How much money should I expect to bring to get set up in Taipei?

As I mentioned in a previous thread, I’m thinking seriously about relocating from Shanghai to Taipei earlier than expected. However, I am wondering how much money (in USD or NTD) others feel is enough to comfortably look for housing and jobs in Taiwan.

This thread might contain some useful info.

Here’s a breakdown of everything we spent during our first month in Taipei:

Here’s a breakdown of what we spend in subsequent months:

This should give you an idea of how much to prepare for.

EDIT: The above information applies to my current state of being married with two kids. When I was single, I spent approximately 60% of my current budget. I’m a lot more saving now. So, multiply the figures in the above links by 60% if you want start up costs if you’re single.

short answer, if you’re coming over by yourself I’d say bring at least $2000 USD ( 60,000 NTD). I think I came with about $1300 USD when I got here in 2012, it was definitely not enough, especially for getting an apartment with a security deposit.

$2000 USD is also a minimum, I’d say you’d probably need a little more than that even if you want a better apartment and don’t wanna scrape by for the first month or two. Took me a few months to boot strap my way up and living in a cheap hostel given the small amount of money I came with.

2000usd won’t get you far.

2 months deposit and one month advance for the apartment will set you back 3k for anything half decent (shit hole but not the worst, but you def won’t be having any guests over)

I would budget 6k for the apartment and related fees, and that’s not even including furniture, the furniture will put you back another 2k even if you go to ikea

Living expenses(food, beer, taxi, etc) will set you back about 30-35usd per day(not ultimate slumming, but you def are not living it large), so I suggest you budget there as well 2k minimum if you want to manage 2 months without income

Don’t say that when you’re from a southern state, they have a weird accent.

And just remember not to bring more than the equivalent of 10,000US$ in cash.

that is great

free picture upload

Without special arrangement…
USD 10000 max, or
NTD 100000 max, or
RMB 20000 max.

Again, a few tips:

  1. Do not rent anything from abroad. Come here, stay in an Airbnb or hostel or hotel. Add that to the count, like 1000 NTD average daily, more or less, depending on location/amenities. Yes, it is necessary.

  2. As stated, two months rent as deposit is the maximum by law. So you gotta have 3 months rent first thing.

One more time: it is not recommended to live with the landlord, do not go rent by yourself, have your own witness, try to document the state of the place, ie take pictures.

Now, average rent for a studio in Taipei can be from 20k to 8k in New Taipei city. That means you´d expect to spend at least 24 thousand NTD from the 60 thousand you have (from conversion of 2000 USD into NTD). See how that fits your lifestyle.

  1. Transportation is now more convenient with the all purpose montly multipass: 1280 NTD for a card that allows you to take all the buses, MRT and UBike (shared bike system, you will love it) you want on a one month period. Renewable.

Taxis are also very affordable, do not hesitate to take one, but it is preferable to use the ones from big companies, like Taiwan Taxi or Metro Taxi. They will have big adds on teh side usually. If it is all broken and old, do not take it. There is anotehr one 5 minutes behind. If you need a cab, go to any 711 or convenience store and they will call you a cab.

  1. Remember to have a short term international insurance in place, as you will not be able to use Taiwan´s National Health Insurance until you have a resident card/job etc. Our NHI is very useful, you´ll like it. And probably use it, it is very affordable. BTW, it is mandatory once you get your resident card. In the meantime, cover yourself for any accidents/diseases.

20 bucks


If you declare your money you can bring in a lot more. And when you leave they’ll check again how much you take out.

I got off the ship in Kaohsiung with just the shirt on my back, my trusty snakeskin banjo and a handful of dodgy sapphires from Bangkok.

Wait…you had no pants?

To clarify, my upper limit right now is only a few thousand USD. That’s part of my concern. I’m currently looking at a cheap but nice-ish place in NTC near Dingxi in a shared flat with a friend of a friend. The area looks pretty green and bikable. (I will be staying with the friend for the first week while I check it and other places out.) My preference would be to be somewhere like Yongchun, as I’ve heard good things, but I guess since I’m thinking of freelancing for a bit, I can’t be too picky.

Super helpful! Do you have any recommendations for good areas to look for studios? I know the usual rental sites (English and Chinese), and I have contacts that can help me search. But I mean nice living areas. Ideally, for me, that means somewhat green, good food, and maybe some cute bookstores/coffee shops.

Mmm, I live in Xindian, we have plenty of green, biking and hiking but sorry about coffee shops and bookstores. That sounds more like Minsheng area in Taipei City, or Gongguan, which is the university area.

Not that familiar with Yongchun… but Dingxi… I think you come and check it out, I think that Yonghe/Zhonghe area is not suitable for biking, but that is my point of view from working there more than 10 years ago. It does have good eats for sure.