I am always grateful for bloggers. Think about it, what are bloggers getting in return for their work? Some bloggers make a living out of it, but the vast majority of expat bloggers in Asia do it as a passion, and not for a source of income. I’ve been accused of being an attention seeker for blogging. I was also called a terrible journalist, but if blogging makes me a journalist, then I’ll take that hit. A journalist is still a journalist!
Anyway, below are some blogs and websites that I think are just brilliant for keeping up to date on current issues, and learning about history, politics, culture, and business in Taiwan. If you have the time, make sure to bookmark these folks and get educated on just how interesting Taiwan is, for better, and for worse.
#1 New Bloom – Comprehensive and trustworthy independent media
Taiwan’s freedom of press ranks high in Asia, but that freedom is used to report mostly trash. That’s putting it nicely. To get comprehensive and trustworthy news, I really recommend you check our New Bloom. The online magazine states it has “Radical perspectives on Taiwan and the Asia Pacific” and I think this can be translated to mean simply “we tell it as it is”.
It might not be a blog, but it is worth your time to pop over to New Bloom to gain some new perspectives through the fantastic work of the journalists and editors.
A lot of my own perspectives and knowledge of ongoing issues in Taiwan are thanks to the excellent work of New Bloom. If you want to learn more about the foundations of this website, check out their story here.
I’d also recommend writing into them if you want to publish something. I thankfully met the editor, Brian Hioe through correspondence about a piece I wanted to publish with New Bloom, after it was taken down from a local English-based Taiwanese news platform. Apparently stating that drugs that kill the most people in Taiwan are tobacco and alcohol is too controversial.
Again, one of my favourite sources of news.
#2 Ketagalan Media
Another great source of high-quality news and information is from Ketagalan media. Named after an aborigine tribe that is now extinct, their goal is is to be a gateway to showcase the flow of ‘ideas and trends between Taiwan, Asia and the rest of the world.‘
There are a few English-based platforms that claim to connect the world to Taiwan, but they are usually just looking to connect drama and audiences.
Ketagalan Media doesn’t connect the world Taiwan, it is connecting Taiwan to the world — a distinction that does need to be stated in comparison to other platforms.
Some articles that are worth reading would be the following from a glance of their current content in 2018:
- Claw Machines and Entrepreneurship in Taiwan
- Rethinking Indigenous Culture and Tourism in Taiwan
- Shock Insights on Branding in Taiwan from Asia’s Top 1000 Brands
- Taiwan’s Football Movement Begins Now, From the Grassroots
#3 Tricky Taipei
You know what sucks? Bad tourism marketing for Taiwan.
You know pointed out what everyone was thinking? Trick Taipei of course! In Tricky’s article “Something Very Wrong Is Happening at Taiwan Tourism Bureau“, she called out the embarrassingly awful marketing strategies by Trip to Taipei. It was amazing to finally see someone point out what everyone knows, Chabuduo-ism is ruining attempts for Taiwan to connect with the world.
I’d invite you to check out her other great articles such as:
- Why Aren’t People Having Kids in Taiwan?
- Taiwan Deserves Better Tourism Marketing than This
- It’s Not Too Late to Save the Taipei Times
If you want to keep up to date with Tricky’s insights, I’d recommend following Tricky Taipei’s Facebook and give them a like. I don’t usually comment on pages or forums as much as I use to because the drama is strong with the expat community, but Tricky Taipei’s page is always a solid place to get good information from.
#4 Laoren Cha
Some of my favourite social commentary on Taiwan comes from Jenna at Laoren Cha. I don’t always agree with what she has to say, but I always enjoy her blog for being honest, something you don’t get a lot of when it comes to online content.
I have always enjoyed her writing on being a female expat in Taiwan because it is a very underrepresented insight and voice. A lot of the voices you hear online in the Taiwanese expat community tend to be men who try to shout the loudest to win an argument.
Here are some blogs that I think are worth a good read:
- Sexual assault: Taiwan’s great under-reported problem
- If you’re a foreign working woman in Taiwan planning to have kids, you’re probably going to get screwed
- The Red Tide: Taiwan, education and Western liberals
- Taiwanese teens know that their English classes are terrible
Again, I admire Jenna’s honesty and I always bookmark her blog posts when they’re published. You should too!
#5 Michael Turton’s Blog
Before coming to Taiwan, I knew at least one person here; Michael Turton. I didn’t know him personally, but I knew his blog. Since 2005, he has discussed a wide range of issues in Taiwan and much like Bill Bishop’s Sinocism, Michael also includes links to news sources and blogs for you to check out.
His blog is also an excellent starting point to dive into other websites and blogs in Taiwan. I would offer links to some recommended blog posts by Michael, but I would be here all day, so go explore Michael’s blog!
Unfortunately, he has quit blogging, but his website is still an amazing source of information on Taiwan that you need.
#6 Foreigners in Taiwan – Frequently asked questions
One of the best resources for Taiwan is Foreigners in Taiwan. They offer a wide variety of topics to read through, but their recent posts are very informative and offer actionable advice to a lot of frequently asked questions about Taiwan. Some blog titles include:
- Taiwan’s Economy FAQ
- Taiwan Immigration FAQ
- Taiwan Daily Life FAQ
- Income Tax Filing FAQ for Foreigners in Taiwan
They have a comprehensive list of 16 FAQ posts that are worth checking out if you are wondering about a myriad of issues that range from education, politics, and renting vehicles. FIT is a better option to find straight-forward answers to complicated issues.
There are so many blogs in Taiwan that it is hard to keep up. Sometimes a blog will go strong and then fall off the face of the earth. This sucks because there are a lot of great people making content that most mainstream sources of news and information in Taiwan can’t hit.
If you blog, and you blog well, keep blogging.
If you think your blog is worth a mention, write to me and I’ll see about mentioning you here.