Miaoli, laid back cultural haven or tumbleweed town?

I’ve been offered a job in Maoli,
the school managers friendly, wage is ok, accomadation included ect.

But I wasn’t very impressed with Miaoli, infact it looked completly dead, I didn’t see the whole town, only a bit from the car but is there anything to do there, and whats the expat community like? size ect. I’m young and I’d be lying if I said I don’t like drinking I know there are no clubs and that doesn’t bother me, but are there one or two decent bars to unwind in? At the same time I enjoy hiking as well, I know its good for that, access to beaches and hot springs are easy too, but is it enough to keep you happy for a year?

any comments, opinions on Maoli are welcome (so long as you have been there)

i would have thought it is pretty much like being in any small town/village in SE asia. if you come prepared to spend a year in near total isolation, then you will enjoy it. that said i don’t know if there are any bars there.

Yes there are a few bars in Miaoli, you need to hook up with some other Engrish teachers there, a year will be fine and it’s easy to go to Taipei or Hsinchu on the train.

My wife was born in Miaoli and thus feels obligated to trek there a few times a year.
I have noted that over the last 7 yrs or so it has come to have a rather burgeoning ‘cultural’ scene. Traditional and ‘upscale’ foods and eateries have sprouted up.
Also a growing arts & crafts scene has come about.

Oh, and trust me, there are a few bars in the town. Maybe not your ‘hot spot’ meat market type of places…but they can be…well…fun… :wink:

But, as mentioned, escape is easy via the transport systems.

Miaoli town is boring but it’s got everything for living…supermarkets, restuarants, shops, swimming pools, train station etc, its also fairly well put together and plenty of space so not the complete chaos of some other towns here. The best part of Miaoli are the hamlets like Sanyi area and the countryside and mountains in general.

If you’re into cycling, you’ll find Miaoli a good base. Not so big that getting out of town takes a long time, and surrounded by scenic roads.


I hear there’s an HSR station in the pipeline too. Not sure exactly where, or whether they’ve started construction yet …?

Miaoli is currently near the top of my list of places to consider moving to. Tainan appeals to me more, but Miaoli has the advantage of being closer to Linkou for those regular visits back to the in-laws that we’ll need to make after we move. We’ve been looking at some quite attractive communities in and around Toufen, and are planning to go and stay there for a couple of days within the near future to scout around.

Houlong Township. Scheduled to open in 2015, though I don’t think construction has begun yet.

Here’s a link to a news report about it.

Houlong Township. Scheduled to open in 2015, though I don’t think construction has begun yet.

Here’s a link to a news report about it.[/quote]

Yes they are building a station outside the town now and cleared land for development around it. My in laws live in the neighboring township, there are plenty of Taipei folk buying farmhouse villas there now, Many are retired folk as there are not a lot of jobs in Miaoli. It is 40 mins drive to Hsinchu and Taizhong and about 1.5 hours to Taipei.

That’s not a bad area. The 72 drops you off in Taian hot springs in 20 minutes. And the 61 takes you down the coast. Should be coastal bike routes already done or in the works.

Also the coastal area is kind of cool with low scrubby hills. Not so many high ugly buildings around either to blight the environment.

Interesting … thanks. Might have a look around at land for sale myself next time I’m in the area.

My wife mentioned Miaoli as a place for us to spend our retirement. I do like that area and hopefully in 10-15 years when I actually might be able to retire, it will be even better. It’s not a very hip and busy place to be, but that’s OK with me. We’d still be close to her family in the Taichung area.

Miaoli? Ya gotta be kidding me? People actually LIVE there ?? :sunglasses:

Its tumbleweed surely.

High speed train station baby. Arnie eat your heart out,

Yep, looks like all those people who fled the boonies in favour of overpriced Taipei … they’ll be back.

Yep, looks like all those people who fled the boonies in favour of overpriced Taipei … they’ll be back.[/quote]

except those “life style units” popping up all over Miaoli are not cheap. the locals are hip to the fact their land, if in the right location, is now pretty valuable.

But yeah, Miaoli has some hidden valleys that are very very nice to explore. Worth getting on a scooter and spending a few days tootling around once the weather warms up. Right now its orange season and the trees are laden with fruit.

There is one of those hidden valleys behind my in laws house near Miaoli city and it’s aweshome dude! Aweshome! The back area of Sanyi township is also really nice.

I recently spent a day driving and roaming around Miaoli City, not the county.

Miaoli City impressions

  • Miaoli is an unremarkable town with very small tiny streets with little parking and not many old interesting buildings. I’m sure there’s some reason the buildings are packed in so tight with small streets more it seems than other towns.
  • One of the less attractive towns in Taiwan
  • Some, very few, not really noticeable, cultural attractions, many are not old but were built for tourists
  • No movie theaters or Starbucks, not that those are important, but it gives an idea of the size of the town and offerings
  • Universities and students seem to make up a recognizable portion of the community.
  • HSR station outside of the central area across the river
  • Miaoli city does have ubike but not many bike stations and only centrally located
  • Miaoli Shan on the edge of town is a nice park on the hill and could have nice views but doesn’t.

My conclusion is tumbleweed town, more so than others.


Not much western food but Casa Woodfire Pizzeria is OK

  • Miaoli Yingcai Tourism Night Market 苗栗市英才觀光夜市, East side of train station, small, also few KTV

  • West side of train station has some casinos, billiards, and bars