Lotus Hill - La Dolce Vita in Taiwan

Click here for Lotus Hill’s details in the Taiwanease Directory.

I am currently toying with the idea of moving out of the city to one of those suburban complexes/country club places, in particular a place called Shuilian Shanzhuang in Xizhi. I’ve been over there a couple of times in the last few weeks visiting friends, and I have to admit the idea of on-site indoor/outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, squash courts, indoor parking, beautiful landscaping, well-maintained buildings and grounds, elevators, western kitchens, good quality construction, security, parks, walking/jogging trails, etc. all sound really appealing. Yesterday we were playing frisbee with our dogs on the grass right outside their apartment, followed by a barbecue on the patio. Were it not for the palm trees, I would have thought I was back in Canada! :smiley:
The rent is also reasonable by Taipei standards - my friends are paying 20k (+ $2,200NT in assorted fees) for a very new, non-tacky, three bedroom, 46 ping apartment with gorgeous views, laundry room, western kitchen, good sized master bedroom with ensuite bathroom, etc. The distance from Taipei is a bit of a drawback, taxi fare is about $250 - $300NT, but they do have a shuttle bus that brings you in and out of the city fast and cheap. And on motorcycle, it’s a 20-30 minute ride, so that’s not a huge problem unless it’s pouring rain.
After 7 years of living in the thick of things, I’m contemplating a suburban lifestyle. Are there other places like this? Does anybody living in one of these places have any regrets at not being in the “real” Taiwan?

Maoman, we’ve never met - but I kinda “know” you through here and Mr. P’s Planet. Seems as if you’ve been in Taiwan quite a while, and that you have a nice domestic thing going with your gal, V. In other words, you probably won’t miss being within crawling distance of pubs/clubs/nightmarkets. You’ve also had years of living in a standard five story building in a standard “real” neighborhood. Sure, it’s nice to experience that neighborhood feeling, but at NT20,000 - we both know you ain’t gettin brand new, 50 pings, and great views living downtown. And the positive aspects of living “local”, are outweighed by the myriad disadvantages that we all know, too well.

Twenty minutes, and NT$200 both seem reasonable costs of time/money to get to the kind of living situation you describe.

My guess is that, should you opt to go for the 'burbs, the beauty and modern convenience of your new digs will have a great effect on your outlook. Maybe… it’s just what you need. It’s good to radically overhaul your living situation from time to time - keeps the baggage light, and the circulation flowing.

When I finally moved out of my dingy 40 year-old apartment into a modern studio-loft, it was an almost transcendental experience. It felt so nice to be living someplace clean, new, with good amenities, elevators, and a great view. I definitely became more of a homebody after moving to the new place - because home was SO much nicer - but I didn’t regret it. I was ready for a quieter lifestyle.

I say go for it! Sign on for a year, and see if it really is what you are looking for. It certainly won’t SUCK, and even if it’s a tad inconvenient - a year goes by fast. Chances are you’ll love it.

One thing to check though… An ex-gf of mine, comes from a reasonably affluent family. Her folks had an investment property in an upscale mountain-top community, somewhere to the NW of Taipei. [Can’t recall the community’s name] One evening, she and I drove up there to have a walk around. The place was a Taiwanese attempt at recreating a North American suburbia. Lot’s of tile villas squeezed together, and some apartment towers with those tacky faux-Versailles fountains, and ornate gates. Despite the tacky nature of the place, some of the houses were nice - real houses [sans land, of course]. Just when I was starting to fantasize about how nice it would be to live there, I started hearing a buzzing sound. Walking along a bit we came to the source of the buzzing, which had gotten very loud: High-Tension Electric Power Cables. They had built the whole community right under the mountain top route of a power line! I guess the land was cheaper for the developers.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t be too keen on living in the shadow of a couple of hundred thousand volts. Look before you leap…

Maoman, what exactly do you mean by western kitchens? Four burner ranges with ovens, or loads of counterspace, in-sink garbage disposals, and spice racks? Heh?

Also, I asked my boyfriend about the distance and he laughed and told me he’d filmed a show out there and it’s “to hell and back” and would cost me the same in taxi fare from my workplace in Neihu as it already does to Shida road, maybe more. And it’s a bit far to ride my bicycle and as you know, I won’t drive a motorbike,so… How far is it exactly???

The swimming pool sounds bloody tempting, but is it not full of rugrats all day long? I can’t stand rugrats.

