Despite Taiwan being such a small country, its infrastructure has never ceased to impress me ever since I arrived. I’m not only referring to Taiwan’s roads and engineering structures, but to its public services, telecommunications and transportation system as well. I believe I have traveled to enough places inside this little – yet of huge proportions - island to make an objective judgment about the matter in hand. I have been to cities North and South, to its mountains and lakes, by car, motorcycle, bus and train, and haven’t found significant things to complain about its organization, transportation networks and public services.

I believe a country’s infrastructure is paramount to its development and the development of its society and economy, an aspect in which Taiwan has excelled. As a first and most clear example is its system of roads and transportation. At a small scale, movement inside cities and towns is very practical and effective for pedestrians, public transportation users, and drivers alike. Signposting is clear and abundant, not to mention that every sign has its own English translation. The network of buses and bus stations in cities can virtually take you to any important place without having to walk great distances. Furthermore, the MRT system in Taiwan’s two largest cities (Taipei and Kaohsiung) is a very economic and fast way to move in and around the most frequented areas in town. I think that of all the advantages of the small scale transportation system, user-friendliness is the most notorious one, especially amongst foreigners.

At a larger scale, it is worth mentioning that inter-city travelling is quite convenient and practical as well, with a variety of options at hand. If you are on a low budget, you can take a bus to move from one city to another. There are many bus companies in Taiwan to choose from, for both the economic traveler and the more luxurious traveler who wishes to travel faster and more comfortably. If you are short with time or can afford a higher price, you can of course take the High Speed Rail, which can literally cross almost the entire island from North to South in less than a couple of hours. The car or motorcycle driver will definitely not be disappointed either, as Taiwan possesses a complex network of highways and roads that can take you to any city or town in the country. I have been impressed by the two-level highways that crosscut almost all of Taiwan; the upper level being for high-speed traffic (buses, cars and large motorcycles) and the lower level for small motorcycles (scooters), bicycles and people wanting to get into the cities along the way. 

Moving on, we have Taiwan’s admirable public services system, of which I undoubtedly benefit even if in a smaller way as compared to homeowners. As a good example to introduce this matter, the only time my room has been left without electricity was because maintenance was being performed in the dormitory building. Unfortunately, this availability of electricity in most households does not occur in developing countries like Honduras, which makes it even more surprising for me. I also believe water supply is abundant in most households in Taiwan, which clearly indicates good administration, design and maintenance of pipelines and water distribution systems in the country. The garbage disposal and recycling system in Taiwan is also another aspect to admire, as streets inside and outside the cities are clean most of the time. I am impressed at how disciplined Taiwanese people are at organizing the garbage they throw away, especially in the universities. I think this motivates us foreigners to do likewise and keep these good habits for when we return to our home countries.

Overall, Taiwan’s remarkable infrastructure is but one of the many awe-inspiring things I have seen and enjoyed during my time living here. It is a sign of development and prosperity, and combined with Taiwan’s natural beauty, makes this country a wonderful place to know and live in. With such an example, a well-founded infrastructure is without doubt a necessary pillar for the technological, economic and social development of any nation.

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