I often think of Taiwan as “China lite.” People speak the same language and share much of the same culture as people in China, but you won’t have to suffer some of the hardships you are faced with in China.
I have never lived in China, so I won’t say anything about China or the people there, but people in Taiwan are very nice and polite; they line up to get on the subway; and they are almost always willing to help out a foreigner.
At least in Taipei, most people that work in stores or restaurants are going to speak enough English that you can do whatever it is you need to get done.
On the odd occasion where the clerk doesn’t speak English, all you have to do is turn around with a look of bewilderment on your face, and someone in line is sure to step up to help you out.
At least if you can practice your Chinese at the same time, it seems like a bit more of a two way deal.