Finding THE place to be in Taipei

OK guys, firstly I am going to request to a moderator that this thread be highly considered as a sticky!!

I have been doing research for quite some time now, and I am moving to Taipei in a couple months. I am really trying to get things together and it is proving to be quite difficult. I am now trying to find a place in Taipei that ‘fits’ me well. So, I have put together a Google Map that is ‘shared’ with everyone. This means all of you can edit this map. My request is for all of your very well versed in the Taipei area to help all of us other folks once and for all!! Google maps just started including this feature some 6+ months ago and it has been a miracle for me on a number of occasions.

Now, a couple guidelines please on how to edit the map, so we have some congeniality.

[li]If you know of a specific apartment complex or building with living quarters that match the criteria outlined below, please mark such with a simple pin (a blue one should do fine, you can change the pins by clicking on it in the popup after placing on the map). [/li]
[li]Next and probably more importantly, there is a way to mark boundaries with the ‘pen’ tool, as it is called in most graphics applications (this is the polygon looking button). If you could use this to mark of great living areas, that would be most helpful![/li]
[li]Finally, have some fun with this, list some of your favorite coffee shops, parks, restaurants, grocery stores, etc!! Really, this map could mean so much to so many people![/li][/ul]

So, you know the details, now here is the map! CLICK HERE - You have to click the ‘edit’ button in the left bar to begin editing (NOTE: you must have a google account and be logged in to edit).

OK, so let me tell you a little about myself and what I am looking for in an apt/studio/loft. I think this will fit a good number of people, this is why I wish for this thread to be a sticky and help others.

[li]Young Professional: (I am 27), but this should work for people up into their late 30s.[/li]
[li]CREATIVE: (I am a web designer) but this again should include people who are just creative spirited or have other creative professions.[/li]
[li]Love the Outdoors: easy access to multiple parks, hiking in the mountains, hot springs, beach, any outdoor activities really.[/li]
[li]Close to MRT: This is pretty self explanatory, but the walk to the closest MRT station should really be no more than 10 min.[/li]
[li]Great Restaurants Nearby: Alot of people might assume this means I want my American hamburger joint to be nearby, WRONG!, this just means I don’t want to walk 10 min to get to the closest restaurant. A place where there are multiple selections very close by.[/li]
[li]Coffee Shops & Book Stores: I would prefer to have a few of these within easy walking distance as well.[/li]
[li]A Party Scene: I like to go out maybe once a week and have a good time, this doesn’t mean I want to close down the club/bar, but I do like to go out on the occasion and having places pretty close is always nice.[/li]
[li]SAFE - Now, this might go without being said, but I want a place where you can walk down the street at 3am with a woman and not worry about being harassed.[/li]
[li]UPSCALE/TRENDY: The trendy part isn’t necessarily required, but desired. I am looking for something that is considered to be upscale and nice, by international standards. Here are some pictures that match the general idea of what I consider to be upscale and trendy - LINK[/li]
[li]AFFORDABLE: Obviously this part is subjective, but the general idea is for a one bedroom (which I am looking for), something less than 20,000 NWT.[/li][/ul]

That about covers it. I GREATLY appreciate your time for reading this and helping out with this map. I really think this will help many many people to come! Thanks again - Jacob

Any place in Taipei city is usually safe. I’m a woman, and I never worried about walking alone at night. Some of Taipei county is a bit scary - eg., Sanzhong - but even then, nothing ever happened.

bababa, thanks for the reply there. I figured safety wasn’t too much of a concern, and honestly, I am not worried about myself at all. I just don’t want to live in a place with a lot of issues, its just depressing…

A couple of questions:

Have you been in Taipei before? Basically, convenience is this town’s middle name. Restaurants? 2 minutes away. Safety? 3am? No question about it. Access to hot springs? An MRT ride away. Same with parks and stuff. Those are not biggies nor constraints.

Trendy, that is a constraint.

  1. To tailor to your needs, you need MRT convenience regarding your workplace. Where are you going to be working? This determines which line -blue, green, etc…- of MRT best suits to start your search.

  2. Budget?

I will be working from home, I run my own company remotely.

Budget, 10,000 NWT is preferred, but under 20,000 NWT is my budget.

