the land surface. While the mountains descend steeply into the Pacific Ocean on the east coast, the highland levels off gradually on the western side. The terraced tablelands and alluvial coastal plains of the west coast are home to about 80 percent of Taiwan’s population.

Geography
Slide thumbnailHESS-locations-taiwan-weather

Weather

Taiwan is considered subtropical, as the Tropic of Cancer cuts through the island near the city of Chiayi. Summer lasts from May through September and tends to be very hot and humid. The average daytime highs range from 30-35 degrees Celsius (86-95 degrees Fahrenheit).

Winters are generally mild, although the high humidity tends to make it feel very chilly at times. Winters run from December through February with average highs of around 16-20 degrees Celsius (61-68 degrees Fahrenheit). The coldest time is usually over Chinese New Year at the end of January and the beginning of February. Although these temperatures aren’t particularly low, most houses don’t have central heating, so you really feel the cold. This means despite the numbers, you will still need to wear warm clothing during the winter.

Weather

New Taipei / Taipei Area

Always more delights

Taipei, is the capital of Taiwan and a major city with more than 6 million, is bustling with action 24 hours a day. Summers are hot and humid and winters are cool and wet. Famous for hip cafes, and a great nightlife, Taipei is the place to be if you are looking to live in a big city.

Keelung Area

Gateway to the world

Keelung is a city steeped in tradition and is well-known for its many festivals and cultural celebrations. It maintains its Taiwanese charm with bustling night markets filled to the brim with seafood, ancient temples and pagodas. On top of the hill is the famous 22.5-meter (74-foot) Kuan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) Buddhist Statue, which overlooks the city and harbor.

Taoyuan / Zhongli Area

Home of international expos

Suburbs of Taipei, there is a vibrant expat community with lots of restaurants and pubs around to go out to and meet new people. With over 2 million people this is a big city of its own, but has managed to maintain a mid-sized city feel.

Hsinchu / Zhubei Area

Ancient traditions meet the modern world

While Hsinchu is a mid-sized city, it is much more international than many other cities in Taiwan. Known as the Windy City, Hsinchu/Zhubei has a slower pace, but still has all the amenities one would want. The area is famous for its constant breeze that makes it an ideal spot for wind sports like kitesurfing.

Yilan / Loudong Area

Culture, nature, creativity

This area is the perfect place for those who want to immerse themselves in Taiwanese culture and language, as foreign and western amenities are few. Known for its warm water and waves, water sports such as surfing and boogie-boarding have become increasingly popular among foreigners and Taiwanese alike. The area is also home to several famous hot springs for some soothing relaxation.

Changhua Area

Bamboo Town

Changhua is one of the major cultural centers of Taiwan. It possesses the right mix of a small-city feel and traditions that are still apparent in both seasonal festivals and everyday life. Its close proximity to Taichung (only 16 minutes by train from Changhua City!) means that you can enjoy the low cost of living and slower pace of life, but still get those big city advantages easily.

Nantou / Yunlin Area

Home of Sun-Moon Lake

Nantou is very mountainous and is abundant in tourist activities. It is home to Taiwan's highest peak, Yushan (Mt. Jade), and 41 other mountains that top 3,000 meters in height. Taiwan's longest river, the Zhuoshui River, winds through the county, and the island's most beautiful lake can also be found here. The annual Sun-Moon Lake swim attracts thousands of participants each year

Taichung Area

The sound of blooming

Often cited as one of the best places to live in Taiwan, Taichung is Taiwan’s 3rd largest city and possesses all you would want in a city, with much entertainment, shopping, cozy cafes and some of the friendliest people in Taiwan. Its central location makes it easy to travel either north or south.

Hualien / Taitung Area

Become one with nature

Hualien and Taidong are some of the most beautiful and secluded areas of Taiwan. Located on the majestic east-coast, these locations are perfect for people who want to live near the ocean and the mountains, and are happier in smaller locations. With the unbelievably beautiful Taroko Gorge located just outside of Hualien and the incredible natural beauty of Green Island and orchid island, right off the cost of Taidong, the east-coast of Taiwan is unlike anywhere in the world.

Chiayi Area

Your gateway to Alishan

Chiayi is known as the gateway to some of Taiwan’s most impressive mountains. It possesses a very affordable cost of living, and a great opportunity for a cultural experience. Located right on the Tropic of Cancer, Chiayi has great weather most of the year with hot and humid summers and warm and drier winters.

Tainan Area

Taiwan’s cultural capital

As the former capital of Taiwan, Tainan is a city loaded in history, culinary and cultural traditions. Tainan is known for its old temples representing traditional Chinese culture. Some date back as far as three centuries. Scattered throughout the city are reminders of the past: gates, arches, forts, and temples from when the Dutch occupied Taiwan.

