So I have done some research, asked a few friends, and have been able to obtain this list of apartments in Taichung (near FengChia, I think). I will be arriving in Taiwan December 5th, just in time to start my studies at FengChia University. I’m trying to sift through this list but it is kinda difficult just using Google translator. I was wondering if anyone was familiar with any of the places on this list, and maybe provide some kind of recommendation. I’m not looking for anything fancy, just a simple place near the school in case I am not able to stay at the dormitory. Thank you for any help you can provide.
I can’t help with specifics, but I can mention a few things about the general area.
The immediate area outside the front of FCU is overbuilt to say the least. Expect a lot of noise, especially at night when the night market is in full swing.
It’s best to look at the apartments on the side of FCU where the new sports complex is. There are a few buildings that look fairly well maintained and are away from the overly busy streets. I believe these apartments are near the old airport.
So you are coming to Taichung! Welcome! Taichung is a lovely city and I think you will have a nice experience here. Are you new to Taiwan? I agree with the other poster that the FengChia area is really crowded. You might like that, but it also means that even though the room looks nice, there might be a building or something blocking your window and you will have no sunlight. It’s a very noisy area and there is a lot of trash around.
But there are areas close by the university which are a bit better. There are a couple of hotels and I recommend staying in a hotel, hostel, or with friends for the first couple of days so that you can get a better idea of the rooms. Don’t commit to anything before you arrive.
I will look through your list, but it’s really hard to figure out where they are and what they actually look like. Do you have friends here in Taichung?
Thanks for the suggestions. I will be staying at a friends house until I find a suitable place to live, but I am having problems finding a place that fits my limited budget to begin with… FengChia said they have a dorm for me now, but I don’t think I can afford to pay for 3 months up front. If they allowed me to wait a week or two then I will be able to come up with the money. I just don’t know how flexible they will be. I leave on Friday so I guess I will find out soon enough.
Hey, please be aware that you will have to come up with at least 3 months rent wherever you decide to stay - 2 months deposit and the first month’s rent. Taiwan’s living cost is relatively low but it’s not cheap enough that you can turn up with $10 and not worry about it.
Yes, I am starting to find this out the hard way. I have found a few that say “1 month deposit” but I’m not sure what the catch is… I hope they are flexible on when I can pay …
They might allow you to pay one month deposit up front and the other part next month, but really, seriously, you can’t come cash strapped. First of all, sh** happens a lot here: an accident, unexpected expenses. It is winter, and you might need extra blankets. There is an unexpected invitation. Or most importantly: you will not be covered by local national insurance the first 4 months, and it is the height of the cold season. Each visit to the doctor will be about 500nts, plus medication…
As said, 3 month rent is the average for starters. If you have the dorms secured by the university, that is a better option to negotiate payment, pay by credit card. The apartments you selected might look good on the screen but you are not familiar with the city yet and remember otehr associated expenses: building fees such as garbage collection, utilities, phone/Internet line, etc… In other words, dorms are the cheapest, fastest, most convenient option at the moment. There will be time and money to relocate later.
Well, I’m not completely cash strapped, but lets just say that I will be in a much better situation once Friday rolls around. I really do appreciate the input though. I’m sure that my friend will be able to find me a suitable place, but it’s nice not going in blind.
Yep, house hunting is definetively a one person affair. And it is not cash strapped, as much as unexpected costs that get you.
You will also probably need to sign a year contract too. If you break the contract before the year is up, you will not get your 2-month deposit back.
I just noticed that you can copy the chinese addresses and paste it into maps.google.com. I’m not sure about your computer, but my google maps can read Chinese addresses and you can zoom in and see how close the apartment is to the university. You can also use google earth, or the satellite photos and zoom in and see what’s around the building. I just put in the first one and it came up a few blocks from the university… just next to the old airport runway. Don’t worry… that airport is not used now.
Can you tell me about Fongyuan? Is it part of Taichung city or county? Or,is it a seperate city? How far is it from Taichung Train Station? 20 minutes? ? Is it a nice area,or noisy and crowded? ?
put those coordinates into google maps and you will find Feng Yuan City. It’s part of Taichung County and not really very far or remote. I have heard from people who live there that it’s a very pleasant little city. The rents are reasonable and it’s also quite close to the mountains. There is a bicycle trail that goes into the hills. If you enjoy the mountains, then it’s probably a nice place to be.
I’m not sure about rents, but it seems similar to other suburban, outlying areas. You are more likely to find a bigger space or an apartment that will fit into your budget, rather than just an en-suite studio like in the Fengjia area.
But it’s way too far for a commute to Fengjia. You would have to take a train to central Taichung and then a bus to Fengjia. Even if you had a scooter or motorcycle, it would take a half hour or so.
I have a better idea. Try the Tunghai University area:
It’s close and convenient to Fengjia. And because it’s a bit farther away from the city center, the rents are reasonable. Also a lot of student en-suite studios like the ones you are looking at, but because Tunghai is on a hillside, the light and air is a bit better.
I would stay away from Fengyuan until you are more settled in Taichung. Sure some people like it but I personally don’t and it’s a pretty shitty commute into Taichung City. There are so many decent cheap places to rent in the city I don’t see the point of living out in Fengyuan.