Please be advised that studios in “trendy” areas -SOGO, Shida- 101- start at 15 thousand… Hence, you would need to adapt to older buildings -which w ehaven’t discussed, as we have only mentioned location, not actual building conditions.

mmm, well, I am open to suggestions. I am not really set on anything specific. I am just looking for something pretty nice, good location, fair price. I am not opposed to older buildings if they are renovated or kept up really well. I just don’t want to end up in an old ratty place…

I really hope some folks take head to the map, I think this would help alot. I can tell from pictures what I like, I just can’t tell anything about the area these places are located in. Having the map with the areas that are nice, would help me to solve this issue.

Thanks for your help, Jacob

If you haven’t been here before and have no experience of the city, I would just arrive and get a house share first. so you can get the lay of the land. It’s far easier to do your searching once you’re in a city than it is over the internet.

yes, I realize that, but over the internet isn’t an impossible thing to do… If I had a map laying out the areas that are good and knowing this, locating a place shouldn’t be that hard. I agree with you that a house share and then finding a place would be a good idea, but thats also not an easy thing to arrange, esp since I don’t speak any Mandarin…

To tell you the truth, the difficulty lies on the fact that the city has trendy districts, but there are many bnuildings there that are, as you said, rat holes.

It is more an issue of building by building than block or even neighborhood. Even the darkest, dreadiest neighborhoods have their advantages location wise, and nice places can be found there.

What I mean to say is that here in Taipei it is not as marked good neighborhood, bad neighborhood. I could tell you: Shida is a good area, but some buildings there, or apartments inside good buildings, make you want to run for the hills. I could say Chungshiao, but then we fall under the same problem. Tianmu would be basically OK, but youi want close to the MRT. How close is close? Lotus Hill and other communitie slike that are nice, but you need your own transportation.

You can challenge me to find a decent place anywhere in your map and I can do it following your criteria. You can blindfold me and throw a stone and I will find a nice place there. But I’ve lived here long enough to know what can be compromised but even then, a humble abode is a matter of taste.

Nobody said it was impossible, just that whatever people suggest is based on their own perceptions. Doing it on the ground is easier.

You don’t need chinese to look for a house share.

Just check out these site:

Well, I am really going off all the posting on the net for places that are for rent. I can generally look at the inside of the unit and tell if its a pile or not. But, that doesn’t tell me anything about the outside of the building.

I see what you mean on the building by building scenario. That def makes sense. It isn’t something I am generally use to, but I can relate. If the place looks nice inside, am I to believe that it could be right next to a bunch of really ratty places?

So, Shi-Da area, you say? What would be a list of good areas to check out that meet my wants?

StuartCa, yes I realize about tealit, it does have some decent listings, and I have found a few there, including this one that I was considering, although I don’t really know the area all that well. I do hear it is a nice area, around the warf, has a nice night market, etc, but its a bit of a travel to the city?

This is def the type of place I am looking for and it for sure fits in my budget. I just don’t know anything about this area…

for the kind of place you’re looking for, in the areas you seem to want, you won’t get much change out of 30,000 for an apartment that has enough space for your lifestyle. 10,000 WILL get you a rathole, especially in the better areas.

Also, do not judge the apartment by the exterior… there are some great renovations in the crappiest buildings. and you can’t tell what the neighbours’ buildings will be like from a picture, either: they might be much better, or (more usually) much much worse.

15,000 to 20,000 might get you a reasonable apartment (perhaps even similar to the one you linked to) but it will be tiny and on the edge of the city. those pictures do tend to lie, inflating the apparent size of the place. and if you’re tall, it’ll feel even smaller.

NWT = NTD I assume. 30,000NT/month would probably be necessary to get you what you want in a good area of the city.

well, it doesn’t have to be a huge place, something 500sq ft or so would be fine… or about 15 pings?

I don’t mind living on the edge of the city really if it has the things I was describing…

Any tips of where to start? I guess a shared stay would be ok. I just find that I would be constricted to these little tiny rooms where I would have to setup everything for working, and thats not really going to cut it. I will have a fair amt of computer equipment and need a large desk…

The whole process is really pretty overwhelming…

15 ping is small so NT15-20,000 will get you a nice place anywhere. You should look into Bitan at the end of the MRT line. Right on a clean river with a new waterfront area of cafes and restaurants, riverside bike paths right in front of you that run for hundreds of km, 30 minutes to Wulai for hot springs and great hiking trails, and the MRT right at your door to get downtown. Not the hippest neighborhood but a good vibe. Would probably tick off the most boxes for you.

