Kaohsiung Neighborhoods?- Living and Working

Please note: I’ve perused the prior articles/ forum posts about this subject. Sometimes, the information seems outdated and I am looking for up-to-date perspective/ facts.

Many have general views on why Kaohsiung wins out vs. Taichung as a place to live and work. Aside from that, would anybody like to share more specific information?:

  1. Are schools for English teachers concentrated on a particular neighborhood or district?
  2. If so, how does that affect “living near one’s workplace”.
  3. Does anybody have an updated list and assessment of the various neighborhoods/ districts? Your own opinions and analysis or something more official?

As always, I appreciate any responses on this as I prepare my dream journey:)


Taichung can be kinda borning and hard to get around unless you drive. Kaohsiung is objectively better in terms of ‘fun’ levels but the pollution is absolutely garbage and fucks with my overall sense of well-being.

The weather is nicer in Kaohsiung, but I’m probably the only person who has this opinion. It’s also super easy to get to kentting from Kaohsiung, which can make nice short getaways when the city life/pollution gets you down.

But to answer your question, schools are pretty much everywhere and are not concentrated in a certain district or whatever.

@overnightoats666: Thank you for your response. I didn’t have much trouble getting around Taichung but, for some of the more “outlying” things, I had a host with a scooter. I did get lost twice for hours at a time (once after my phone died and I speak no Mandarin).

When I joined the forum, I was originally set on Taichung because it presented as familiar to Saint Paul (as Taipei does to Minneapolis). Then I got to thinking bigger: if one will completely change one’s life by moving to a country with a language not even based on Latin…then what constitutes familiarity? I just know that Taipei was exciting for a visit of six days…but a bit fast-paced for me.
So now I am thinking about other “non-Taipei” areas to work/live.

I believe ( although I am not a Teacher), that demand is higher , in more provincial places. There are quite a few places outside Taichung , like Yuanlin, which are more compact and slower-paced. Some would find the smaller places too quiet and not pretty.
You lose out on a few “Western comforts” but would probably be forced to learn Chinese faster by immersion. Most Taiwanese would get lost without Navigation , by the way, You will soon find people to help you through the more complex things in daily life. It is all too easy to get by without speaking Mandarin, a fact I have regretted for years. Useful to have a friend to help with Banks, Rents, Forms etc…

That seems to be my impression too. I am trying to balance my serenity with excitement factor:)
I am learning some basic Chinese because I think it pays to give that small nod to the host country. Somebody advised they were there ten years and only learned enough to order appropriately off a menu…but I have no problem pointing to something that looks priced about like an “entree-or meat thing” and another like an “appetizer-or-small-bite thing” and just taking what I get (haha). Be that as it may, I am learning basic greetings and food…

The reality is, I may have to go with someplace like Hess that will simply “assign” me to a location. From some contacts I have, it would not be likely I would be placed in Taipei because I am not a fresh-faced kid taking a year abroad.

I am working to make some friends ahead of time that are native speakers that could help with those mundane and every day things that are so essential! Side note: The first time I got lost at night and was wandering around an industrial and barren area of Taichung, a young Taiwanese gal swooped up on her scooter, and through a series of hand gestures and broken English, she offered to ride me to a bus stop that was closer to Taiwan Blvd, so I would be near an artery to get up to my accommodations in Xitun area. She even messaged me later to make sure I made it home safe. We are now FB friends…and I am hoping to have coffee with her next time I make it to Taiwan on a reconnaissance trip! It is one of a few friendly experiences with Taiwanese that caused me some awe.


