10 Fun Facts About Taiwan for Kids

Do you know how to say “Thank you” in Chinese?  Did you know the most commonly used greeting between people in Taiwan is “Have you eaten?”- read as “Chī fàn le ma?”  Do you like Bubble Tea?  Here are 10 fun facts about Taiwan, the Republic of China, for kids.  I have also included activity ideas and extended learning resources for you to explore Taiwan even further.

10 Fun Facts about Taiwan for Kids


1. People in Taiwan really love food!  

Hunt for the best food in the streets and in restaurants, from dishes at night markets to famous soup dumplings in “Din Tai Fung!” The taste of Taiwan is a trail of history.  Taiwanese cuisine embraces the abundance of local plantations, aboriginal cooking styles, and dishes from mainland China, as well as the influences of the Dutch, Spanish, and Japanese cultures.

People in Taiwan are passionate about food.  They will wait for hours in front a bakery for freshly baked pineapple cakes.  They will make a reservation two months ahead of time in order to reserve a seat at a Taiwanese restaurant known for its great authentic dishes.  Outdoor food stalls are everywhere.

Going to night markets with friends after work or with classmates after school is like having a field trip.  Night market food vendors don’t have street numbers but you can spot the good ones easily – they’ll be the ones with a long line, and the fragrance of their specialities like soup dumplings, pan-fried dumplings, scallion pancakes, black pepper steaks, bubble tea and much more…

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2. Public transportation in Taipei is amazingly efficient.

Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan. Taiwan is a little bigger than the size of the state of Maryland in the U.S., with a population of over six million in the Taipei metro area.  You can see young elementary students take buses or the metro/subway to school all by themselves.  I was one of them years ago before the metro was available.

The bus stops have signs that list every stop on each route.  The frequency of the bus service is high and it is very convenient for local residents, expats, and tourists. The Taipei metro system announcement is multi-lingual in Mandarin Chinese, English, Taiwanese, and Hakka.  You can take the metro from the city center to a quiet mountain suburb or a riverside night market in less than an hour.  You also see people walk a lot in Taiwan.  When you are done walking just hop on the bus or the metro to your next destination!

3. “Face”: People fight to pay a restaurant bill!

10 Fun Facts About Taiwan for Kids
Soup dumplings
photo: courtesy of Carol Lin, flickr

This is a part of the Taiwanese and Chinese culture.  When young children go out to eat with their parents and the friends of their parents, whom they call aunties and uncles, there might be a chance at the end of the meal to see the adults race each other to pay the bill at the cash register (before the bill arrives), or to be the first the person to grab the bill at the table and pay.

To be the fastest person to grab the bill and pay for every one takes practice and good strategy.  People are not really fighting even though they can get loud.  They all want to host the lunch or the dinner to show that they are well-off enough to treat their friends and their family to a meal.  The polite thing to say to the person who paid  is,“Thank you!  It will be my turn next time.”

4. Umbrellas are for rain and SUN!

Ladies in Taiwan carry umbrellas on a rainy day and also on hot summer days.  Girls want to protect their skin and hide away from the sun so their skin does not get too tanned.  Fair skin symbolizes beauty in many Asian countries and Taiwan is one of them.

Not everyone tries to avoid the sun, but if you are local and you get a good tan your mother might “faint” when she sees you at the door.  Mine almost did when I returned from a 5-week summer camp with hundreds of Chinese-American students who all wanted to get a good tan during their tour in Taiwan.

Taiwanese moms almost always buy the highest number UV protection sunblock for their kids and themselves.  So, don’t be surprised if you see someone holding an umbrella on a sunny day in your neighborhood next time!

5. There is a nap time after lunch every day at school – even in high school!

Taking a nap after lunch is a part of the student life in Taiwan.  This starts in preschool and goes all the way to high school.  It is a cultural tradition and considered  good for your health.  You can see similar practices in Spain and Latin American, they call it a “siesta.”  When people start working many of them also arrange to have a nap after lunch in the office.  This short power nap does boost energy for the afternoon productivity either at school or at work.

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6. Garbage trucks play classical music – Beethoven’s “Fur Elise”

This music has been playing on the garbage trucks for years and people know the garbage truck is coming to their block when they hear this music from far away.  With the recycling efforts in Taipei the garbage trucks come to each block at a fixed time daily.  This time is like a social meet-up for neighbors who bring their trash and catch up on the latest events.

7. 7-11, the convenience store, is everywhere and people love it!

This is not your average American 7-11.  They offer services and quality goods that are hard to imagine  This is a place where you can pick up your breakfast, snacks, pay all your bills, make photocopies, pick up your online orders, pay for an amusement park or concert tickets, buy a pair of socks, sit down have a quick bite and collect the latest and cutest exclusive figurines or collectibles…  The staff at the counter even helps pop popcorn for you, heat up your purchased bento, and cook instant noodles upon your request.  And, yes, they do also have Slurpees!

