Art & Culture

Taiwan Taboos – What The Locals Rarely Tell Tourists

Seeing Taiwan for the first time can be a great experience for travelers. But it can sometimes also cause trouble for visitors who are only used to the customs and manners of their home country. Taiwan has some taboos, which are things that should not be talked about or done because they might offend people.

It’s better to believe believe than to disbelieve.


1. Do not stick chopsticks upright into a bowl, which means the food contributing to the spirits.

stick chopsticks upright

2. Do not give your friends a clock as a gift. That means “Wish you die” in Chinese.

clock as a gift

3. “4” pronounces as same as “Death” in Chinese, so people avoid using it.

number 4

4. Do not point at the moon, otherwise your ears would be cut off.

point at the moon

5. Do not open an umbrella indoor, otherwise you will find there are the spirits next to you.

open an umbrella indoor

6. Do not write the name in red. In ancient time, that means the person would be killed.

name in red

7. Knock the hotel room before you enter, in order to inform the spirits inside that you are coming in.

Knock the door

8. Do not pat someone on the shoulder at night, the fire of life might be put off.

 pat someone on the shoulder

9. White flowers or chrysanthemums signify death and should not be given as gifts.

White flowers

10. The Taiwanese do not value brevity as much as some other cultures. They are much more interested in the way a message is delivered.


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