After living in Taiwan for over two years now, and Taipei for over one year now I have come to realize a few things about the city and its surrounding. Below I have categorized them into different sections accommodation, food, transportation, things to do, and travelling.
There are a few different easy ways to find a place to live in Taipei and the rest of Taiwan. My first year in Taiwan, I was living in Tainan in the south and I came to live in my first apartment in a more unconventional way. I studied Chinese in the U.S. before coming to Taiwan and my Chinese teacher had friends here and they owned an apartment and that is how I found my first apartment. I would say that that is the easiest way to find an apartment, however the big drawback from the option is that you can’t really pick and choose where you live, or what you want your apartment to look like. However, if that is not an option you have or want to use, than I would recommend you use a website called rent591. The website is entirely in English, but you can easily get away with google’s auto-translate option. After you find some places you like, you can have a local Taiwanese friend call and set up appointments to look at the places. The last option is look around the area you want to live and look for the characters “租”, this means rent in Chinese. The reason you want to look for these characters is that allot of times in Taiwan this is how people find tenants, they wont always put their apartment online. So to find some really good places, in areas you want to live you can also try that option.
Even though food is a lot more expensive than it was when I was living in Tainan, the food in Taipei is much more diverse. In Tainan or many other cities/towns in Taiwan you wont always be able to find many other ethnicities food’s besides the local Taiwanese food. So if you’re a person who likes to eat lots of different foods like me, you should probably pick Taipei to move to over the other cities. However, there is a big drawback with the availability of more diverse food options, and that is the food is much more expensive in Taipei. Sometimes it can be 2 or 3x more expensive. You can still go to ok night markets, just like in Tainan, however they are much more expensive.
Good Night Markets in Taipei
Tonghua/ Linjiang Night market– Red line MRT station(Xinyi Anhe)- Good for local and non local street food.
Raohe Night Market– Green line MRT station(Songshan)-All around Taiwanese street food
Ningxia Night Market– Green and Red line MRT station(Zhongshan)- Good for local and unique food
Taipei’s transportation is great and super cheap. You can get anywhere around the city by using public transportation, usually the bus during the day is most of the times faster than the MRT if you are going sometime close by that isn’t located right next to an MRT station, however around 5pm is when you don’t want to use the bus anymore since traffic starts getting bad around then. The average MRT cost is around 16ntd, and the bus is around 15ntd.
Things to do
Taipei compared to other cities/towns in Taiwan has much more to offer in all areas of things to do. If you like the outdoors, you are within reach of reach hiking trails, the beach and a multitude of indoor rock climbing gyms. If you like shopping then Taipei is your paradise. If you like food, you will never want to leave. If you can’t find something to do, you are most likely never going to find anything to do, anywhere in the world.
My favorite activities
One of the many great and cheap museums around the city
The great thing about living in Taipei is that you are close by to everything, only one hour away from Yilan and great beaches, to relax or surf. You can go hiking or climbing at one of many areas, all within an hr of the center of the city. A favorite is Nanao (南澳), located about 1 1/2 from Taipei on the east coast below Yilan. As well as being close by to all domestic travel locations, you are right next to Taoyuan Int’l Airport where you can board a plane that only takes one hr to get to the Philippines or Hong Kong, or just a couple hours away from every other Asian country. All of this is within reach from 100usd return trip.