Kaohsiung Area

Southern richness, vibrance and love

Kaohsiung is Taiwan’s 2nd biggest city. It possesses all the amenities of a big city, but with a tropical pace of life. Winters are warmer and drier, so it never gets as cold as its northern sister cities. Kaohsiung is a great option for people that want a city life but are not looking for something as crowded as Taipei.

Pingtung Area

Wilderness and beach experience

While HESS currently does not have any positions in this location, Pingtung is located within easy travelling distance of Kaohsiung. It is known for its farmer's markets and temples. The beaches of Kenting National Park are a must-see in the region. This small but modern town has few foreign residents, but makes up for it with an abundance of outdoor activities.

Always more delights

Taipei, is the capital of Taiwan and a major city with more than 6 million, is bustling with action 24 hours a day. Summers are hot and humid and winters are cool and wet. Famous for hip cafes, and a great nightlife, Taipei is the place to be if you are looking to live in a big city.

Gateway to the world

Keelung is a city steeped in tradition and is well-known for its many festivals and cultural celebrations. It maintains its Taiwanese charm with bustling night markets filled to the brim with seafood, ancient temples and pagodas. On top of the hill is the famous 22.5-meter (74-foot) Kuan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) Buddhist Statue, which overlooks the city and harbor.

Home of international expos

Suburbs of Taipei, there is a vibrant expat community with lots of restaurants and pubs around to go out to and meet new people. With over 2 million people this is a big city of its own, but has managed to maintain a mid-sized city feel.

Ancient traditions meet the modern world

While Hsinchu is a mid-sized city, it is much more international than many other cities in Taiwan. Known as the Windy City, Hsinchu/Zhubei has a slower pace, but still has all the amenities one would want. The area is famous for its constant breeze that makes it an ideal spot for wind sports like kitesurfing.

Culture, nature, creativity

 

This area is the perfect place for those who want to immerse themselves in Taiwanese culture and language, as foreign and western amenities are few. Known for its warm water and waves, water sports such as surfing and boogie-boarding have become increasingly popular among foreigners and Taiwanese alike. The area is also home to several famous hot springs for some soothing relaxation.

Bamboo Town

Changhua is one of the major cultural centers of Taiwan. It possesses the right mix of a small-city feel and traditions that are still apparent in both seasonal festivals and everyday life. Its close proximity to Taichung (only 16 minutes by train from Changhua City!) means that you can enjoy the low cost of living and slower pace of life, but still get those big city advantages easily.

Home of Sun-Moon Lake

Nantou is very mountainous and is abundant in tourist activities. It is home to Taiwan’s highest peak, Yushan (Mt. Jade), and 41 other mountains that top 3,000 meters in height. Taiwan’s longest river, the Zhuoshui River, winds through the county, and the island’s most beautiful lake can also be found here. The annual Sun-Moon Lake swim attracts thousands of participants each year.

The sound of blooming

Often cited as one of the best places to live in Taiwan, Taichung is Taiwan’s 3rd largest city and possesses all you would want in a city, with much entertainment, shopping, cozy cafes and some of the friendliest people in Taiwan. Its central location makes it easy to travel either north or south.

Become one with nature

Hualien and Taidong are some of the most beautiful and secluded areas of Taiwan. Located on the majestic east-coast, these locations are perfect for people who want to live near the ocean and the mountains, and are happier in smaller locations. With the unbelievably beautiful Taroko Gorge located just outside of Hualien and the incredible natural beauty of Green Island and orchid island, right off the cost of Taidong, the east-coast of Taiwan is unlike anywhere in the world.

Your gateway to Alishan

Chiayi is known as the gateway to some of Taiwan’s most impressive mountains. It possesses a very affordable cost of living, and a great opportunity for a cultural experience. Located right on the Tropic of Cancer, Chiayi has great weather most of the year with hot and humid summers and warm and drier winters.

Taiwan’s cultural capital

As the former capital of Taiwan, Tainan is a city loaded in history, culinary and cultural traditions. Tainan is known for its old temples representing traditional Chinese culture. Some date back as far as three centuries. Scattered throughout the city are reminders of the past: gates, arches, forts, and temples from when the Dutch occupied Taiwan.

Southern richness, vibrance and love

Kaohsiung is Taiwan’s 2nd biggest city. It possesses all the amenities of a big city, but with a tropical pace of life. Winters are warmer and drier, so it never gets as cold as its northern sister cities. Kaohsiung is a great option for people that want a city life but are not looking for something as crowded as Taipei.

Wilderness and beach experience

While HESS currently does not have any positions in this location, Pingtung is located within easy travelling distance of Kaohsiung. It is known for its farmer’s markets and temples. The beaches of Kenting National Park are a must-see in the region. This small but modern town has few foreign residents, but makes up for it with an abundance of outdoor activities.

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