Living in Taipei commuting daily to Hsinchu?

Hello all,

Anyone doing this? Anyone done it in the past?

I have acquired a fantastic job in Hsinchu but my fiance has a great job in Taipei and all of her family all lives in Taipei. We are getting married next April and we are trying to decide where to live; where to buy a home. One option is to buy a home near the Taipei main station and have me commute to Hsinchu daily via the HSR which is about a 30 minute commute. I drive about 30 minutes to my current job daily so I am thinking this is doable, I figure I can read and grade papers on the train rides to and from work.

Any thoughts or pearls of wisdom to share?


I know quite a few people commuting between Hsinchu and Taipei on a daily basis. Some commute by car, others by bus, and others by train. All of them describe the daily commute as “tiring” and says that with hindsight they wouldn’t do it again. Also, a lot depends on your working hours. If it coincides with peak traffic times, your commute by car, or bus could easily become and hour and a half of agony, both in the morning and evening.

Granted, the THSR covers the distance in 30 minutes, but what you have to consider is that the HR station is in Chubei, not Hsinchu. Once again, depending on the traffic the trip between the station in Chubei and your school in Hsinchu could easily take up another 30 minutes, both in the morning and evening.

You do the math, but FWIW, if I were you, I wouldn’t do it.

Good luck though.

I have several coworkers who commute everyday, mostly because their kids study at Hsinchu’s international schools. But they live in Hsinchu and our office is right next to Taipei Main Station. This area is not suitable for living, the closest “nice” area is Zhongshan or up in Minshen…which is too far for your needs.

I live in Xindian, and there is a bus straight to Hsinchu. Maybe you can find a bus line that takes you the closest to your school, but in the Taipei suburbs-cheaper and less time commuting. Buses can be more point to point. Still, it is going to be tough.

It will be a Bitch, unless your job is Bitchin !!

Since you don’t know yet how the commute would work out for you, don’t buy a place yet. Rent.

Also, if you still decide to go with the high-speed rail, Banqiao would be a better option than Taipei, given that the area around Taipei Main Station is, as Icon noted, not really the finest of residential neighborhoods. But the area around the Banqiao HSR isn’t bad and has many, many new apartment buildings going up. (Most, however, aren’t quite ready for residents yet.) And from Banqiao you can get into Taipei quickly and easily on the MRT (approx. 15 min. from the Banqiao train station to Taipei Main Station).

I did the Banciao to Hsinchu commute twice a week for 2 years. To get a seat on a train you need to get your ticket at least 1/2 hour early so this increases your commute time. Figure 1 hour from Banciao to Hsinchu. Station gueue taxi drivers in Hsinchu are wankers. Catch one from the SOGO across the street.
As long as I had 5 hours of class time in Hsinchu, it was ok. But when the hours got reduced to 3, it simply became intolerable. I was spending a one-way commute of about 3.5 hours for 3 hours of teaching. Yes, the pay was good but not enough to justify the extra time on the commute.
I don’t advise the high speed train. It is a long way from the downtown and an expensive transportation option plus the extra taxi fare and time.
I will only do it again if I can get no less than 5 hours pay per trip.

Hsinchu local rail is being extended (slowly) to the HSR station. Until then, I wouldn’t attempt the Taipei/Hsinchu commute, and even then, I would only do it if work was close to a local train stop in Hsinchu or I had a vehicle garaged near the Hsinchu HSR. The HSR Shuttle bus from HSR to TRA and Guangfu Ave. is an option, but it gets crowded at rush hour and isn’t high frequency.

It’s pointless to discuss until you identify the location of your job in Hsinchu as the other posters noted. If it’s near the train line and you lived in PanChaio that would be a good idea. Personally I would move to Hsinchu if I got a job there.

It is going to be around $500 every time you make the commute, so times 22 workdays a month, it is going to cost you around $11,000/month, not to mention get to the HSR, and the time being wasted etc…you might as well just rent a place in the town (should be somewhere around $5,000 - $9,000 for single room) if you do indeed land a job, no way I am going to waste 2 hours due to traveling everyday.

Yeah, having a small rental unit, or shared big nose house near the two unis, in the 'zoo works for me.

I commuted by car between Taipei and Yangmei, some 30km north of Xinzhu for a bit over a year. I cut the actual travel time by leaving 6:20 AM every morning, and I was usually at hope 8PM or so.

I found it tiring and tough, however did it because my ex. did not want to move up to the big city.

If I were in your shoes, I would either get a job in Taipei, or tell the missus to start looking in Xinzhu.

The school I will be working at is on Guang-Fu Road…

How long is the commute from the HSR to there?

Is there a monthly commuter pass I can buy for the HSR?

How about buying a scooter and leaving it outside the HSR to ride to work? On rainy days I could take a taxi…

We are both sort of locked into our jobs because we are both happy with our professional careers, moving from Taipei is not an option for her.

Guang Fu Road is one of the main arteries into the Science Park, so travelling up and down it any time between 7 - 9 am and 5 - 7 PM is a fucking nightmare.

The commute from HRS station in Chubei via freeway No. 1 and directly onto Guang Fu Road should take no less that 20 minutes OUTSIDE the hours mentioned above.

Commuting by scooter from the station to the school will take you through both Chubei and Hsinchu. Could be busy depending on the time you commute, but shoudn’t take longer than 30 minutes.

I know it’s personal but partners should always discuss options together and not totally rule out things (in theory!). Living in Panchiao is basically living in Taipei anyway…you DO NOT need to live in the middle of Taipei nor should you ever want to, Taipei has very good public transport routes to the suburbs and if you have a car (and parking space) it is very easy to get in and out from the suburbs and outlying towns.

When you commute to or from Xinzhu, Banquai is for all practical purposes Taipei.

I would say that our friend needs to find a job in Taipei, or his future missus needs to find one in Xinzhu.

Both should be doable.

The commute will be too tiring, and NT$11k in transport costs per month is too much, unless the job pays a damn sight more than that.

I agree with you, it seems something has to give. There are more jobs in Taipei for teachers, just might take a while.
If you have kids it would get worse…

I commuted between Taipei and Hsinchu for about 6 months via company bus. Even without the stress of having to deal with traffic or public transit, it was too much of a drag and we moved here. I know a few people that used the hsr to commute to Taipei but unless you live and work right at the trains stops the time savings are non-existent. Faster to drive. And it’s expensive.


Is there a monthly commuter pass I can buy for the HSR?

How about buying a scooter and leaving it outside the HSR to ride to work? On rainy days I could take a taxi…[/quote]

  1. No HSR passes that I know of.

  2. Chubei has the new “planned development” “all a mall” look. You would end up renting an expensive space in a building. [edited to reflect Kelake’s update]

Yeah, was there recently, somehow I don’t see ZhuBei HSR St. (which looks like a mini-airport) will allow scooters to park around it. There are some nice spots to live in Hsinchu even if it has the reputation for Taipei based people of being boring.

[quote=“ShaoPung”]How about buying a scooter and leaving it outside the HSR to ride to work? On rainy days I could take a taxi…
There is parking for scooters at Hsinchu HSR. Cost me about 50nt for an afternoon. If you left it there over night it might not be there in the morning.