Just got to Taichung

Hi! We just got to Taichung yesterday, and are looking for teaching jobs here. We’re hoping to get in contact with some other expats in the area for advice on schools to avoid, good schools and what area of town to live in. We are currently staying in a hotel near the train station, but we don’t really know where to look for an apartment. Any suggestions?

If anyone in the area wants to get together for a beer or something, we’d love to meet you! We followed the advice of the oriented forums and didn’t sign any contracts before we arrived, but now we’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed! It’s a big city out there! We haven’t quite figured out where to get started (everything’s in Mandarin!)

Lonely Planet said that the area around the train station is the expat area, so that’s why we came here. I think we’ve only seen one other native English speaking person though… Could Lonely Planet possibly be wrong???

Oh, we’re from Seattle (it was 40 degrees F and raining when we left) and we both have our bachelors degrees. We’re 30 and 31 years old. We’d like to work at the same school, if possible, but that’s not necessary. We also brought our two cats with us, so we need to find an apartment who will love them as much as we do. Or at least accept them!

If anyone has any pointers, that would be great!


Karen and Landon


I’ve never spent much time in Taichong (which is really a pity) but I can speak to the cat/apartment issue: just don’t mention it. If you don’t mention the cats, most likely the landlord will never know anything about it, and what they don’t know won’t hurt them (otherwise they’d be in constant pain). We had 2 cats in Taipei from 1995-2000 and always followed this policy. It just didn’t seem to be an issue. If you rented a very new, or newly redecorated place, it might be, but generally not.

I’m beginning to see landlords today who will put in a “no-pets” clause, but you would know about that before signing (or, while signing!) and could then do something about it IF it comes up. But in Taiwan, the act of asking a question provides an opportunity to be turned down. Not asking means that everyone can pretend that everything is fine, which goes OK unless there is that one-in-a-million accident or disaster.

About jobs – remember that everything in Taiwan takes time. Don’t get upset about not getting a job in the first 3 days. You want to try to get a good situation, because it can be more difficult to extricate yourself at a later date if you need to do so. It doesn’t have to be perfect, of course, but shoot for at least “comfortable” for your job.

As for Lonely Planet being infallible – I vividly remember trekking on foot in Guangzhou with an enormously heavy backpack (this was quite a few years ago, though) with a friend of mine, lustily cursing Michael Buckley (the author of the earlier China guides by LP). “Where are the cheap hotels on Shamian Island?” I don’t know how the later editions are doing though…

Good luck!

Hi Karen,

I’m a Canadian who has been in Taichung for about a year. The area around the train station is definitly not the foriegner area of town. It’s the old part of town. If you go towards the area of the 2 Sogos on Taichung gan rd. ( near Chungming and Taichung gan rd.) you will be in the heart of so-called Little Europe. I hope this helps.


Ahhh, Lonely Planet has let me down again! I should have known better!

Thank you both for your priceless words of wisdom! We will be heading toward Little Europe tonight, and there will be no mention of the felines in my apartment search!

We’ve been scouring all of the English newspapers for jobs and apartments, but to no avail. Is there somewhere else we should be looking?

Thanks again!
Karen and Landon

I’ve moved up to Taipei, but I lived in the 'chung for about a year and a half; Bolster is completely correct about the area known as ‘Little Europe’. I haven’t lived there for a year, but I would imagine that’s still a good place to meet other foreigners - a good way to find jobs. I used to hang out over on JingMing First St, and sometimes people would just come up to me for teaching English. Some of the more popular hangouts (like Frog or Napoli’s, although I’ve heard Napoli’s isn’t the hotspot anymore) should also have bulletin boards with job offers on them.

Good luck; while Taipei’s nice, I still miss Taichung sometimes (mostly the weather…)

When I first arrived in Taiwan, I went to a real estate company that charges $10,000 for closing rental contracts. I then bargained down the rental price with the owner by signing a 2 year contract and doubling the deposit to get my $10,000 back; and of course, stating that I would loose the $10,000 if I broke the contract. (I think doubling the deposit was extra but I wanted to live past 2 years at the lower price.) The good thing about using a real estate company is that they have many listings which you cannot find elsewhere and they will take you to see the place. You can also state criteria as far as location, space, quality, etc.