8. Students wear uniforms to school – from preschool through high school.

Preschoolers wear a uniform bib and after that all schools have their own school uniforms.  People know what school you go to by looking at your uniform.  Students who are in the top public or private high schools even wear their uniforms on non-school days sometimes to show their pride in their hard-won achievements.

9. People in Taiwan exercise, dance, and practice Tai Chi in the parks – in groups.

Don’t be surprised when you see people gathering in the park to dance, do exercise, or practice Tai Chi in the early morning on weekdays and weekends.  You can drop in on one of these groups to participate in their workouts and people will welcome you and give you tips.  You can see kids join in on the fun on weekends.

Little children will ride their tricycles, older ones will fly kites, while parents practice folk or ballroom dancing on the side.  Grandparents might be there to  take a walk or do Tai Chi.  You will also see high school or college students practice singing performances or their hip hop group dances.  Taiwanese people are social and parks are a great place to meet up with your old friends and get to know new friends.  Jump right in.  Taiwanese people are friendly and passionate about helping foreign visitors get to know Taiwan.

10. Taiwan is also known as “The Republic of China.”

Flag of Taiwan

Taiwan’s official name is “The Republic of China,” and the official language is Chinese (Mandarin).  Since the Chinese Civil War in 1949 The People’s Republic of China has governed Mainland China, while the Republic of China has governed the island of Taiwan.  During the civil war many Chinese left their homes in Mainland China for Taiwan and didn’t return until forty years later, when relations between the two governments eased.

The writing system used in Taiwan today is the traditional Chinese form that was used in China before they introduced the simplified form.  All classes in Taiwan’s public schools are taught in Chinese.  English language is a part of the public school curriculum and most of the children start learning English in elementary school.

With the diversity of Chinese culture, Taiwan has two other dialects/languages in addition to Mandarin Chinese, they are Taiwanese and Hakka.  In order to preserve these heritage languages of Taiwan, Taiwanese and Hakka have been added to the heritage culture curriculum at schools in recent years.

Fun Activities to Try

Craft: You can try this paper cutting craft by downloading the template here!

Songs: Do you want to learn counting from 1 to 10 in Chinese?  Try Chinese number song here.

Words: See how Chinese characters are transformed from drawing to words we see today.  Draw the Chinese character,  “bird.

Children’s Books about Taiwan and Chinese Culture

The Food of Taiwan: Recipes from the Beautiful Island

Evie and Andrew’s Asian Adventures in Taiwan

Learning Resources About Taiwan and Chinese Culture for Kids

Language: Want to learn about some basic facts about Chinese Language?  Here is an infographic for you to explore.  Can you find the countries that have (Mandarin) Chinese as their official language?

Geography: See where Taiwan is and its geographic location to China and the world with MapMaker Interactive at National Geographic

Travel: Want to travel to Taiwan?  Here is a sneak preview for a trip to Taiwan!

Cooking: How about trying out making Chinese dumplings?  Here is a precious and amazingly delicious but simple Chinese dumpling recipe from my grandmother who is from Sichuan province, China.  King of night markets-here you can see how this night market delicacy, Taiwanese fried chicken recipe is prepared and made at home.

Soup Dumplings: This is a must-try dish when you travel to Taiwan.  There are many restaurants serve this dish but one of the names you will hear over and over again is  Din Tai Fung.  Din Tai Fung is the name of the restaurant that brings soup dumplings to a different level in food enjoyment.  You can see how the soup dumplings are made here at the restaurant.

Arts:  Get to know Jimmy Liao,  a Taiwanese illustrator and writer whose books have been translated into multilingual languages and his exhibitions in Taiwan are in 3D forms.  Take a look! Have you ever used a Chinese brush to write or paint?  See and experience the Chinese calligraphy fun here.

History: Taiwan preserved Chinese culture during the Chinese Civil War.  Take a virtual tour of the National Palace Museum located in Taiwan. NPM changes its display every six months and It will take sixty years to see all the treasure there.  Want to see more?  Come and experience Art of Chinese Crafts here at Google Art & Culture with over 900 items from the world.

Music: Let’s listen to songs from Taiwan.  Transition Band sings “Excuse Me, My Chinese is not good.”  Taiwan Flashmobs touch your heart with traditional Chinese songs for the Lunar New Year here. Taiwan performing artists, Jay Chou and Patrick Brasca created theme song for Kung Fu Panda 3 movie and here you can watch this bilingual music video.

More: Exploring Culture with Kids a resource you can use to further your knowledge about Taiwan and Chinese culture.  How to keep our Taiwan and Chinese culture going when we live in the U.S.?





Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Hop 2017 | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Welcome to our fourth annual Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series and Giveaway! Follow along all month for ideas about sharing with kids the rich cultures of this vast and varied region. Also, be sure to enter the giveaway below and link up your posts at the bottom of the page.

For even more ideas, visit our blog hops from last year2015 and 2014.  You can also follow our Asia and Australia & Oceania boards on Pinterest.