I do need a quiet place with amenities, though. And garbage chutes. I deserve it.

No appliances, but there are spaces for the major appliances, including full size western oven/stovetop and refrigerator. My place does have good counterspace, and spice racks, but no in-sink garbage disposal.

I remember that a taxi from Xinyi/Dunhua to Lotus Hill (Shui Lian Shan Zhuang) cost about $250NT. Yesterday, riding my motorcycle from there to Taipei, I took 25 minutes on my scooter driving at a non-insane speed to reach the intersection of Minquan and Guangfu. By non-insane speed I mean over 40 and under 60 - I was taking my time. It was late at night and there was no traffic, but traffic has to be REALLY heavy before it slows me down significantly at those speeds.

I hate rugrats too. Collectively, anyway. Individually, they’re ok. :stuck_out_tongue: Anyway, the indoor swimming pool had only adults in it when I visited it (Sunday afternoon). However, my friends who live there say that pre-drought there was a water-volleyball game every Saturday morning in the pool that got pretty raucous. They said that with the windows closed you couldn’t really hear too much, though. :slight_smile:

Lovely place. Visited today and will check out some flats later this week. Up there, you can hear the crickets and the wind blowing. (then I came back here and the neighbours were drilling and hammering…as usual) I espied a few white folks lying next to the outdoor pool with very nice tans. And even though there were rugrats, they weren’t offensively en masse for a summer saturday afternoon.

Check out the Shui-lian Shan Zhuang Website (Lotus Hill)

So a 3 br flat in that place can be had for NT$20k/month?

Yup. At least that’s what I’m paying. I’ve already plunked down some cash for the deposit, and I’m signing the papers on Thursday. There are other expenses, though:
$2200NT/month for maintenance/security/management fees,
$150NT/month for my own underground parking space (optional), and
$1000NT/month membership for full use of all the recreational facilities (optional).
ADSL is extra, as is cable tv. Water, power, and gas are also not included.

The outdoor facilities (basketball courts, tennis courts) are all free, but if you want to use the spa, swimming pools (even the outdoor one), billiards room, table tennis centre, squash court, or indoor basketball court, you have to have a membership. I hear the rates are set to rise to $1500 per month as of July 1st, so I’m paying my dues before then. It’s a lot of money, but the facilities look well-maintained. The health club, for instance, has good equipment, on a par with what they’ve got at California Fitness, just not as much.

Mr He, you thinking of moving out there too? :smiley:

Three bedroom flat with amenities and a coupla POOLs for 20k! But then, it’s a bit far from town…so I’m giving it a great deal of thought. My social life would cease to exist as I know it. But maybe that’s a good thing. Or I could just become like Kramer and start intruding on Jerry, I mean, Maoman.

Does that complex come with a huge shuddering white balloon that bounces around entrapping people who try to leave? And do you get numbers, e.g. “Good morning, number 6”?

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:
I looooooooooove your sense of humour, Poagao! :smiley:

“Be seeing you!”

Alien is migrating.

15k per month. 3 bedrooms. 1.5 baths. 23rd floor (hope we don’t have anymore BIG earthquakes!) western kitchen w/ counterspace. 2 balconies. view of mountainside from one side. reverse view of lake. shuttle to sungshan which goes almost to my office everyday. pools. tennis. hiking trails. PEACE and QUIET.

and (drum roll)…a YARD!!!

(whoever said you couldn’t have a yard on the 23rd floor?)

First annual Alien Barbecue and pool party coming up in late August! Bring towels.
Thanks Maoman for the turn on. Looking forward to being your neighbour!

Well, I’ve been living here in Xizhi’s Lotus Hill community (Shui Lian Shan Zhuang) for almost a month. It’s fantastic! I hear crickets and frogs in the evening, and birds in the morning. Sometimes, you can see white cranes wading in the reeds at the edge of the lake. The air is clean and you can smell the trees and the grass. The swimming pool is fantastic, especially if you can sneak in a swim in the middle of the day when there is noone there. I played some 8-ball yesterday in the billiards room with my buddy, and the cues were straight, and the felt was in great condition.

I have a b-i-g living room, a bedroom with phenomenal views, and an ensuite bathroom. My kitchen is new and modern and I have cupboards and cabinets with slide out drawers. I’m lucky to have a great roommate, so I only have to pay 12k of the 20k rent. I can’t believe I was paying 15k for my rooftop for the last 6 years when I could have been living here the whole time!

