Move to Taipei (county)?

Why do people move here?
Maybe some areas of Taipei City are alright, but I live in Yonghe, and I just miss being able to walk in a straight line. Not because of hordes of people, but because the sidewalk is filled with parked scooters, or the covered walkway is actually a restaurant, or a car wash, or a scooter repair station. Or there is dog crap to avoid. Or, as in most streets, there is no sidewalk.

Does the government here want people to buy scooters? I personally like walking, but in the city here it’s about the worst activity I can pursue.

It is mostly economics: it is cheaper than Taipei City per se… or at least, used to be. Funny, you move further away from te center of teh city, and you expect some wider spaces… but that may not always be the case -most probably, alleys and buildings are even more cramped.

Xindian, where I live, is a lot nicer than Zhonghe, but a bit more expensive if closer to the MRT, but the mountain area is gorgeous, not too practical, but gorgeous. Oh, and they are really trying to build sidewalks, and enforce sidewalk walking space, at least downtown Xindian area.

There is a massive difference between Taipei city and Taipei county. You should move from Yonghe to get better pavements. That’s all there is to it I’m afraid.

And they call Yonghe the Daan district of Taipei County. :roflmao: I wouldn’t even consider living anywhere outside of Taipei city.Yes, it may be more expensive, but you get sidewalks, parks, the Ubike, nice restaurants/coffee shops, bookstores, museums, (clean) movie theaters, convenient transport, good schools, etc., etc.

Yeah most if New Jack is awful but i love bitan where i am. No sidewalks but endless walks on the riverpaths and the Hemeishan forest area across the bridge is a sweet place for a couple hours in nature.

You have my condolences. My in-laws live in Yonghe, and the other week I walked about thirty minutes across the district - wow. That IS awful. Perhaps the worst pedestrian experience I’ve encountered anywhere in Taiwan. I think part of the problem is that most of the roads are curved, you’re always surrounded by buildings, the roads are narrow enough that you can’t see over the buildings, and there are absolutely no lines of sight longer than a couple of hundred meters. You can’t see anything and it’s impossible to get your bearings - I find it really strange walking around and not being able to see at least one of 101, Guanyinshan, Yangmingshan, or whatever that building beside Main Station is called.

Bicycle access sucks too. I’ve ridden from Danshui to the river beside Yonghe pretty easily. Getting the remaining 400 meters or so (as the crow flies) to the in-laws involved carrying my bike up and down stairs and several near-death traffic experiences. I won’t be doing that again.

Danshui, or at least the places I have to walk in Danshui, isn’t bad.

Oh, Yonghe’s not that bad once you get used to it. It takes a while to build up a mental map of the tangled roads there, but when you do you’ll probably find all sorts of useful places (restaurants, shops, etc.) fairly close to where you live. I wouldn’t want to drive a car there, but it’s easy to get around by scooter or bicycle. Plus, Yonghe has the Taiwan branch of the National Library as well as the enormous “Park Number Four” (四號公園).

On the other hand, it kind of sucks to be surrounded by city, city, and more city. And rent isn’t all that cheap, and it can be a pain to get into Taipei.

[quote=“lostinasia”]
You have my condolences. My in-laws live in Yonghe, and the other week I walked about thirty minutes across the district - wow. That IS awful. Perhaps the worst pedestrian experience I’ve encountered anywhere in Taiwan. I think part of the problem is that most of the roads are curved, you’re always surrounded by buildings, the roads are narrow enough that you can’t see over the buildings, and there are absolutely no lines of sight longer than a couple of hundred meters. You can’t see anything and it’s impossible to get your bearings - I find it really strange walking around and not being able to see at least one of 101, Guanyinshan, Yangming Shan, or whatever that building beside Main Station is called.

Bicycle access sucks too. I’ve ridden from Danshui to the river beside Yonghe pretty easily. Getting the remaining 400 meters or so (as the crow flies) to the in-laws involved carrying my bike up and down stairs and several near-death traffic experiences. I won’t be doing that again.

Danshui, or at least the places I have to walk in Danshui, isn’t bad.[/quote]
My OP is maybe not true of the whole area. I’ve walked a good amount here, and in some places the covered walkways provide pretty clear passage. About getting to here, it seems you took the wrong side of the bridge. If you want to ride on the sidewalk, go on the left side. The right side ends suddenly in a long metal stairway.

Speaking of Taipei County: Zhonghe sucks, Yonghe kind of sucks too, Sanchong sucks, Luzhou sucks, Xindian is so so, Danshui is ok though a bit far, parts of Banqiao aren’t bad, Xinzhuang sucks, Linkou sucks, Wugu…you guessed it…sucks, Tucheng sucks, Sanxia sucks, you get the idea :eh:

Sanxia ‘sucks’ you up … It’s not ‘that’ bad … close to the mountains, Taipei University area has it’s advantages … wide roads with wide sidewalks, new Starbucks stores (yes, multiple), Carrefour (for as long as they will stay in Taiwan), a few Wellcome stores, drive through McD, MOS ‘bugger’, … Subway … a bunch of small local restaurants and some substandard Taiwanese chain restaurants, convenient stores galore … lot’s of buses to YongNing MRT … affordable rent but then, I don’t live there … some areas here are fit for creative people like potters, painters, writers … entry to freeway 3, 20-25 minutes from the main international airport … 45-50 minutes to Taipei main station.

