Kaohsiung - A place for expatriates?

I’m arriving in Taiwan in January and really want to live in the south, but I can’t seem to find much information on the cities. I have found many good posts on “clean/nice/mild air pollution” locations to live in or around for Taipei, but I need that kind of advice for Kaoshiung. Are there any parts of town that people find healthier or have more amenities. I value a decent view, a close park, and “cleaner” air as well as good times and bars.

Is the air better south/east of town? Is the area totally pancake flat? How long of a scooter ride is it to the mountains?

Thanks in advance for any info.

Sometimes I wish the Internet didn’t exist. It seems that people nowadays don’t want to experience life as it is, but they want everything lined up before they even arrive here!!!

Life as tourism, package tour, all worries answered before you arrive.

Whatever happened to real life adventures, get on a plane and see what happens?

Good luck, Hoosier.

I tend to agree that there is far too much research going into my arrival plans. I want to go already, but I enjoy reading forums (mostly computing related) and any preliminary things that I can do to avoid the worst Taiwan has to offer will be appreciated.

I mean, flying to Taiwan, no job in hand and leaving a good (but OLD) job behind, is an adventure and god knows I don’t know what will happen, no matter how much I read. I’m not worried about that, I’m just letting it happen, but information that I can use to help me find an apartment quicker is really what I’m after. I can’t afford to vacation all over Taiwan looking for places to live. I have to work to be able to do this.

So yeah, I do get a bit bored researching and I just want to get on the plane and live it. But that will come with time, reading up isn’t going to make things any less interesting.

If you want a clean city come to Taipei. It’s not exactly clean, but it’s cleaner and less corwded than the cities in the South except for Taidong, and that’s in the Southeast whic is usually counted as ‘East Coast’ rather than ‘South’. Why do you want to live in the south anyway? I’ve never been to Gaoxiong, but it souns hborrible. Then again, I’m biased.


Because they have, like, laws and stuff in Taipei. Which is irritating to us used to living free! down in the South.

I don’t know if I can handle 200+ days with cloudy skies! Convince me that Taipei isn’t rained on all the time and has beautiful sunlight and Taipei is all me. I do think it sounds like much more fun than Kaoshiung, but I just can’t conceive of living in the rain.

Sun King :sunglasses: …errrr…


It doesn’t rain all the time in Taipei. It’s about halfway between London and LA rainwise. :smiley:


I don’t really know Kaoshiung. It used to have a bad reputation for pollution but I’ve heard it’s got better over the last couple of years.
The good news is that it’s within easy access of some really spectacular countryside and mountains, such as on the South Cross-Island Highway. It’s also quick enough to buzz down to Kending- semi tropical beach resort with some very nice countryside close to it:
and easy to take a train round to Taitung, from where you can go to Green Island or Orchid Island and go snorkelling and diving.

By the way, I want to congratulate you on doing some research before coming. It’s surprising the number of people who don’t, and they often end up making things far harder for themselves than they needed to be.

In my opinion, your best location would be near the National Kaohsiung Normal University, near Kaohsiung City Chiang Kai-shek Cultural Center…

I am thinking of leaving Taipei for KHH… has anyone done the same? what are the advantages of living in KHH or should I stay put?


By KHH, do you mean Kaohsiung?

yes, sorry for that I do mean Koahsiung

I’ve never lived in Kaohsiung, but over the past five years I’ve been down there (from Tainan, where I live) 100-200 times, for business, work or pleasure.

It goes without saying that the cost of living there is quite a bit lower than Taipei, and that the weather is hotter and sunnier. There’s no MRT yet, but the bus network is pretty good (and cheap - NT$12 per journey) and slowly becoming bilingual.

Nightlife is not quite Taipei, but there’s more than enough. Locals speak a lot less English than they do in Taipei, and there’s not so much choice for English-language books etc. If you aim to learn Chinese, it’s probably a better place than Taipei.

Why not head down to the city for a long weekend and take a look around? Sizihwan is nice, so is Shoushan (what many foreigners call “Monkey Mountain.”)

See FYI SOUTH magazine for dining choices:
(disclosure - I used to be the editor)

Live right next to Kenting and go to a tropical beach every week? Why not. And if you really do miss Taipei it’s only a train ride away.

Is that the same as “Ape Hill”?

I think if/when I move back to Taiwan , I would prefer to live in Kaohsiung instead of Taipei. Although Kaohsiung is not Taipei’s equal in many ways. In many ways its better. Better weather, 2 hours drive to Kenting. And yes the new high speed rail means a quick trip to Taipei to indulge in what Taipei has to offer when necessary without having to endure a long drive or to fly.

The weather maybe better than Taipei.
If you have ever lived in Taipei and get used to the life here.
Try some days in Kaoshung see if you can like or live there.

I go into KHH often and also have lived in Taipei in the past.
Rent is at least 50% cheaper than Taipei.
Most foreigners get around on scooter and the roads are designed for it.
Parts of the new subway system are due to open this year.
People say in Taipei there is more shopping, bars and movie theaters; if that is what you need then Taipei is better. But KHH has several large department stores plus the new shopping mall which is the largest in Taiwan, it also has traditional and night markets. KHH also has plenty of foreign bars to hang out in.

As mentioned above; monkey mountain, Shizuwan/Chung-San university are nice places near the sea. There’s also Chi-jin island for beaches and sea-food and of course Kenting to the south and the mountains inland. You can paraglide nearby in Santimen.
Also, I recommend the area around the harbor/Love river and avoid the “New” area of the city which is nearer the high speed train—although many people rant about it, it’s just a bunch of high rises that block any air flow, scooters parked 4 deep and cars double parked–can’t walk on the sidewalks at all there…it’s almost as dense as Yung-Hu. The art museum and Dollars! is located there but I don’t see that as a reason to live in an area with “alot of shops”…and sidewalks taken over by vendors.

I also recommend visiting for a weekend or longer. Check out some of the foriegners bars to get more detailed info on the place.

Yes (cough cough) Kaohsiung is (hack hack hack) great! (Aff aff aff…blueurgh! Oh, god, I’m throwing up blood again…ahem…OK now) Like I said, it’s beautiful and cheaper than (erff…erff…uh…ahhhh!!!..ahurummph!) Taipei. It’s got some nice mountains and (aaaaaaaaka-ka-ka-ka) Monkey Mountain is ni—(i-yi-kuh-kuh-kuh-bleeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh…oh god where is the toilet?)…uh nice, and uh…please (hack hack hack) gotta go…see you (harummph!) later.

I am actually starting to not like Taipei so much… food sucks, seriously. Food is way cheaper elsewhere like Taichung and tastes better to boot. However There are more foreigners here and its easier to get around because of the MRT… But I heard crime is more of a problem there compared to Taipei because of inept police… having crime problem in Taiwan is worse cause I cant have a gun to protect myself…