The 15 kilometre commute isn’t ideal, and the convenience store located in the complex only sells one English newspaper - the Taiwan News. Still, those are the only downsides.

I’m even closer to good food than I was before, because at the base of the complex, there’s a street that has all kinds of great xiao chi at cheap prices. My girlfriend takes the shuttle bus into Taipei when she needs to, and she says it is fast, cheap and convenient. Best of all, we finish each day by soaking in the outdoor jacuzzi surrounded by palm trees and looking at the tropical night sky. La dolce vita, indeed!

So what are you waiting for?

Nine more days to pass in this dark, hot, little box off Shida Road…

Btw, I’m going to hire Steven the Mover, too. Maoman, please post a testimonial on him. I’m curious how he does because he’ll be transporting some antiques I’ve just had to purchase for my new lovely la dolce vita.

Maoman, nice to hear you found a really great place. Based on your description of ‘clean air’ and nature, it’s almost hard to believe you’re describing the same Taiwan as the rest of the forumers with their cries of pollution, pollution, pollution, pollution!!!

BTW, does that housing complex you live in have a website?

My former fourth floor neighbour (who is now my roommate) and I were horribly over-ambitious when we thought we could move everything by ourselves. Ha!

After two packed vanloads that took us the better part of Saturday to move, and without having made hardly a dent in the stuff that we wanted to move, we called Steven, and he came first thing the next day with one large truck, took one look at all my stuff, and promptly called in another truck. He charged us a total of $15,000NT. I have some nice teak furniture and pseudo wood-byproducts from IKEA, including 3 very large, expensive, wooden wardrobes that had to be disassembled before they could be moved, and Steven did it very professionally.

They did put a nick into the surface of my teak coffee table, and they also dented/scratchd the corner of my bed’s wooden headboard. Steven offered to compensate me, but I didn’t see the point of that, so I told him not to bother. What is required is a half hour of sanding, and a reapplication of finish, not moola. He looked very sorry, though. Anyway, the damage was minor, and Steven was very fast and friendly. Also, the relief and joy of not having to move refrigerators, sofas and wardrobes down a narrow flight of stairs from a rooftop apartment is indescribable.

So, to summarize, he’s not perfect, but he’s pretty good. I would recommend him. Having the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, I would advise you to protect your precious stuff with cardboard. Furniture tends to rub up against other stuff in a truck, even with the blankets Steven provides.

Yes it does, here you go:
Lotus Hill

Wow, sweet. Looks like a luxury resort.

I visited Maoman a few weeks back in his new luxury apartment. It is very nice indeed.

I’ve lived here for two weeks now and have gone swimming every day. Yesterday, I was in the pool at 8am.

The breeze I get on the 23rd floor is cool and refreshing, even in the afternoon, and there’s absolutely no need to have AC, even when it’s boiling hot downtown.

When I wake up in the morning and look out over the mountainside at the amazing green landscape, I think to myself that I could never move back into Taipei again and live amongst the noise and masses. Only two weeks has put me in this state of mind…imagine that.

Of course I’m lucky as my office is in Neihu and I can take the shuttle bus from Shui Lien almost all the way there (plus 15 min walk). But I just don’t understand the mentality of my foreign friends, and me included in the past, for wanting to live in the noise, heat and pollution, and a commute of 30 mins to City Hall MRT station seems like such a long haul. It’s really strange considering back in our home countries many of us regularly commute and live in places that aren’t nearly as ‘convenient’ as things are in Taipei. I think it’s just that getting around in Taipei is such a drag with all the people and traffic, that noone wants to go any further than they really have to…

Well, after living in downtown Taipei for so many years, it’s absolutely worth the 30 minute commute to my office near Sungshan Stn, in my opinion.
And I will never, ever, live any where else in this city until I leave Taipei entirely. But why leave when I’ve already found greener pastures. (It does a lot for your state of mind to be able to walk barefoot outside your flat…)

And the $270 taxi fare from Watershed didn’t kill me at 4am Saturday, so I suppose it’s not completely out of the question going out on the weekends. Just one less drink, I guess!

I just got a flyer in the mailbox from Lotus Hill Rent Services. They list three rentals on the flyer - one at 18 ping including furniture, appliances and airconditioning for 17k, another at 36 ping with 3 bedrooms for 18k, and a 37 ping place with furniture, air con and appliances for 24k. The contact number is 0936-118-675. Ask for a Ms. Dong. I imagine she doesn’t speak English.