Kaohsiung is the only city besides Taipei that has an MRT system (I’m 99% sure, so someone correct me if I’m wrong). That’s great for scooter phobes (aka people who don’t have a death wish) like me. The city has too many districts to mention, but most have branches of buxibans, schools, people in need of tutoring, etc. I’d move to one of the newer areas like Zuoying or Aozihdi, which have parks and department stores and trendy restaurants and newer buildings. There’s some older areas where you can also find jobs, but the housing and shopping and just general enjoyment to be had isn’t as nice. Air pollution is ass as someone else mentioned… I get bronchitis like twice a year. So there’s that. :man_shrugging:

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@DrewC: I may be scooter-phobic (that is, navigating rather than just clinging to somebody else), so, it’s good to know about MRT (which I know Taichung has “stalled to never ?”).

I want to especially thank you for mentioning specific neighborhoods because I can really use that!


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well technically aozhidi is just a mrt station in zuoying districtknowitallmodeoff. but i agree with you, zuoying/gushan(it’s a fine line) is probably the place you’d want to settle down

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Those are by no means the only ones. Central Park, Pier-2, Formosa Boulevard, the harbor area… are all really nice.


Here is more on Kaohsiung, for your interest

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Taiwan politicians… damned if they try to think out of the box and advance local/international culture events, and damned if they don’t.


I cannot understand why anyone would want to live in Kaohsiung. Outside of an arts section that’s a day trip at best and a mediocre last resort beachfront area the only thing the city has to offer is police cameras everywhere making sure you get a speeding ticket at least once a week and a couple lousy shopping malls. Oh, and the brickyard if you’re 20 and want to hear terrible EDM. Imagine the worst parts of a congested southeast Asian city, minus stuff you’d want to do in a city.

Taichung is a much better place to live. There are some interesting neighborhoods, the weather is much better, better restaurants, and centrally located if you want to head south or north to Taipei. Plus Gangster KTVs!

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Well, we’ve tried to explain it. :man_shrugging:

Good. I have no patience for people who speed, especially when these jerks in their broken scooters and economy model BMWs run red lights and almost mow down me and my family when we cross the street. Frankly, I say install more cameras and give out more tickets. My need for safety trumps your childish need for speed.

Hanshin Arena is 15 floors of world class. As good as any department store in Taipei.

Here we agree.

Have you ever been to a SE Asian city? Because if you have, you’d realize how silly that comparison is. Traffic here is only bad during rush hour, just like every other major city in the world.

The only thing I’ve ever heard about Taichung is that it’s got a nice park. Oh and also no MRT, so good luck getting around if you don’t have a vehicle.
Also why would you want to go anywhere associated with gangsters? Do you think that you’re a hardcore dude? :joy:


I’ve been to pretty much every city in Asia, and Kaohsiung is about the least interesting of all of them. Don’t get me wrong, I love 7 11s, motorcycle repair shops, tea stands, and second rate shopping malls as much as the next guy.

Name antyhing you’d visit that city for more than once. Be honest.

For those who like that kind of thing, Kaohsiung is a port city. There are a number of interesting harbor cruises you can take. Having the ocean 10 minutes from downtown is nice.


That’s fair, the port area by the water is a decent place to hang out if you live there. Nothing anyone would go out of their way for tho.

And whoever designed the freeway ramp onto the #1 freeway there played a cruel joke on the city.

That said, Kaohsiung county has some really beautiful places. The city itself has little to offer.

Do you know how many cities there are in Asia? Hundreds. You’ve been to “all of them”?

And Kaohsiung is the worst? Worse than the most polluted, industrial cities in mainland China? Worse than the most crime-ridden cities in the Philippines?

I don’t believe you.

And you didn’t mention our tiger and dragon pagoda… which is totally awesome. C’mon. :sunglasses:

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Nice pagodas.

When I said ‘every city’, I meant every major big city. Let’s give the benefit of the doubt here. Sort of like when people say “The Love River is so beautiful” and you simle and agree with them to be polite.

Phillipines is crime ridden but far more fun and interesting.

And for the record, I mentioned it before but Kaohsiung county has some awesome places. The city itself tho…

It could be worse.
You could be living in Taichung


Kaohsiung was way nicer by comparison

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