Chinese New Year?

Hi will be leaving for Taiwan early in the New Year…I am wondering when the schools open for the winter semester. Can someone suggest a date to begin job hunting…

My Chinese New Year break is from January 19-30. I assume that this is the same as the Chinese schools’ calendars and that language schools would base their calendars on that. Since teachers don’t suddenly decide that they are leaving Taiwan over Chinese New Year (usually…), I would suggest for you to start looking after Christmas (CNY is earlier this year). As far as a time to come, it depends on how much money you plan on bringing with you since the whole country will be shut down pretty much for those two weeks (as well as airfare to Asia being jacked up at that time). A week before CNY may give you time to do some pavement pounding and help you get over initial culture shock (although CNY here could shock anyone) as well as a possible head start over other new arrivals who will choose to come after CNY. I cannot fully suggest a “when to arrive”, but if I were you, I would have already started looking for a job and lining up interviews for when you arrive from online job ads …even if to just get a feel for what’s out there.

Hope this helps. :mrgreen:

I agree with Imaniou. If you have enough time, becuase you have enough money, arrive a week or so before Chinese New Year so that you can go to some interviews before the break. If you haven’t decided where you want to live, 2 or 3 weeks before Chinese New Year might be good, so that you’ve got time to travel around a few places going to interviews. I would say that onece you’ve got a job you could then have a nice holiday around Taiwan during the actual break, but sorry, that’s not a good idea - it’s hell to travel at that time as everyone’s going back to family homes, then wife’s family homes then coming back then trying to have a couple of days off. Forget it.

If you don’t have much time and want to start earning straight away, arrive right after Chinese New Year. There’ll still be a lot of jobs as many skills still won’t have filled the vacanices (may not be the best ones though). Also some will have hired someone, but that person didn’t work out (or didn’t like it).

As for the actual dates, that’ll vary. I don’t have the dates on me, but the actual public holiday is only 4 days. Probably most kindergartens and cram schools will have a week off, but most will have no more than this, because as soon as the parents go back to work they’ll need somewhere for the kids to go. Only the actual public schools have a longer break, but these jobs are rarer.

I can get the actual dates for you tonight if someone doesn’t beat me to it.


I am in the same boat. The main trouble I have is choosing a city. For every post praising a place there’s another bagging it.
For a newbie who really wants to teach and to live clean, away from the big city bullshit, what’s the place to go?

I would wait till after new year. Thats when the schools are really needy! Also, most things are closed during Chinese New Year…Stay out of Taipei if your not into the big city life.

Man I love your little fightn’ dudes thingammy. Where does one acquire little fantastic wonderments of that kind?

Oh, about the teaching and where to go?
More and more and more confused…

Taoyuan’s a hole, so is Jilong. I’ve lived in both and prefer Jilong because it has ‘character’, whatever that is. It’s still a grubby, overcrowded, noisy city. I don’t like big cities either, but nothing will make me work anywhere other than Taipei these days. I need my home-style comforts and this is a small island if you want to get out of the city.

Jilong gets massive amounts of rain, but that washes some of the pollution away, and Taipei is 45 minutes away by bus. Taoyuan is about the same distance in the other direction, and I know people that commute to Taipei from both places.

If you get a scooter you can head up the coast from Jilong to the beach at Wanli, but Fulong beach is easier to get to from Taipei if you’re using public transport. I hope you don’t mind litter on the beach.

There’s more mountainous country close to Jilong than is easily accessible from Taoyuan. Rents in both places are a lot cheaper than Taipei, and wages are not especially lower - particularly for a FOB like yourself. But there’s tons of work in Taipei compared to the other places.

I’ve heard good about Hualien, down on the East coast. That might be the place for you, but I’ve never been there.

I believe the official holiday is 22-27 January, and most places are closing down a few days before. Opinions are divided on whether to arrive before or after, but if you’ve already got a ticket I would say to come right now and start pounding the pavement. You’re unlikely to start work before CNY, but you can relax and try to enjoy the festivities if you have a place to go afterwards.

And keep away from the ladies!

[quote]For a newbie who really wants to teach and to live clean, away from the big city bullshit, what’s the place to go?

No way. Taoyuan is a typical example of the mistake a lot of people make. You want to live in a cleaner, quieter place than ‘the big city’. So you pick a smaller city/town. Like I said before - these places are usually more crowded, dirtier and noisier than Taipei. If you don’t know any better, Taipei City is going to be the least crowded, least polluted, quietest place you’re going to get by just picking a name off the map, and in Taipei you’ve got the benefit of a much wider choice of food, entertainment, things to buy etc.

My advice is - unless you know better, choose Taipei for your first year. Travle around a bit and move after that if you want to.

Unless you’re one of those moaning expat wankers (and there’s a few around here) Taipei’s a real great place to live, and if you’ve got the transport and know where to go, it’s actuially very beuatiful in places.


I agree that you might want to start in Taipei. Maybe get a hotel room. But, as a city its too much for me! Whenever I go there I end up spending heaps of cash and geting way to drunk!

When I see how many scooters there are on the road in Taipei I always thank god that I dont have to drive in that traffic!

Try one of the towns outside the big cities (Taoyuan, Taipei, or wherever) if you’re into clean/calm. You’ll see ads on and in the newspaper for those places when you arrive.

I live in Nanakan, a small stinky city. Unfortunately all the factories are here. The air gets pretty bad. But, we have Dave and Busters (the only one in Taiwan), very close to the highway and to Taipei etc. etc. I work in Taoyuan city but would never live there either!

Contact Bassman! He’s hiring isnt he?

The little fighter dudes I ripped off another website. Happy Hunting!

Thanks for the help. It looks like Taipei may well be the place to start. The big city aint my thing, but I haven’t had anywhere in particular to live in the last two years; and after a year in India, anyplace that doesn’t have its nightly battles between the cockroaches and the rats that live on them in my bedroom seems like luxury to me.
Oh, about the girls…whats the problem? Not friendly?

My guess is Strag doesn’t want to share.

See my post here:

Hill? Whats the Hill?
I know what you mean about expat communities. When I first started traveling I thought expat communities consisted of enlightened souls who occupied an enviable abode balanced between two cultures. Now I realise that often expats have difficulty maintaing their balance because of the level of alcohol in their blood.
Travel is good in short doses, but it takes a very determined soul to accept and adapt to others long term. Somerset Maugham wrote a whole bunch of short stories about people living abroad during the Colonial era and I find them pertinent. Now its happening on a larger scale, but the same problems are still occuring.

Taipei, Kaohsiung, or Taichung with Taipei having the most jobs and Taichung being the smallest of the three big cities. Taiwan is not the place to be very picky about pollution…you’ll notice that when you pass through the big orange cloud hanging over the island on your flight here.

Even if you don’t have the transport, beautiful landscapes are only minutes away from Taipei if you know where to go (and for that, a Lonely Planet Taiwan is very handy).

[quote=“james”]Hill? Whats the Hill?
I know what you mean about expat communities.[/quote]
I think you’re replying to Mr He’s post on the other thread I mentioned.

Hmm, so I was…silly me.