Recently, I switched jobs and I’ve been asked “Why Taiwan?” a lot. Up until this morning, my answer begins with learning a language and ends with friends in Taiwan, since people invariably follow up with “Why not China?” Rarely do I have to pull out my $140 reason to not go to China, which is a nice jokey way of avoiding political discussions.
But while the $140 tourist visa is really only a short-term deterrent, the Great Firewall is not only long-term, but also apparently ever-growing. I read a few blogs out of China, and this morning’s Sinosplice about the crackdown on VPNs only increased my confidence that Taiwan was the right choice. Taiwan absolutely has its faults, but none so great as China’s.
ETA: At some point in my past I was woefully misinformed about the cost of a tourist visa. I have just now discovered it’s $30. 囧