While there are many articles and blog posts on apps to download when visiting Taiwan, I highly doubt there are many posts that highlight different digital resources to use while living in Taiwan, specifically in Yunlin County. Like the rest of my Discover Yunlin blog series, this post will list various resources that can be of help to the English-speaking population and new expats to the county.
LINE Like Facebook messenger, LINE is a messaging app that can also do audio and video calls. Without doubt, LINE is the platform of choice for communication between everyone. You can also follow official accounts of celebrities, companies, and government agencies to get the latest information.
Google Maps Taiwan primarily uses Google Maps, so you can rely on reviews and photos to be accurate. During my year in Taiwan, I would browse Google Maps like it’s a hobby and actually discovered some interesting places!
Pleco Out of many translation apps, Pleco is a good option for translating single words or idioms between Chinese and English. While the app does note some regional variations, not all tonal and definition differences between Taiwan and Mainland China are highlighted.
Taiwan Weather by 台灣中央氣象局 The Taiwan Weather app lets you see the weather at the township level, which is more accurate than the built-in Weather app that my iPhone came with. The app also highlights air quality so you can decide if you need to wear a pollution mask that day.
Foodpanda/ Uber Eats Delivery food is extremely affordable in Taiwan. I had delivery at least a few times a week, and delivery fee is usually around $30 NTD/$1 USD. There is no “small cart fee” or tipping involved. Foodpanda is more widespread but Uber Eats is also available in most urban areas.
PXPay (PXMart) If you choose to buy groceries regularly at PXMart, a Taiwanese supermarket chain, you might want to consider downloading PXPay and creating a rewards account. The closest equivalent I can think of is like the Starbucks app. You earn points every every purchase and can (but don’t have to) add money to your account and pay via PXPay. Sometimes, they have promotions for a variety of lifestyle items and you can redeem your points for them. I used some of my points and forked out a bit of my own money to redeem a carry-on luggage piece.
台灣大車隊 55688 This the most popular taxi hailing app in Taiwan. I have only used it once or twice because this app isn’t very functional in Yunlin County since most people use local taxi companies, and in larger urban areas, you can generally flag down a taxi. Nonetheless, it’s a good app to have on your phone if needed.
Yunlin online communities
The Douliou Social This is a Facebook group of mostly expats that live in Yunlin County. There are usually posts about openings for English teachers or for sale posts for scooters. Occasionally, there are posts for different events members are hosting around town. https://www.facebook.com/groups/143794189122269
虎尾人站出來 This is a local Facebook group for Huwei Township residents. Just a note, because it is a local group, everything is written in Chinese. Posts can range from restaurant openings to recommendations to sharing information on the latest news. https://www.facebook.com/groups/494018874075468
University Facebook groups Since I lived near National Formosa University, I joined an unofficial NFU Facebook group. Students generally posted about students who parked their scooters inconsiderately or those who forgot their student IDs. At the beginning and end of each semester, there are usually a ton of sale posts for textbooks, furniture, and other household items. Here’s the unofficial NFU group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/285320938146216/
Shopee / MOMO I like to describe Shopee and MOMO as websites that are similar to Amazon. From what I believe, Shopee is a marketplace for third-party sellers whereas MOMO is the actual vendor of products. Shopee is generally cheaper but I think MOMO’s products are higher quality. I do believe you have to know how to navigate the sites in Chinese though, Google translate isn’t too accurate within the web browser. https://shopee.tw/ https://www.momoshop.com.tw/
Shopping pro tip: There are a few ways to pay for your purchases with cash even if you shop online! 1) You pay cash upon delivery. This only works if you’ll be home when the delivery an comes. 2) You can deliver your purchase to a neighborhood convenience store. Tell the cashier “我要取貨” (wo3 yao4 qu3 huo4) and give them the last 3 digits of your phone number. You pay for your purchase when you pick it up. 3) Sometimes you have to pay before your order is confirmed. You can opted to pay at a convenience store kiosk (ibon, FamiPort), jot down the confirmation number online, and use the kiosk to print out a receipt. Bring the receipt to the cashier and pay. Voila! Your order is now confirmed.
Focus Taiwan CNA News Focus Taiwan is the official news outlet by the Taiwanese government. It’s good for learning about different diplomatic events that Taiwan is in and Taiwanese businesses. It’s a good place to find “official” information, especially new rules and regulations on COVID-19. https://focustaiwan.tw/
Taipei Times Taipei Times is the only daily printed English-language newspaper in the country. Its sister newspaper, Liberty Times 自由時報, is Taiwan’s biggest (Chinese-language) newspaper. http://www.taipeitimes.com/