Travel Dangers in Taiwan

Information about the dangers of traveling in Taiwan.

Travel abroad is inherently dangerous. There's a danger of getting hurt, danger of getting robbed, and a danger of getting killed. For many, this is the spice of international travel.

Please submit your impressions of dangers in Taiwan. What is dangerous in Taiwan? Why is it dangerous? What are ways that you can reasonably mitigate the danger?

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December 16th, 2011

I'm an American living in Taiwan for 11+ years now, and I still cannot get acustomed to several dangerous things. The first, most common is traffic. There are millions of scooters and cars on the roads. Scooters and motorcycles weave dangerously in and out of traffic, run red lights, cut off pedestrians etc. Even though the law says that pedestrians have the right of way, the people do not practice this courtesy, and the police do not enforce almost any traffic laws. It seems that traffic signs, traffic lights, boundary lines, zebra stripes, etc. are only a guildline of where and what you're roughly supposed to be and do. Locals DO NOT respect traffic laws at all. Everyone wants to go first, cutting eachother off, sometimes to the point of challenging eachother to see who will cut who off first, many times ending in some kind of traffic accident. Men are very aggresive, offensive drivers. Most ride on scooters. I have a Harley Davidson look alike. When we stop at a traffic light, waiting for it to turn green, men stare at the foreigner on the nice bike, and kind of get a bit insecure, and give me bad looks, start "reving" their engines as to teach me a lesson of who's cooler. Even before the light turns green for us, the immature local would already be speeding through the red light, dangerously cutting off cars still going through their own green light. Many look back to see if I accepted the challenge, only to notice I'm still at the intersection, letting them drive away. Most will continue, some might wait for you at the next light and try it over again. I suggest you ignore them as if you didn't realise it. For some might try to start a fight if you say something or look at them the wrong way. Women are not as aggressive, but they still will do everyting the men will do, except for the challenges and fights. Women are usually absent minded and careless when turning left or right, changing lanes and just as men, usually do not use their turning signals to let you know they are about to hit you. They just turn, don't look in any of their mirrors and BOOM. Bye bye motorbike. Many will stop if they hit you, but hit and runs are very common. My wife was hit by a car while on the scooter, and crashed into a 3 ft deep concrete ditch. The car driver slowed down, looked to see if she was moving, and continued. I was cut of an incoming car turning to his left, my right, and i wiped out. He continued. Many will look at you in a crazy as if you are at fault. So, I hope you have life and accidental insurance, for all the foreigners I know, each and everyone has had somekind of accident. Welcome to TAIWAN!

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