Saturday, September 29, 2012,
If you're a wise traveller, you should be aware that you can't go to every country and drink the water like you can your own. There have been many people who travel to other countries and even just the ice in their drink ruins their entire trip. Being an exchange student, you are informed prior to departure not to trust the water. You are told not to drink the water, drink a drink with ice in it, not even brush your teeth with the tap water. This doesn't apply to every country, of course, but I wasn't told if Taiwan would have safe water or not. I couldn't find the answer online, either. Not being able to trust the water is an unbelievably inconvenient thing, so I'll tell you about Taiwan's water. This may not apply to everyone, but where I come from in the USA, my water is almost the cleanest water in the world, if not THE cleanest in the world. So, my experience should apply to most people who have clean water.
It was my third day in Taiwan when the tall glass of water set on my table in the restaurant looked SO good. It was deathly hot in Taiwan that day, and I was really thirsty. Completely blocking out all of the warnings I got from officials not to drink the water, especially water with ice, I drank the glass of water. I didn't even realize it until the second after I drank it. A few hours later... I was fine. A day later... I was fine! :) There isn't a problem with the water or ice you are served in restaurants in Taiwan.
However, asking around to my friends here, I have been told to be VERY cautious of the water straight from the faucet. Not even the local people drink that water without boiling it first. Therefore, many houses have a special faucet from which you can dispense safe drinking water. My house has one, thank goodness. It IS safe to brush your teeth using a little of the tap water here, but there isn't a high fluoride content like with my water in the USA, so don't swish around the water after you brush your teeth, just use the water to wet your toothbrush a little if you must, and use it to rinse out your toothbrush.
Most hotels will provide bottled water, if you run out they also have a kettle to boil your own water. Don't be overly worried about the water here, but just think a little cautiously and you'll be okay.
I hope this can answer questions about water in Taiwan if anybody has them, but if there are any other questions you have, don't hesitate to send me an e-mail at TristanHilderbrand@gmail.com .