Taiwan is rarely regarded as an intimidating place to visit. Although crowded and confusing at times, you’ll be surprised by how friendly and accommodating the locals are. Tourists visiting Taiwan will feel right at home when visiting the country, most especially when it comes to what to wear in Hualien and what to expect of the city.
Basically, locals in Hualien are never too formal nor are they easily offended. Hualien is a city that is very much familiar to Western customs just as the people are in the capital city are. Many locals even dress the same way Americans and Europeans do. You’ll be surprised by how up-to-date the locals can be with the latest fashion trends. This means that going to Hualien in traditional Chinese costume will definitely get you stares along the street.
The younger generation of Hualien in particular dresses up in a fairly expressive manner. Teenagers can get quite loud and wild when it comes to their attire, which has then become a common thing to see in most cities of Taiwan including Hualien. But this doesn’t mean you can go on packing your wildest costume when visiting Hualien. A clean and neat look is always much appreciated especially when traveling to another country.
Dressing for business takes on the same codes from the West where ladies wear skirts or slacks with a dressy top while men wear a suit, a tie and leather shoes. Formal occasions adopt the same protocol with attractive dresses for the ladies and dress shirts for the men. The only difference is that Hualien can get quite hot and humid in certain months so you might want to bring something that does not stick to the skin.
Footwear is one aspect that slightly differs from Western culture. Although any kind of footwear can be worn by a tourist, the important thing is to remember to take your shoes off when entering someone’s home. Not only is this rule applicable in Hualien but the rest of the country as well. This is only appropriate for people’s homes and is not applicable to any hotels or restaurant unless advised to do so.
Wearing sandals and flip-flops is discouraged among residents as they see it as a farmer’s habit. However, being the tourist that you are, you might be granted an exception. Just make sure to not wear them when visiting finer establishments, libraries or any religious structures.
Hualien locals are more forgiving when it comes to how tourists dress, act and interact with them, which means that a crash course on unfamiliar rules is not needed before visiting Taiwan. People in Hualien can be quite hospitable but may shy up or get nervous when talking to a foreigner. Nevertheless, it would not be anything that a friendly disposition cannot fix.
In any country, locals are very appreciative of tourists who are curious about their culture and are willing to know their ways of life. Visiting Hualien is no different so knowing what to wear in Hualien may be helpful. A curiosity about Chinese culture and knowing the distinct aspects of Taiwanese living will especially make your trip to Hualien that much more enjoyable.