Packing List for Taiwan

So you’re moving to Taiwan and like us, you can’t find any information about the things you should bring vs the things you can simply buy when you get here, and therefore shouldn’t worry about.

Taiwan may not be as cheap as you’re expecting. When we moved here, we were surprised about the cost of some things. Food is very cheap in general, but drinks at a bar are more expensive than Canada.

Even simple things like deodorant and tampons can be a little pricy if you’re not careful.

So we made a quick list of some things you should consider bringing with you!

Summer clothing:

  • T shirts.

  • Shorts.

  • Swim suit.

  • Quick drying shirts for weekend backpacking adventures. We recommend the Columbia shirts: < two of these shirts is all you’ll need for any adventure. You can wash them in a sink and 30 mins later, they’re dry!

  • Decent rain jackets THAT BREATHE!!! Don’t wear plastic bag rain jackets, you’ll sweat to death. We recommend the Marmot Pre Clip because it’s durable and breathable:

Winter/cool weather clothing:

  • Layers are always best! So bring under shirts, long sleeves, etc.

  • Sweaters…I like hoodies when I’m at home, but if it’s raining outside they can be a bit of a pain. So bring a couple sweaters, some without hoods.

  • Lightweight packable down jackets that can be stuffed into any small bag. The Amazon Essentials version is fine, you don’t need to break the bank!

  • Pants…pretty obvious. But a variety of hiking pants, jeans, casual and dress pants are ideal.

  • Comfy pants!! There aren’t many apartments with heaters in Taiwan, so bring your favourite lounge pants!

  • Socks…duh.

  • Underwear…duh.

  • Scarfs.

  • If you layer up, and wear your down jacket under your rain jacket, you’ll be cozy and warm! Plus, you’ll be protected from the rain.

  • You won’t need gloves or mittens, it’s not like winter in Canada…But the cool weather here does bite deep, so use your own judgement.

*TIP: Roll your clothes into tight little tubes, and put elastics around them. You’ll save twice the space when packing!


  • Sandals/Flip Flops.

  • Around-town shoes.

  • Teachers often require Indoor shoes!

  • Hiking shoes (depending on the type of person you are). But a fast-drying pair of shoes we recommend are:

*TIP: Wear your hiking shoes on the plane, they’re bulky and don’t pack well, so save the luggage space. Besides, they’re comfy anyway.

Speaking of flying, it’s a long flight… So download Netflix shows on your phone or tablet and bring some headphones, preferably noise cancelling headphones which are surprisingly cheap now! …These are my favourite!! You’ll thank me after the first 20 minutes on a plane with a screaming child.


  • A day bag, or lightweight backpack for day trips. Grab a cheapo like this one:

  • A minimalist wallet. Most of the cards you’re lugging around aren’t going to work here, so ditch the bulky points cards and get something like this… WITH RFID PROTECTION:

  • The internet here is awesome, so we stream everything we watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. We use an android box so that we don’t have to hook our computer up to the TV:

  • Travel backpack for weekend adventures! NO BIGGER THAN 45L because checking luggage is a pain in the ass:

  • Travel Towels that dry quickly and pack small, like this one:

  • You don’t need a power adapter for Taiwan, it’s the same as the Western wall plugs you’re already used to. But if you go to other Asian countries you might want something like this:

  • A dry bag. I always keep a small dry bag in my backpack incase of sudden down pours. This way theres a safe spot for our electronics (camera, phone, batteries etc) and paper money. Plus if you go on a rafting adventure you’ll need one anyway:

  • Extra long charging cables for your phone. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE:

  • GUITAR! If you’re on the fence about bringing your instrument, just do it. Air Canada will let you bring it as carry on luggage without question. They will even safely stow it for you at the front of the plane so you can grab it on the way out. Plus, the expat music scene here is great.

Things you can buy here…

…but you could bring from home if you have the room:

  • Tylenol or Advil (acetaminophen or Ibuprofen).

  • Sunscreen.

  • Bug repellant.

  • Benadryl cream/pills incase you discover a new allergy.

  • Peptobismo pills or some similar anti nauseant.

  • The healthcare here is top notch and they all speak english, so don’t worry about bringing everything.

  • Socks…if you have large feet like we do!

  • Sunglasses.

  • Cheap umbrellas…you WILL lose your umbrella, so don’t invest a fortune!

  • Travel toiletries like a mini toothpaste and toothbrush etc (for weekend adventures).

  • Main toiletries like your favourite soap and shampoo etc for daily life.

  • Tampons.

Teaching supplies (if applicable)


  • Backpack or briefcase…for the obvious reason of carting papers and supplies around. 

  • Reusable water bottle(s). Taiwan’s recycling game is on fire, so they appreciate it when you use reusable mugs and water bottles.

  • Indoor shoes (maybe).

  • Some schools require the female teachers to wear dresses (past the knees), as well as tops that cover the shoulders.

  • Men often need to wear shirts with collars, maybe even ties, and pants that are not denim.