Being just a small island on the Pacific Rim has never stopped Taiwan from becoming well-known around the world. We are too often praised by international media for our incredibly delicious food, but there are so many other things Taiwan is awesome at! Like It Formosa lists out the top 4 things that we think the world should look up to Taiwan for.
No. 1: Convenient and Eco-friendly YouBike!
Being in Taipei, you can often see a lot of people, young and old, in suits or in casual outfits, riding these orange and yellow bikes on the streets. These popular vehicles are called YouBike!
YouBike is a public bicycle sharing system provided by Taipei City Government. Since its launch in 2009, the system has set up about 225 stations around the city and has seen almost 70 million rentals so far! On top of that, according to the US-based Institute for Transportation and Development, the YouBike system in Taipei has the world's number one usage rate! YouBike are not only handy and convenient, but trendy and eco-friendly!
No.2 Amazingly Helpful Convenience Store
Imagine a 24hr shop where you can print out photos you just took on your phone, pay credit card bills, reserve a cake for your mom's birthday which is in two days, buy concert tickets and train tickets, all at once. And above all, the store is only five minutes walk from your place! Sounds good but seems impossible? Ask any Taiwanese on streets, we guarantee that they will answer "Of course it's possible!"
The first convenience store in Taiwan is 7-11, which launched their first store in Taipei city in 1980. In the beginning, they only sold foods, drinks, magazines and newspapers. Then as time goes by, the services provided by 7-11 has diversified enormously! Other than the traditional basic goods, now people can find services like sending packages and pre-ordering meal sets for family gathering!
There are now over 5000 7-11 shops in Taiwan, which means that on average, every 4800 people share one 7-11 store. The density of convenience stores in Taiwan is the heaviest in the world!
No.3 Taiwan receipt lottery
Have you ever felt annoyed when keeping those useless receipts? Can you come up with any use of receipts other than the convenience of doing personal accounting and returning unsatisfied products? Well, receipts in Taiwan might help you to become a millionaire!
Taiwan Receipt lottery started in 1950. At first it was designed to solve the problem that store owners didn't hand in taxes honestly. The government hoped people could help by asking owners for receipts. However, now it has became one of the coolest Taiwan-only things!
To win the prize from NTD200 to NTD10,000,000, all you have to do is to keep the receipts which you'll be given at most of the shops in Taiwan, then check the website of Ministry of Finance on the 25th of every singular month for the lucky numbers!
Leaving Taiwan too soon to wait for the lucky numbers announcement every two month? Don't worry, you can also donate your receipts to charities in Taiwan to help those in need. Receipt donation boxes can be found in every Carrefour and some convenience stores!
No 4 World's Most Efficient National Healthcare Insurance
Do you wish you could be home when you're sick so that you could "enjoy" the benefits of your country's healthcare system? We're definite to say that all Taiwanese miss our National Healthcare Insurance system when they're feeling ill abroad! Taiwan's National Healthcare Insurance is long praised as the best system in the world by foreign commentators. Healthcare institutions from other countries such as the U.S. and Japan studied Taiwan's system to improve theirs.
So, what is good about Taiwan's healthcare system? It acts as an public insurance, so with the fixed amount of money you pay, you are covered for almost all the basic healthcare needs. This way, the government is able to take care of the basic health for all citizens. In addition, the use of smart cards also brings numerous benefits. For instance, the doctor can diagnose any health issue based on the patient’s medical history recorded on the smart card. It also significantly cuts down time and costs on paperwork, which contributes to an efficient healthcare system.
Although the National Healthcare Insurance still maintains a certain degree of controversy in Taiwan, you cannot deny that it has hugely helped the elderly and those who can’t afford private healthcare insurance.