How I start my mornings
I really like starting my mornings earlier. I went to Wei Mei Breakfast to get 蛋餅 (dan bing), a Taiwanese breakfast, which is characterized as an egg crepe. It’s around $1 USD. I do like this place because the crepe skin is flakey and crunchy, whereas other places resemble the skin of tortillas, which are smoother and flatter. There is seating inside, so be sure to let them know you’re dining indoors.
Wei Mei Breakfast Restaurant
Address: No. 377號, Zhuangjing Rd, Xinyi District, Taipei City, 110
Then i went to a cafe today called Kaldi Coffee, a great place to do some deep work, some reading, or writing. It has a unique cozy atmosphere with lots of wooden antiques and decor. The owner was conversational and pretty friendly. There’s also a cafe cat, which the owner told me not to pet bc he’s a bit feisty and may or may not bite. Why are cats the way that they are? Haha.
No. 21號, Alley 1, Lane 269, Wuxing St, Xinyi District, Taipei City, 110
For coffee, you must get at least one coffee, and the second drink is 40% off. There’s free wifi, free power supply, and no table time limit which I loved because people get kicked out of cafes if they stay too long. This kind of cafe is great for remote workers.
For productivity, I have a bad habit of just drinking one coffee and then working until 3-4 pm. I generally have no notifications on my phone except one app, and i put on my “creative mode” on iPhone so no one can bother me. This is how I normally work when I need to get sh!t done. That’s exactly what I did today, and it ended up being super productive.
There’s a time for light work and remote working with friends VS putting in my Airpods and working at a cafe by myself. The two are very different. There’s so many courses on productivity and optimizing time out there, but I just found something simple that works for me and that’s canceling out noise and distractions.
My day to day in Taiwan really varies; in total transparency, most of my weekdays are quiet and work-filled. I spend my time trying to live a local life while eating at local restaurants, going to the same mom and pop stores to familiarize myself, and to practice speaking my Mandarin (Chinese) here.
There is a lot of fomo (fear of missing out) sometimes when I see my friends who are unemployed go out. Like today, they went to a culture park while I stayed back and worked—I got to pay the bills somehow! My Fridays and weekends are a lot more adventurous and activity filled.
For Dinner and Nightlife
For dinner, I went 老先覚功夫窯焼鍋台北松徳店 with my other friend Emily. It’s nice because you get your own set and this was roughly $6-7 USD depending on what other side dishes you ordered.
Address: No. 71號, Songde Rd, Xinyi District, Taipei City, 110
Then we decided to go out because it’s Friday night!
We ended up at Frank Taipei, a rooftop bar in Xinyi.
Address: 110, Taipei City, Xinyi District, Songshou Rd, 12號ATT 4 FUN 10 樓
I was a bit worried that we wouldn’t get in due to our outerwear. I ended up wearing white sneakers, a black leather jacket, jeans, nice top, and gold hoop earrings. I was mostly worried about the shoes, but they ended up letting us in regardless. Though a few guys before us had issues getting in due to their sneakers. I guess women have it easier sometimes at the club. Had they been smarter, they would’ve gone with women since that would’ve been a better way of getting better treatment. Suffice it to say, I know what it’s like in Vegas and I’m sure it’s the same in Taipei.
Luckily for us, we went around 10 pm, didn’t have to pay for cover or entry, and ended up getting a free table with a view of Taipei 101.
Drinks were around $12 USD (400 TPE); my friend got a mocktail and it was 100 NTD less.
That concludes a Friday in Taipei! Not all my Fridays are like this in Taipei, but probably one of the more interesting ones. Follow my Instagram at @emilyifang for more Instagram reels and what I’ve been up to for traveling.
FAQs about being remote in Taiwan
- How do you rate Taipei as a nomad city?
I frankly love it here. It’s underrated, as most nomads will go to Thailand, Bali, or other countries in Southeast Asia. Taiwan is a jewel and I wish more people would come here. They do speak Mandarin more, but they have a good grasp of English. The wifi connection is strong, the cafe game is 100, and a lot of Taiwanese Americans come back to work, see family, and explore this beautiful island.
- How are you paying for health insurance at the moment?
I use SafetyWing is a travel medical insurance that was created by nomads for nomads. You can purchase a policy even if your trip has already started, and pause and resume coverage with flexibility. You’re covered in 185 countries and you don’t need to let them know about your itinerary in advance. Perfect for people like me who don’t know where they’ll be next month! Check out their website here. Though if you do pay out of pocket for any appointment here in Taipei, it ranges from like $15-30 USD for a general appointment or check up.
- How do you make friends in the city?
I’ve met a lot of people through online travel communities, like Asian Wander Women, Subtle Asian Travel, Meetups.com, Subtle Taiwanese Traits, Taiwanese American Professionals, InterNations, and just hanging out at cafes or coworking spots.
- What are the worst things about being a nomad in Taiwan?
Probably the little flies or mosquitos near the parks and hiking spots. I’ve been scratching myself like crazy because of these little shits, and they’re hard to avoid. Get bug spray asap when you get here.
- Last piece of advice?
Not every day needs to be jam packed while working remote and traveling. That’s the sure way to get burnt out. Be in tune with your emotional and physical health; not everything needs to be done right away. You’ll have a lot of internal battles with yourself if you’re remote and building up a business. I’ll share more details on how I’ve been combating it.
See you in the next blog! Follow me on Instagram @emilyifang for video content.