Accommodation and cost of living in Hsinchu City?

Hi all, i am going over to Hsin Chu soon in 2019 Feb to attend exchange programme in NCTU. Just trying to ask around how do i search for accomodation off campus and that is reasonable for students and also roughly how much are the cost of living over in Hsin Chu. For e.g maybe every meal will have to go for a meal out (meaning no cooking).

I am going over for a semester roughly 6 months. Need advise and also if possible state the night markets and night life. Thanks!

Welcome to the Happiness Capital of Taiwan. Hsinchu is rated the happiest city in Taiwan, and Taiwan - the happiest country in Asia. You’ll emerge yourself in total joy and happiness here.

Now jokes aside. Hsinchu is one of the most BORING places in Taiwan. There are two main groups of people - engineers, and students, who want to become engineers. Nightlife - virtually non-existent. Night markets are in “OK” category, its lower end. Your ONLY escape from this happy place is regular and cheap buses to Taipei. You can buy 40 one-way tickets for 4000 NTD (100 NTD per ticket), or use your student card (105 NTD per ticket).

Rent of a decent “taofang” (small room with bathroom, usually no kitchen) is about 6000-9000 NTD depending on location. For new houses rent will be bigger, international students from Germany, for example, usually rent a flat in a new house (kitchen, several rooms, garbage containers), each paying around 10000-12000 NTD. Biggest problem is that it’s difficult to rent for 6 months, contracts are usually 1 year minimum. Good option is to find some foreigners who are already renting and join them. If you want personal flat - may be a little bit difficult. You can always try to rent for 1 year, and then just give away your deposit (usually 2 month payment), or skip paying last two months, avoid your landlord, then disappear into the night, silently.

For 6 monthsit may be a good option to just stay in the dorm, but I’ve heard that for NCTU exchange students males are placed in another campus, closer to city center, and there’s a free bus to deliver them to the main one. Not sure about quality of those dorms, high probability it sucks.

Good parts about Hsinchu? Five big supermarkets (2 RT Marts, 2 A-Marts, COSTCO) plus CitySuper and JASON’s for import munchies, 17-km coastal bikeway is nice, you’re as close to Taipei as to Taichung - 1.2…2 hours to both of them. And city is not that cheap due to rich IT engineers from Science City.


Hsinchu is maybe the most American of Taiwan’s cities. Lots of engineers and supporting industries (day care and car detailing are big, for instance). It’s like the US in that most people are here to make and/or design shit, to make as much money as possible while doing so, and while simultaneously raising a family. Lots of new flats with modern features, none of which are inexpensive. In my neighborhood there are lots of Benz’s, BMWs, Lexus, Tesla, and the odd Ferrari.

On weekends you’re close to the mountains, Beipu, Neiwan, and high-speed rail can have you in Taipei in just over 30 minutes. But when all is said and done, Hsinchu reserves all its passion for the workday.

1 Like

Two groups like this in my neighborhood. One group is French, one group is Italian.

Hey! We have enough trouble on this island without encouraging newcomers to make our reputations worse. Please do not encourage illegal behavior (isn’t there a rule about this somewhere in the forumosa guidelines?).



In defence of Hsinchu (yes I know this not a popular position): the old city center, with its complex layout and array of old buildings, is a treat to explore, with some excellent snacks (you need to know what you are doing here), solid Japanese food (better than Taipei IMHO), and great cafes like Ink.

The more recently developed zones around NCTU, however, have no historical charm and precious little modern convenience. Kuang Fu Road seems to paradoxically bring together unwalkable dispersed suburban spaces and unpleasant crowding. Figuring out how they managed to do both of these things at the same time is like solving a Zen koan.



How dare you…

1 Like

For Taofang (studio apartment usually with no kitchen) information:,20

School often have rental information as well. There are interesting places to go around Hsinchu, especially if you like the outdoors. Although you would need at least a scooter to get to them.

If you live on the Bouai campus instead of the main campus, there is a way to walk to school through Shibajianshan park. I used to do it everyday…


Absolutely spot on! Student to be engineer going over for exchange. I guess i will go ahead with the dormitory provided by the school. You were saying to get to taipei with buses with 105NTD, how long will the journey will be?

Yes, i heard that is quite inconvenient for getting around hsin chu, if thats the case, i believe i really need a scooter but i do not have any license though.

About an hour and 20 minutes, sometimes more, sometimes less. It’s pretty convenient, intercity buses to Taipei come every 5 minutes or so.

P.S. There are some photos of NCTU dorms on their site:

1 Like

It’s not that inconvenient if you live and spend most of your time at the university. It’s a straight shot from there by bus downtown. Lots of bikes you can use too.

Eating at the university will be incredibly cheap, less than $3US/ meal. You are young so you can likely handle the change in nutrition - the food does taste great.

Hsinchu is no more boring than any other city in Taiwan, the differences are exaggerated, when you are truly busy there is no time to be constantly drinking at pubs. Lots of decent restaurants here, fantastic coffee shops, good markets (how many times do you want to go anyway), great movie theatres, and best of all it’s close to the mountains. Lots of tourist buses going to mountain destinations.

The great thing you may notice about living here is the range of options available to you … you can live cheap or fancy. Both are good choices, depending on your needs. But you won’t find many truly cheap goods here - Taiwan tends to be more expensive than US in general and Hsinchu, with its concentration of tech companies, tends to incorporate an “engineer tax”.


I never took to Hsinchu although the wife says it actually has pavements these days, woo wee.
The traffic situation is abysmal for one.
I heard they closed down the old Japanese era city zoo, what’s up with that?

They’re rebuilding something there. Expanding the zoo, merging it with park nearby. Probably will take a while.

I remember that zoo in early days when the animals had open bleeding sores and people would poke the animals with sticks.

Yeah like most zoos in Taiwan perhaps. However we visited a few times over the last few years it wasn’t bad at all more like a small farm zoo almost. Nice amenity for citizens. Now what…Nothing at all? More buildings ? Where are the animals ?

Edit I checked and it is undergoing renovations, it will re open around July of this year.

FINALLY things are happening to upgrade Hsinchu’s civic space. The park (which honestly was getting quite shabby) is apparently being renovated. The area immediately in front of the TRA station (itself a wonderful structure) has been completely transformed for the better–perhaps taking a page out of Mayor Ko’s Beimen playbook? The DPP are far from perfect but my goodness nothing was happening for years and years in Hsinchu under the usual KMT mayors. I hope the town gets to be more liveable as I remain quite fond of it and enjoy visiting when I can.



Zhunnan is a decent place too.

Gonna have to check that out. I was there a few weeks back and noticed some stacked orange cones and pipe and other construction materials being stored in open spaces in that area. I didn’t know why, but now I’m very curious to see what they’ve done.

Probably time to head over to SoGo 7th floor and see if the old folks have left an empty massaging recliner open in the napping roo…, er “sample room.” I can take a nap after I check out the park.

1 Like

I drove by on my bike this afternoon but couldn’t get near the place due to all traffic caused by temple parade