Last week was full of typical Taiwanese winter days averaging around 28-30c with clear blue skies and refreshing sea-wind. I was just cruising around on the scooter, getting things done and enjoying Taiwanese winter, as I realize something strange.

So maybe to share that feeling with you, here’s a quick snapshot of what’s around me waiting for the lights to go green with a big group of Taiwanese on their scooters. It is, I promise you, a hot 30c day with the sun high above shining down directly at us:

The confusing Taiwanese winter : freezing at 30c

You’ll notice that, aside from the guy next to me (who doesn’t even bother with a helmet), all the Taiwanese are wearing heavy heavy coats and winter clothes, and I don’t mean just something to cover up from the sun. Yeah, you remember right – it’s still a 30c day.

But, it is true that this winter is very confusing, because at night – when it drops down to 22c, which in some countries is considered warmest temperature, I admit I sometimes feel cold. On the nights it gets down to 15c, I almost freeze if I’m not under a blanket, and I have no idea why that is. I try to warm myself by drinking tea and eating in Hot-Pot places, but I still feel very cold. The real killer is riding the scooter during the night – even when I have two coats on, my hands and mouth are covered, I’m with a full closed helmet- I’m still freezing cold.

It’s just 15-20c, why am I feeling so cold? there must be something that happens to the body when you move to a different country with different weather. If it’s under 35c at day, and 25c+ at night – we, the Taiwanese, feel cold.

Tags: freezing; guy; helmet; snapshot; sun; taiwanese; Taiwanese winter days; The confusing Taiwanese;

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MJ Klein

it’s because of the humidity. Taiwan has a wet winter. i just had a US customer here last week. he’s from New England and he found our weather “bone-chilling.” i can sit outdoors all day wearing a t-shirt during the winter in New Hampshire (as long as there is no wind of course) but i wouldn’t dare do that here!

MJ Klein’s last blog post..Bushman’s Picks, January 27, 2008


I recently came back to Quebec and faced -20C weather and inches of snow. I had been two years since I haven’t seen this. I like the Quebec winter weather though.

On my scooter in Taiwan, I usually wear motorcycle gear. I’m covered head to toe in any weather. I’d rather sweat than fall down and scrape something. I drive fast, that’s why.

range’s last blog post..He’s Listening


the humidity and the fact that all homes are concrete and tiles. the lack of central heat doesn’t help either

andres’s last blog post..olivia’s got a cold


I visited Taipei in November. It was about 70F/20C and I was walking around in a T-shirt and everyone had this look of disbelieve on their face as if I’m an alien. Some woman in the MRT even offer me her gloves so I don’t get “cold”. I don’t get it either…

Eddie G

Classic! I think a lot of the people actually wear a lot so that they can endure the chill of the air conditioning that is always set to something like 20 degrees Celsius. I once caught a cold by going to a mall in Taipei for a couple of hours and not wearing a sweater.


Couldn’t agree more! (MJ Klein and andres are right on the money, I suppose)

It’s my first time in Taiwan right now, and at first I laughed off my hosts’ warnings about the cold weather — but for the first time in years I was wearing two sweaters the other day.


I’m in Queensland, Australia, and it’s exactly the same thing here! After about 9 years here (moved from England) I’ve managed to put it down to: a) Your blood thinning to adjust to the average temperature – yes, your blood thickens and thins according to the temperature. b) You being unprepared for colder weather. I remember in England I’d have a vest, thick socks, radiators, a jumper, an outside coat and possibly gloves/scarf. Here I only own a few thin jumpers. It gets cold. Thanks for all the blog entries, I’m looking at going to the Chinese centre in NCKU… Read more »

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