Tienmu is slicker and great access to nature but no easy MRT access. Also the nature access is only great on weekdays so if you have a regular job you will be sharing Yangmingshan with millions of others.

City Hall area is nice and modern and has access to short hiking trails and MRT. If you also had a car you could access the mountains and beaches very quickly.

Oojacobo, the one you selected is a studio, probably several in a single floor. Nera Shipai there is a large traditional market, but then the area closer to Veteran’s Hospital gets better. Tianmu has lots of amenities, cinema, shopping centers -a bit pricey, though. Largest night market is 10 minutes by MRT. You will also be 10 minutes away from hot springs, and many hiking trails. Watch out for the monkeys!

I am trying to mark stuff on your map, but I need my home computer for that. And a lot of time.

As to this statement:

[quote] see what you mean on the building by building scenario. That def makes sense. It isn’t something I am generally use to, but I can relate. If the place looks nice inside, am I to believe that it could be right next to a bunch of really ratty places?

Not necessarily. We can point out basic directions and tell you which areas to avoid. For example, I can tell you Tianmu is suburban Taipei, most is nice. Other suburbs to consider are Xindian or Muzha, but there will be less pub action. Danshuei would be a bit too far away for your purposes. Panchiao or Chungho are a bit short in hiking, but are very convenient. Dunno about pubs there, though.

On the other hand, in general, let’s just say Taipei is a bit architecturally challenged, and there are many undiscovered jewels among the grass. Actually, the city is really small, and you will familiarize with it pretty quickly.

I think someone had recommended some serviced apartments close to Xinyi/Guanfu/Sun Yat-sen Memorial area. Close to Zhongxiao Fuhsing/Tunhua MRT would also be nice, and you are short MRT ride away from hiking trails.

Mucha, thanks, Bitan does sound like a decent spot. I don’t hold a “normal” job though exactly. I work when I work, and don’t when I don’t, I don’t really have a schedule; doing web design and development and server administration type stuff, and all the clientele will be US based, so times will be all over the charts, my guess.

Poster above… doesn’t say your name on here, b/c i was about to submit this…(edit: ITS ICON!! HA, I thought that was an img alt tag) THANKS! great info, WAY too many names though, and they all start running together for me… :confused: But, I am will refer back to this post as I search on. I had heard Tianmu is a decent place to look, thanks again!

Right now, there is a two bedroom, furnished, recently renovated apartment NEXT to an MRT station close to Xindian, only 13 thousand nts. This is average cost. Bitan area -close to the terminal station- should be cheaper, nicer with the breeze and a view of the lake. Think about it, too. :thumbsup:

edit: 22 ping, 3rd floor, no elevator

If you don’t mind climbing 6 floors of stairs, often rooftops are an interesting choice. The downsides can be heating and cooling, other people using public areas of the roof next door, and water pressure if a pump hasn’t been installed. Some bonuses can be price, space, and light. Also, rooftops are great for patio space and barbecuing with your buds. These can be found in the usual online places and also by networking with agents and other people. Often they are found through word of mouth, university notice boards, and are sometimes posted on outside boards with red signs. Helps to read Chinese for this.

Right now on Taiwanted theres a rooftop near Guting MRT that is under 10 g. Would be worth looking into. That area has a few language schools as well as being a good location for social amenities, if you ask me.

Many people find after living in the city for a while they get sick of the noise and pollution and move out to the counties for great deals, peace, and quiet.

Personally, if I were you, I would quickly find one of those single occupancy little rooms that has a toilet, bathroom sink, shower, bed, desk, closet, and AC. Then you get the landlord to move the little desk out, get your own big desk, set your gear up, and maybe get a hotplate for light cooking, and live with it for a while until you find your dream place. Small, cheap, convenient. If you have a laptop, you can hop over to a cafe and do some work there as well.

I notice it takes some people a while before they find their dream arrangement regardless of how much they try to prepare; and they usually find a good deal through word of mouth. Good luck!