Life in Taichung

I will be moving to Taichung in August and was wondering what I can expect. What is the weather like? How is the nightlife? Also what unexpected situations should I plan for? Any suggestion, or any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Hello there,

Are you moving down from Taipei?

I moved to Taichung from Taipei a couple of years ago, and there is quite a difference.

Weatherwise, it is miles, miles, miles better than Taipei, which gets so cold, wet and gloomy in winter. Most days are pretty sunny in Taichung. It only rains occasionally, though we do still get the odd afternoon thunderstorms that Taipei gets.

The biggest difference I found was the lack of any decent public transport. I was quite a fan of Taipei’s bus system–I didn’t get to really experience the MRT, but I guess that makes it even better. City buses in Taichung are practically non-existent, so you either hoof it, pedal it, or get yourself some powered wheels. Most people ride scooters or drive. Otherwise life is extremely inconvenient, as the city seems much much bigger than Taipei area-wise–the streets are much wider and everything seems further apart. More space, cheaper land, I guess.

You asked about nightlife–I am not so clued up about that, but there seems to be quite a big foreign community in Taichung and a lot of bars are located along Hua-mei street and the Jingcheng Rd. areas.

People here are generally more smiling and friendly than in Taipei, where the pace of life is a lot faster and people are more stressed out.

Though you will hear a lot more Taiwanese spoken here.

To sum up, I like it here and would find it hard to live in Taipei again, even though the quality of life, in terms of cinemas, theater, art and cultural things is much better in Taipei…

Anyway, welcome!

[Thanks to whoever moved this, and sorry I didn’t catch this pre-existing thread.]

I’m planning on trying out Taichung to live for a year or so. From what I’ve read, it sounds much more ‘enjoyable’ than Taipei. I like the bustle and convenience of the big city, but the thought of less rain, less traffic, less crowdedness sounds just too good to not at least give it a try.

I spent a number of months in Taipei and for the most part enjoyed it. I don’t drink much, and smokey places turn me away in seconds, so that shouldn’t be a problem at all in giving up all the pubs and clubs that Taipei has to offer.

Care to share your experiences (good or bad) living in Taichung? Or even first impressions from visiting? I will most likely want to be in the heart of the city (being the city slicker that I am), but would love to hear anything at all from people living there and nearby.

How’s the transportation system?
Availability and selection of teaching work (not counting the kindergarten babysitting jobs)?
Organic produce availability?
Differences in living costs compared to living in Taipei city?
Any and all info appreciated. Thanks! :slight_smile:

Taichung more enjoyable than Taipei? :loco:

If you’re married, don’t need to go out and have fun on the weekends and don’t need a backbiting group of expats and enjoy hellish, demonic apocalyptic driving conditions - then it might be.

If you’re single, need to get out and about but want the urban flava, appreciate the ability to fit in the occasional socialization with fellow, level-headed waigoren and to be able to get around easily: Taipei.

Save more dough: Taichung at first, but if you’re in for a longer stay - a second year in Taipei would be more fruitful.

Startup is more in Taipei than Taichung if you want a scooter. If you bypass the scooter and prepare for the two month’s rent a pad requires - then go Taipei. If you have to strt from scratch, finding a job then apartment, then paying for it and then buying a scooter (a neccessity in Taichung if you want to enjoy the city, but then again to “enjoy it” - after a few months driving through its hellish traffic you won’t be enjoying much but getting home alive) - Taichung could be a difficult place to start up.

If you’re single, don’t have the job lined up and want to get off the ground running, I still side with Taipei at the start, even if Taichung is your destination. Hell, you could find your job in Taichung from there too, if you’re hellbent on going there. I think Taipei would win you over though.

I recently read this:

It reminded me of one (out of many) reason(s) why I got out of the 'chung, back when it was actually a happening place (five years ago).

Some things never change…

I’m with Ric on this one. Taichung is ridden with monkey-ass foreigners who think they’re ‘da bomb’.

It’s petty and ridiculous. Small-town stuff.

There’s no cohesiveness in the foreigner community. And even less respect.

My solution: I stick to myself mostly, and a small group of people, mostly locals. “Lone wolfing” it seems to work for me. But I’ve always enjoyed solitude.

Culturally, Taichung is pretty dry. Unless you’re into KTVs and afterparties at the many, many motels. The foreigner-frequented bars and restaurants are ruined somewhat by the fact that they’re, well, foreigner-frequented.

Guess I’m ranting. And it’s a sign I should probably move on.

I’m saving cash, finally, and stepping up my business plans. Then I’m outta here…

I say Taipei! More to offer, jobs/career-wise, better access to ‘culture’, better public transport, and closer to CKS, should you implode and need to get the bugger off the island in a rush!

EDIT: I neglected to mention there are plenty of foreigners in the city who work hard and keep their noses clean. The above rant does not refer to them.

me and the mrs only go to taichung on the weekends. it’s just too sleazy to live in.

Would you mind expanding on how it’s sleazy? Any comparison to Taipei’s sleaziness?