Thanks for the directions. I really appreciate that.
It's been almost two weeks since I arrived in Taipei. Since then, besides busy looking for rental, I also spent some time checking out Tai-Da gym as well as 4 different locations of Taipei Gym. Here's what I found:
Both Tai-da Gym and Taipei Gym (all 4 locations) are pretty basic with the latter relatively more advanced than the former. But Taida Gym is way bigger space than Taipei Gym and looks cleaner. All 4 locations of Taipei gyms are very cramped – very very cramped in basements. But they’re associated with the Chinese Taipei Weightlifting Association and lots of Taiwanese competitive bodybuilders are / were trained / work there. In fact, I think most managers of their gyms are / were bodybuilders themselves. And they offer free personal trainer sessions to members. So they are both a for-profit as well as a weightlifting / bodybuilding advocacy group. But their gyms are really small, crowded and un-inviting-looking.
However, if you’re / choose to be on a budget and all you want is a functional gym that can give you what you need to work out so you can keep in shape, build up muscles or lose weight, or just stay healthy, and don’t care all the façade that expensive fancy gyms offer, then Taipei gym is for you.
From what Taipei gym told me, they’re throwing a special now – pay NT 12000 for 3 years and 15000 for 5 years. But when visiting them, only the one on Xinshen S Road and the one on Ba-De Road offered me this special. The other two did not. I didn’t know why but just for your information in case you want to take advantage of this offer after checking them out. Despite lacking in English proficiency (I spoke Mandarin with them), I actually saw one foreigner (Caucasian) member in 3 of the 4 locations when visiting them during off-peak hour.
TaiDa Gym is actually considered a cheaper gym in Taipei but still relatively more expensive than Taipei Gym, with a younger crowd, mostly, but not exclusively, Tai-Da (NTU) students. Their rates are (only for weightlifting room) NT 5000 half a year / 9000 a year. But students only pay NT 750 / 1350, Faculty 1250 / 2250, Immediate family members 2000 / 3600, Alumni 4000 / 7200.
I think these two gyms are probably the most economical gyms in Taipei, neither being perfect but doable, each with pros and cons.
I did not check out World Gym because of their exceedingly high prices and the numerous negative experiences I read over internet. Besides, I believe many Forumosans probably know them pretty well already.
The city of Taipei also has 12 district sports centers that you can use. They normally charge NT50 / visit; if you’re over 65, gym and swimming pool are free 2pm-4pm every day. These centers are free to the physically and / or mentally disabled and one of their indispensable aids all days. But check with them first. I didn't visit any one of them. Their web site is at
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an English version of this site.