This is from China Post for Taichung housing:
Julie at JOFA CO. Tel: (04)2253-3168, 0931-570-999, Fax: (04) 2253-3169, E-mail: jofa@ms16.hinet.net.

I am sure you can find many real estate companies just walking around your intended location.

Included in Forumosa.com Knowledge Base

This might be a little late, but you can find a listing of language schools in Taichung here:


That’d be Taichung Gang Road I guess. The bloody great six lane road that runs out to Taichung gang (harbour).


I have never spent one red or green cent of my hard earned money on a Lonely Place guide. Yes, I have looked over a few shoulders and grabbed a few peeks in a local bookstore. In my not so humble opinion, anyone who follows the suggestions of LP will indeed find themselves on a lonely planet.

Obviously these books are written for people who never heard of using the gray matter.

Never will forget once when I was in Nepal and some gal had a LP trying to say something in Nepali to a kid. He didn’t understand a word she was saying and asked her, “Hey, what country you from? You speak English?”

Or a very crowded banana pancake stall on an otherwise desolate beach.

I think you;re being a tad harsh. The LPs a great handbook when you have limited grasp of the local language and decide to venture off the main throughfares.

Anyway, got any gripes on the LP you can always harras Mucha Man directly.

What are some of the pubs and eateries in that “little Europe” these days? Frog was one in my day, as too the Napoli. They were always reliable for jobs, houses and other English ads. (I’m quite sure they aren’t there anymore though). Oh yeah, there’s also that Dougie Harbecker (sp) rag, Compass. Here’s a related website:

Looking thorugh Compass I see thios on “little Europe” or :laughing: :laughing: The canal district!!! Geez, sounds like Venice or sumfink. http://www.taiwanfun.com/central/taichung/nightlife/0101/0101spiritsHarbourRd.htm. Thought it was just a bloody sewer when I was there . . .

If you happen to speak, or better, read Chinese, or have access to someone that doesn’t mind helping you out, litle red rental notices are plastered over every noticeboard in town. These usually have a direct nuimbetr to the owner. No need to shell out for an agent.

Depending on where you work, one of my favourite spots was up in Lixianguo, or Utopia over Taiching Gang Road from Tung Hai university. There’s that brilliantly named O’Chang’s Irish pub (or was) nearby.


Nah, I ain’t being a tad harsh. That piece of shit (LP)is for people who have no sense of adventurism and want everything laid out on a friggin’ platter for 'em.

Limited grasp of the local language? “We are here now, please speak to us in a civilised tongue, or else we shan’t pay the porters.”

Give me a break man :slight_smile: Lets do a poll and ask how many Lonely Planateers have not ripped out a page to wipe their butt in some Godforsaken rat hole they were exhuberantly “guided” to.

Actually, your are quite right. The LP is a great guide for those who don’t know how to spell the name of the country they want to go to.

Paz! Hermano!

The train station area of Taichung has got to be the worst area of the entire county -prostitutes, drugs, filth. Definately get to Little Europe, or, better yet, up near Tunghai University there is an area -2 areas actually- called “Tunghai Villa” and “Art Street/International Street”. Chilled out vibes, close to the beautiful Tunghai campus, cheap rents on large apartments. Leave that train station area asap.

You say that like it’s something bad.


[quote=“Ramblin Rube”]Nah, I ain’t being a tad harsh. That piece of shit (LP)is for people who have no sense of adventurism and want everything laid out on a friggin’ platter for 'em.

Limited grasp of the local language? “We are here now, please speak to us in a civilised tongue, or else we shan’t pay the porters.”[/quote]

There wouldn’t be much of a global tourist industry if people weren’t allowed to go somewhere they didn’t speak the language.