May 1
 Miss Panda Chinese on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 10 Fun Facts About Taiwan for Kids

May 2
Kori at Home

May 5
Chinese American Family: Visiting Locke and Connecting with California’s Rural Chinese History

May 11
The Art Curator for Kids

May 12
Kori at Home

May 15
Crafty Moms Share

May 17
Bicultural Mama

May 19
Wise Owl Factory

May 22
Ketchup Moms on Multicultural Kid Blogs

May 23
All Done Monkey

May 25
Miss Panda Chinese

May 30
All Done Monkey

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Giveaway

Enter below for a chance to win one of our great prize packages in our annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month giveaway! The giveaway goes from May 1 to May 31, 2017, at midnight PT. If the winner falls outside the shipping area of a prize, that prize will revert to the next lower prize package. Read our full giveaway rules.

And for all of our readers, here is a special offer from our sponsor Tingomo! Use the code TENOFFTINGOMO to get 10% off any pre-order! (first kits to ship in July)

APAHM Series and Giveaway: Grand Prize | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Grand Prize

From One Dear World: Set of 4 plush multicultural dolls, each with its own passport, plus the story book The Adventure of Hat Hunting in London, starring the dolls as the main characters
From Tuttle Publishing: Adventures in Asian ArtIndonesian Children’s Favorite Stories, Malaysian Children’s Favorite Stories, and Filipino Children’s Favorite Stories
From Wisdom Tales: Rock Maiden – US Shipping Only
From Bollywood Groove: Go on a fun adventure with Maya & Neel and learn about famous festivals and places in India! In this very colorful, three-picture-book series, kids will learn about festival of lights – Diwali (Amazon best-seller), festival of colors – Holi and the home of Bollywood – city of Mumbai. US Shipping Only
From Miss Panda Chinese: Winner’s choice of an “Everyday” learning unit with audio links
From Tingomo: Passport Craft™ Kit: Make Your Own NEPAL Paper Lanterns US Shipping Only, will ship in July

APAHM Series and Giveaway: 1st Prize | Multicultural Kid Blogs

1st Prize

From World Music with Daria: set of tingsha (handbells) US Shipping Only
From Quarto Knows: Summer Under the Tamarind Tree, I is for Iran, and 50 Things You Should Know About the Vietnam War – US Shipping Only
From Monika Schröder: Saraswati’s Way – US Shipping Only
From Miss Panda Chinese: Winner’s choice of an “Everyday” learning unit with audio links
From Tingomo: Passport Craft™ Kit: Make Your Own NEPAL Paper Prayer Flags US Shipping Only, will ship in July

APAHM Series and Giveaway: 2nd Prize | Multicultural Kid Blogs

2nd Prize

From The Dumpling Mama: Pack of 20 good luck envelopes: Give good luck wishes with money in a red envelope. Perfect for Lunar New Year, birthdays, graduations, and holidays US/Canada Shipping Only
From Kathleen Burkinshaw: The Last Cherry Blossom – US Shipping Only
From Candlewick Press: A Piece of Home and Bronze and Sunflower – US Shipping Only
From Miss Panda Chinese: Winner’s choice of an “Everyday” learning unit with audio links

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Amanda is a teacher, podcaster, and author. Parents and kids know her as "Miss Panda!" Her streaming lesson album Let's Learn Mandarin Chinese with Miss Panda guides parents to bring everyday Chinese to their young children with laughter. Her podcast is Playful Chinese which helps families to keep Mandarin active every day! She is the author of FIRST MANDARIN SOUNDS: An Awesome Chinese Word Book and Little Bun: A Bilingual Storybook About Feelings. You can connect with her at Miss Panda Chinese

9 thoughts on “10 Fun Facts About Taiwan for Kids”

  1. What a wonderful resource! This list makes my mouth water reading about all of the delicious foods. Also I learned things I didn’t know before like that school children take naps . Taiwan is truly a beautiful island! can’t wait to try some of these activities with my children.

    1. Is this wonderful to see something we are familiar with in a city where we have experienced ourselves? Taiwan always has new fun surprises for me every time when I visit. So glad you enjoyed it.

  2. This is very helpful. I have known people from Taiwan but this level of information is helpful to me as people think I know something! 🙂 Thanks!

    1. I was glad to know that you find this post helpful. I believe that knowing some fun facts about a city or a country really make people feel special and it leads to more interesting discovery.

  3. We’re Chinese, but my husband and I come from two different areas. I’m Cantonese (southern China) and my husband is Taiwanese. We mainly share our culture with our kids through food. My husband still has lots of family overseas and we did take out kids to see Taiwan last spring. We pretty much observed everything described in this blog post about Taiwan. Both of my parents’ families came when they were teens, so our connection to China is through family memories shared and visiting Chinatown or Chinese community centers. If there’s a local museum exhibit on some aspect of China, we try to take our kids.

    1. Anna, What you have been doing as a family is wonderful. Sharing our heritage culture with our children is a daily effort and it is fun. From food, cultural events to visiting the countries parents were born in – everything will leave an impression and a memory in the minds of our children. It is a connection that our children will cherish now and beyond. I was so glad to know that you have observed everything I included in the post. I also find Chinatown a great place to go for a cultural tour.

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