First post - Moving to Taipei - Several Questions on location, schools, etc

Hi, my first post here.

Moving to Taipei in a month or so and my family will follow a month later.

I have a few questions so I can get a preliminary idea of what is realistic vs not.

All assistance is greatly appreciated!

I will work in the vicinity of Guanye West Road, Pingzhen District. My daughter will attend Taipei American school (or so I am planning). I already have the application in and have talked to admissions people at the school. She is 4 years old so Kindergarten won’t start until August 2021.

The distance between the school and the area around my work is 50+ minutes drive using google maps. That’s a haul.

My wife can drive, but I wouldn’t say she reacts well to high stress driving. As such I was looking for an apartment near the school and I will just have to eat it and do the longer drive.

  1. Is living near the Taipei American school the best approach? How bad is the traffic around that area and how bad is traffic between the school area and Pingzhen?

  2. If I live near the school, are there reasonable apartment options in the NT$ 45K range? Any recommended?

  3. I previously lived in Singapore and all apartments were generally found by using an agent. Same deal in Taiwan?

  4. I would prefer to bring certain furnishings with me (beds, etc.). Are most apartments furnished and this presents a problem? Or can I generally get an unfurnished apartment and bring a container full of things like beds, desks, couches, etc.?

  5. Are there any highly regarded preschools near TAS (since her TAS kindergarten start is August of 2021)?

  6. What is the cost of reasonably good tutor on an hourly basis? Can I generally find a nanny for 3 to 4 hours a day that is also proficient at teaching?

Now the big question:

  1. Is there a good alternative to TAS in the Pingzhen area that would get my daughter an equivalent education without spending nearly 2 hours a day on the road? And one point: my primary focus is not so much immersive Chinese as it is STEM, math, critical thinking, problem solving, etc. and making sure her English continues to advance. I want the second language, but the other factors are equally or more important for me.


Note to everybody: Pingzhen is between Taoyuan and Hsinchu. Basically Chungli.


I could restate this as: Is there a good alternative to TAS that is closer to the Pingzhen area. Even half the distance would be a wonderful change. 25 minute drives are ok.

That’s about how much we pay for a 3 bedroom, approx 45 ping sized place that’s a brisk 8 minute walk from TAS. We like our apartment altho it is hardly new. It is a 10 min walk to 3 MRT Stations and is surrounded by 4 playgrounds with the creek running by it (which has the walking track that runs between Tianmu W and Wenlin Roads. The evenings are so quiet it’s a bit spooky (which I’ve come to appreciate).

We’ve been apartment shopping this summer so you can find quite a few in that range (and slightly more) within a 15 min walking radius from school - from right by Veterans General Hospital / Zhong hsing hospital (NW of TAS) to the Taipei Sports College park (NE of TAS) to deep around the City Courts (south of the baseball stadium / SE of TAS). We also looked at an interesting place near Zhishan MRT closeby TES on Wenlin Road (20 min walk from TAS / SW of TAS)

If you stay west of TAS you will have relatively easy access to the freeways going south (to Pingzhen).

I suggest you get a realtor familiar with the area. Can you speak Chinese? If you do, I’ll recommend mine (but we have been talking about purchases more than rentals)

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Doesn’t Hsinchu have an American School?

No kindergarten from what I can see. Starts at first grade.

We pay an experienced tutor who is a trailing spouse 1,400 per hour for Math and English. We are very happy with her. She was recommended by a friend

TeachME charges about 1,700 per hour.

At 7:30am and 2:30pm on weekdays, you will want to avoid that part of Zhongshan N Road (see my comments above about staying to the West of TAS). I ride a bicycle around the neighborhood so I don’t mind the traffic so much. It I can easily see it. Outside school drop-off and pick-up times, traffic isn’t bad and public buses on Zhongshan N Rd are frequent.

I can imagine being frustrated sitting in a car for those narrow windows of time

What about Morrison Academy’s new campus at Linkou? Or their home campus in Taichung?

Good info, thanks! Sounds like the TAS area can be good-to-go if I survive the drive. Don’t suppose the roads south are super speedy earlier in the morning, say 6;30am? It looks to be a 50km drive. Is that 50km of autobahn or 50km of soul crushing traffic jam? Can I drive 100 kph down the main highways earlier in the morning?

Getting close enough to TAS for my wife and daughter to walk it would be ideal. Are there gyms or fitness clubs in the TAS area?

Linkou seems very doable. Taichung is a very long way away. Probably no go. I will check the Linkou site out.

Taoyuan American School is another possibility. No kindy, though.

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If you intent to commute between TAS and Pingzhen I suggest you leave before 6am and are back home at 4pm. Try the drive first (during the week) before you commit to anything.

There is a World Gym north of TAS on the same road (Zhongshan North Road)


TAS to Pingzhen every day during rush hour will take It out of you. Taoyuan American School is located in a particularly dull area, but it should be around a 20 minute drive to your workplace.

Although you will be going against the traffic.

The challenge with Taoyuan American School is no kindergarten. I am looking at possibly carrying her year 4 with tutors and such, but I want to give her the experience of a real classroom kindergarten if I can.

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Each to their own, but in your shoes I would send my child to a Chinese only kindy with loads of English input at home. Then, TYAS or similar at age 6.


Doesn’t the Airport MRT go to Pingzhen? Probably not faster, but definitely less aggravation.

It stops before Pingzhen. So that would be MRT+bus. Or maybe MRT+scooter. All the way from TAS. I would go crazy :slight_smile:

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I’d probably go crazy if I had to work in Pingzhen…no matter how I got there. :grin:

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It’s a dull area. But there are a lot of SE Asians there so the restaurants are more varied.

The whole Taoyuan area is a challenge. Cheaper to live, not much to do.

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