Finding a place to rent in central Taipei


#1

I’ve been in Taipei for a bit over a week now and I’m likely to enroll at ShiDa. The other language schools are cheaper but don’t have reading-writing courses. I also want to explore the city since I’m only here for a few months.

The problem is that I’m currently staying with my cousin who goes to Taipei Medical University, and thus live in the Wuxing St area behind it, up on Elephant Mountain.

Now I spend my time waiting for the minibus and walking like 20 min to the 101 station (the nearest metro stop) when my cousin says the bus is too expensive. Or I walk 15min to the TMU bus stops (not actually at TMU), take the bus for half an hour, and then walk another 15min to get to ShiDa.

The air might be better up there, but it’s super wet and my cousin refuses to use the dehumidifier because she’s used to the musty smell and humid feeling - and the electricity bill would be higher. We only share a small room in a group apartment, so we have to keep the door locked all the time and the small window isn’t much help. She says I just have to get used to it because this is Taipei… There’s also no space heater there and it’s far colder inside the house than out of it. I think it has to do with the humidity and location because it’s worse than just the regular Taiwanese concrete box.

I also am told that I should do my laundry in the mornings only, or else it bothers the other people, who are renting the rooms from her mom. But I have class in the mornings, so I offered to get up super early to do it, but am then told I can’t do it when they are sleeping or in the house basically.

I’m having to get up super early every morning to even have a chance of making the 8am class on time, and on weekends are caught between wanting to explore Taipei and being concerned that the minibus won’t be running by the time I get back, and I’ll have to decipher the confusing alleys in the dark. Back home, I took for granted the convenience of Manhattan, and expected that Taipei would be somewhat similar… definitely not like this.

I’d really like to move somewhere else, hopefully a safe area with easy access to the metro. I have a few other cousins in Taipei, one living between 東門 and CKS memorial, and two in the 西門町 area. (They don’t have room for me though.) Those seem like nice places with actual civilization but I’m open to wherever isn’t here basically. I’m also hoping for no roommates to deal with, but I don’t need a kitchen. Looking for 套房 on 591 seems confusing though as I can’t figure out whether that means there will be shared spaces or not. My aunt would also prefer me to be in a doorman building, but I suspect that’ll be more expensive. I also am having trouble finding short term leases because most want at least a year, and ShiDa is only three months. Budget-wise, my dad just wants something that’s fair. His biggest concern is whether I can even find something in such a short time.

Or maybe I should just learn to love what I have now?


#2

Budget?
that’s the key thing. How much you wanna spend.
Shih-Ta and NTU area will easily run you NT$10,000+ for a 2-Ping size room that shares a bathroom with 5-7 other rooms on the same hall.


#3

There’s nothing wrong with upper Wuxing St, the problem is yr cousin. A whole load of foreigners live up here. But you either need a scooter, cash for an Uber or good legs.

There’s quite a bit of short term letting around Shida mind. Check out the apartments groups on Facebook.

Also there’s nothing stopping you exploring the city. Those buses run quite late, plus you can take the 266 and 22 buses to the bottom of Wuxing and walk up. Don’t be so timid.


#4

My dad is comparing to Manhattan prices so he thinks all rent is cheap here. 10k is $330 USD. So I think the main issue is finding a place.


#5

Does Uber go up there? I haven’t tried Uber in Taiwan after taking a taxi once where the driver had no idea where to go. I am wary of riding a scooter after two cousins had accidents recently (hit by idiotic cars).

Yep, I have definitely been walking, using those buses etc. I’m sure my legs will be pretty strong if I keep this up.


#6

Years ago, when I lived in many different places around NTNU area, I used this resource. Always worked. Actually would go into the small office (don’t know if they still have it in the back alleys near NTU, by Hsin-Sheng South Road):

Or, you can just walk around the alleys of NTNU and NTU and look for the public announcement boards that have red advertisements for rooms for rent.


