Advise please.. Better life in Kending, Tainan or Kaohsiung?

Here’s the scenario. I’m a white male from CA interested in moving to Taiwan on a semi-retirement basis. I have frequenly visited Taiwan over the past 10 years, I understand the culture and can speak some madarin. I want to open a combination cafe-restraunt/teaching institute. What place do you think would be more fun ?
What’s my best bet ?

You wanna be bored outta your skull?

Come visit me in Tainan!

Also, the economy here sucks big-time. The other cities are way more prosperous. Go to Kaohsiung.

I’ve been to Tainan many times, there’s fun there that’s not too hard to find. I will take your advise though… I’ve never really eperienced things as a resident. I know the economy sucks now.
By the way, I read alot of your posts-- thanks for the laughs and insight.

I think Kaohsiung is your best choice. It gets a bad rap but isn’t that bad. Being a large city (perhaps that should be “a very large village”), it offers more work and entertainment options.

I guess that you are married to a Taiwanese?

It would be easier to start something and get residence visa, if that’s the case.

Kaohsiung is definitely an up-and-coming city that has great potential for rivaling Taipei in the future. Frank Hsieh’s been doing a pretty good job as mayor, greatly helped by a large increase in central government funds being pumped into major projects there under the DPP government. If A-bian wins next month’s election (which is highly unlikely), that situation should continue and Kaohsiung’s prospects become even brighter. If Lien becomes president, his administration will probably put a stop to such largesse, diverting it to local governments where their own people are in control. However, they are also all but certain to move quickly in opening up direct cross-strait trade and transportation links, which will give a big boost to the development of Kaohsiung Port.

So Kaohsiung looks a good bet in any event, and is close enough to Kenting that you can hop over there for rest and recreation whenever life in the big city gets you down.

Omniloquacious, thanks - you have confirmed my stance.

I heard that the entertainment district (main drag) has been getting better and better. Is that so ? What’s the flavor of this place now ?
Are the people in Kaohsiung friendly ?

I’ve heard similar favourable reports about the improving state of its night life, but I don’t have direct experience of it to judge from. Durians Bane would be the best man to deliver an opinion about that.

I can certainly confirm that the people are among the friendliest in Taiwan, judging from the ones that I’ve met up here in Taipei. Throughout my 18 years on this island, I’ve found that the kindliness and friendliness of Taiwanese has tended to be more or less inversely proportionate to how far from Taipei they were born and raised. (But while 90% of my former girlfriends hailed from all points south, primarily in an arc encompassing Miaoli, Hsinchu, Penghu, Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Pingtung, and Nantou – though not too many from the East Coast, for reasons I cannot fully explain – I ended up marrying a native of Taipei.)

Kaohsiung is the armpit of Taiwan. Its the only city on the island where the water is so foul, it has to be purchased rather than boiled (best to boil water you buy in Kaohsiung anyways). You also have to deal with the southern Taiwan mentality - or lack of it. Big difference in the quality of people as well as living between Taipei and Kaohsiung. Seems the folks in Kaohsiung still have one foot stuck in the pig sh*t and the other trying to claim that they are part of the 21st century. I used to live in Taipei and I sorely miss it. I made a compromise with my wife to spend a few years down here and the difference between my life in Taipei and now is night and day. Tainan is not that much better. Boring as hell.

The only benefit of Kaohsiung or Tainan is that it is closer to the Kenting national park. If you’re thinking about opening a little restaurant in Kenting or Kaohsiung, forget it. There are several sh*tty restaurants here as well as in Kenting. Finally a Smokey Joes opened in Kenting (part of the Amy’s chain in Kaohsiung) so one can get descent food (not including the restaurant at the Howard which is pretty good). Polution index is always off the charts down here. If you have trouble breathing, it will get worse here. Bus transport is none existant. They are building an MRT but WTF? There is nothing to see down here therefor no where to travel to in this pathetic city.

Every weekend I get out of town. If you want to know what Taipei was like 20 years ago, come down to Kaohsiung.

Franky the midget mayor is friggin idiot. First time I saw the little f*ck I almost stepped on him, he’s that short. Money is wasted left and right down here. He is the exact opposite of Mayor Ma. Please Ma, come down here and save us!

Arts and Entertainment - Where? There is a small art museum on the north side of town. Majority of the exhibits haven’t changed in over two years. On occasion they’ll have of the special-ed students from the local “little yellow bus” school put some stuff on display, but worth the visit - NOT.

Oh the environment is foul, foul, did I mention foul? I would rather drink the water in the Tamshui river than walk near the river that runs through downtown Kaohsiung. The nicest apartments are near Chung Ching Lake yet living there will put you downwind from all the factories. You will never get used to the smell. If you prefer grey skies, sure come down here. The numorous factories will ensure that you can actually see the pollution as well as smell it.

In Taipei you can walk down the sidewalks and they are free of the clutter of sh*t from the store owners. In Kaohsiung they pile their stuff on the street and the sidewalks. Police do nothing other than collect their bribes.

Nightlife and clubs - where? Take the bus up to Taipei.

Are the people friendly? Mostly South African and Canadian backpackers. That will be your social circle. Not much to look forward to, huh? If you like to be stared at there are plenty of backwards country bumpkins that will point and call you “big nose”. Walk through Neihu or Tienmu and you’re not even given a second glance.

That, at least, has certainly changed. One of the best achievements of Frank Hsieh and the DPP central government has been to solve this long-standing problem and provide the denizens of Kaohsiung with a high-quality, eminently potable water supply. It took billions of dollars and a great deal of effort and resolve, but they carried it off with shining success.

As usual, do your homework and find a good location.

Tainan might be fun for a weekend, but if you ever think about living there… don’t. I was there for a year and a half. While I wouldn’t trade some of the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t want to wish them on anyone either.

Kending would be quite cool in some ways, but I’d imagine also have some drawbacks (I wouldn’t know).

Tinan is a historical city. I think most of Taiwanese think that Tinan people are more civilized than other people live in the south Taiwan. Tinan is also a city famous for food and populated with many different kind of restaurants. In my opinion, I like Tinan better than where I live right now, Kaohsiung. It is noisy and dirty.

Kenting will be a great choice for retirement. From what I know, there is a little Mexican restaurant/accommodation owned by a foreigner married to a Taiwanese woman. I bet they must have a lot of fun living there and operating a small business.


Just got back from my multi-week tour of all of the cities in Taiwan.

I have new opinions.


Just got back from my multi-week tour of all of the cities in Taiwan.

I have new opinions.

Steve[/quote]What did you find out? Which places did you like?


  1. Kaohsiung is still way too polluted for me.

  2. Kenting is wonderful, however its just TOO hot for me
    (even in the winter).

    I was amazed at how many large scale (Kinda Vegas like)
    outfits have moved into town. Although the main strip still
    maintains it’s charm.

  3. I liked Taipei more than ever. The MRT makes the difference.
    Now, the big city seems so much smaller, because everything is
    so easily accessible.
    I haven’t hung out there extensively since the MRT was up & running.

  4. Taichung is really cool. I think I like this the best after Taipei.

  5. While the east coastal cities are naturally beautiful, it seems like most
    of the business opportunities have moved to the west side cities.

  6. Everyone eats (and I mean everyone) eats bing liang in Pingtung.

[quote]Although the main (Kenting) strip still
maintains it’s charm.
[/quote] :astonished: :astonished: :astonished: