I’m heading to Taiwan in January, and am trying to decided where to teach. I’ve read a lot of threads that talk about the good and bad aspects of living in various places, but wanted to elicit some more info. First I’ll give you a bit of background. I’ve spent the last four years in Mainland China. I am nearly fluent in Chinese, both spoken and written, so I’m not worried about being in a place where there isn’t much English spoken (in fact, I’d prefer it). Because I’ve been in China for four years, I’m not real keen on living in a big, crowded city. I would actually like to live in a small, clean city somewhere in the mountains. A bustling nightlife is not the ultimate, deciding factor in where I want to live. I’m actually much more concerned with environment. It seems that the Taichung area is somewhat popular with people, and honestly that’s where I’m being drawn to. I want green, and mountains, and someplace by the sea would be good, too. I don’t know if there are many foreign Buddhists on these forums, but I am a Buddhist, and I’d like to also be in a place with temples.
Despite the above, I am keeping Taibei as an option because a classmate of mine is there, we studied Chinese together in Hangzhou, China. Even though it’s big, crowded, and more expensive, Taibei is a modern, clean city (unlike cities in the Mainland), and if I’m going to live in a big city, those are the traits I’m looking for. I don’t want to end up in a dirty, run down city. I’ve had enough of those! Cleanliness and modernity are some of the driving factors in my moving to Taiwan. That being said, I have gotten used to living without a lot of conveniences (I’ve been in Asia for 6 years altogether, and China is not the least developed place I’ve lived). To clarify, I can sacrifice some modern conveniences for a beautiful environment, but I don’t want to live in some nether region where there is no nature, and not many comforts of more developed areas.