#7

Your cousins sound like a riot. I feel a slice of life movie script could be forthcoming about an innocent abroad and his/her experiences with over-protective cousins in Taipei.


#8

Wuxing Street really isn’t as bad as you put it. My gf lived in that area last year and despite being on the first floor and hearing scoots zoom by at the top of the morning, it’s a nice neighborhood feel to it.

Short term solution to taking the mini bus is to buy a bike and commute to and from the MRT station. It’ll save you plenty of time, of course, you might need to go up the hill on your way home, but it’s all downhill to the MRT!

As for finding something short term and in Manhattan budget, give airBnB a try, you won’t have issues with budget, but would be hard pressed to find an apartment with guard + kitchen + elevator that will rent to you for 3 months.


#9

Taipei is as convenient and a lot safer than NY. You are living in a poster area that I often give as an example of where NOT to live if you are here for a shoprt time, not long. Many people are tricked into living there, as Google maps does not paint the whole picture. You are right, as a student, you need to be close to school and the rest of civilization, amenities, places to walk to, stay up late, party etc. And I do mean avoid Taipei 101 bars.

Bottomline is that you do not feel confortable there, there are plenty of other options for all budgets and you should not accept “this is Taipei”… for it is not. You came here for teh experience, and so far, it ain’t happening.

Definetively try Tsui Mama tmm.org.tw They are very helpful, the landlords have been checked, and you will have an extra pair of eyes.

There is an old lady in Shida right on teh corner of Longhsna street doing keys and stuff. She also has teh keys to te kingdom literally as behind here there is a list of rentals. Those are still teh best deal.

You do not have to live within a stone’s throw if Shida. As you pinted out, Ximen is a cool area, up Daan to Liuzhangli is also OK. Around CKS you have a lot of Airbnb, look into that too.

Do not go by yourself to see any places, though, always bring a local or someone with better Chinese along. Any witness to whatever you sign.

Let us know if you need any help.


#10

The cousins aren’t nearly as bad as the older relatives though. So glad that I’m not in Chiayi now, although they make their presence felt anyway. Like on Monday, when a cousin and I went to a cafe to study, two of my aunts freaked out, thinking we went clubbing because we were outside after 10pm…


#11

Ah, those kinds of relatives here. My relatives were like that…about 15 years ago. They freaked out I was out past 9PM…I was also a teen, in a “foreign” city…in which I spoke the language. I know how you feelz.


#12

Thanks! I will definitely take a look at that site. It seems like I just need to walk around ShiDa for those rental deals? I checked the bulletin boards at the MTC but there weren’t many posters. I’ll start looking more seriously at places once my class schedule is settled at ShiDa.


#13

Look for teh old lady. We used to call that corner the chodoufu stall, but it is long gone… Come in from Shida towards Longshan road from the old Kodak -it is still there, right? It is teh road wher ethey have a glass enclosed restaurant and they sell teh crepes -they must still have those?!

EDIT:
As per Google maps:

TMM has its offices in Gongguan, close to Taipower Building station. It is next to a Family Mart which is kitty corner to Wenzhou Park. You will feel a lot better after a stop there.

EDIT:


#14

I’ve got a buddy who lives next to an mrt and has a room for rent. PM me if you want his info.


#15

套房 generally means not shared apartment, own bathroom. They’ll say 雅房 if they mean a shared apartment.


#16

I think you mean Longquan Street (dragon spring). OP could be gone for all time trying to find a Longshan Rd in Taipei.


#17

That lady owns most of the shop space in the whole area as well. She is a multi millionaire but lives a life in that cold key cutting hut, counting pennies.

That joyless aspect of Taiwan, I will never get


#18

Why enjoy life when you can suffer for decades on end instead?


#19

Plain fear that they won’t have anything when they grow old.

Yet they do not stop and smell the roses…


#20

You guys just aren’t understanding that mentality. The fact that she’s sitting on a huge pile of cash that just keeps growing is a source of infinite pleasure for her. I’m sure she’ll die a happy woman, and her children won’t be too sad either.