There is a nice new area of Luzhou alongside the river.

MM, what drew you down the mountain from Muzha to Bitan? Please don’t say you wanted to trade gondolas for paddle boats. :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

This is actually the result of poor city planning. Back in the '50s, Yonghe was planned so that it modeled after England’s garden cities. Seven parks were planned for the area with curving roads that would take visitors on a meandering journey through greenery and vegetation. The problem: the place was designed with 30,000 residents in mind. But over the years, more than 200,000 people moved into the area. Most of these people couldn’t afford living in Taipei so they built cheap houses in the “gardens.” And with the growing population, the need for schools arose, so most of the gardens got turned into schools. The one remaining garden (Garden number 4) was spared because it lay in Zhonghe. That’s how Yonghe as we know it came to be.

Ha, no it was happenstance. My landlord suddenly announced that she wanted to sell the apartment I was in. She told me this on a Friday when I was flying to China for 2 months on Monday. I postponed my flight a week and started a mad rush to find an apartment. I had always liked Bitan because of the combination of a nice natural environment with easy MRT access to the city (Muzha is more isolated) and when a friend told me there was a place for rent across from her, I checked it out, found it to my liking and moved in.

I find Bitan pretty much as perfect as a Taiwanese urban environment is going to give you. Beautiful forest walks right at my doorstep, or leisurely strolls of cycling along the rivers, easy access to Wulai and Pinglin, 20 minutes to downtown on the MRT, a couple organic shops for daily groceries, and even a local pub.

I was just down by the clean blue-green river sitting watching the fog hang over the cliffs, while eagles and herons fished in the water. That’s really nice. I feel like I live in a small town here.

Sanxia ‘sucks’ you up … It’s not ‘that’ bad … close to the mountains, Taipei University area has it’s advantages … wide roads with wide sidewalks, new Starbucks stores (yes, multiple), Carrefour (for as long as they will stay in Taiwan), a few Wellcome stores, drive through McD, MOS ‘bugger’, … Subway … a bunch of small local restaurants and some substandard Taiwanese chain restaurants, convenient stores galore … lot’s of buses to YongNing MRT … affordable rent but then, I don’t live there … some areas here are fit for creative people like potters, painters, writers … entry to freeway 3, 20-25 minutes from the main international airport … 45-50 minutes to Taipei main station.[/quote]

Ya, Sanxia isn’t the worst Taipei county has to offer. I put it on my sucks list because the place seems quite dull, and being able to take a bus to Yongning station isn’t my idea of convenience. Having a Carrefour and Starbucks is nice, but hardly prerequisites for a fulfilling existence. Maybe if you had a very nice apartment and a car it would make living there seem ideal, or at least acceptable.

Bitan is my fav place in all the 'wan. I love the back way to Wulai on anything with two wheels, the ped bridge, access to the bike paths, Athula the Roti Man, a great m/c shop (HaveAll) and several good scooter shops, Carrefour when RT Mart won’t do, Bei-Yi Rd on anything with two wheels except on weekends… and I have yet to see a scooter on the ped bridge. I won’t, however, swim in the river… not after seeing what is around the bend upriver. :eh:

Danshui isn’t far. 30 minutes of uninterrupted kindle time on the MRT. Perfect.

Thanks for the mention, by the way. I learnt last week of a classy brewpub in this area. But have not visited.

Here are three major deficits I find in Yonghe, especially around MRT Dingxi:

Almost no public areas, except for roads, police departments, schools, and hospitals. There are two nice parks, but that’s it, two. There are no small parks. True, the riverside area is a park, but the access points are so few and far between that visiting the river will be occasional or rare, instead of a daily practice. There is no public recreation / fitness center (as far as I know) in the whole district. There is no public basketball court, tennis court, running track, badminton court, football pitch, etc. - again, unless you take the time and effort to get through a wharf gate to visit the river. There is no district or neighborhood community center. There is basically no community. Just a bunch of individual persons and families, moving about in pursuit of who knows what. In my experience of living here for 4 months, the place just seems like a mess, a real mistake of urban planning, or a result of abandoning plans and regulations and allowing a tragedy of the commons, of sort.

Many residences here have no parking for cars, which means most people drive scooters. Cars do contribute, but primarily because of the massive number of scooters here in conjunction with the lack of side-walks, being a pedestrian just sucks. It’s inconvenient and dangerous, and the “police” do not enforce traffic “laws”. If I weren’t sacrificing my lease deposit and leaving here, I’d probably buy a scooter, too. Because right-of-way is a fantasy here, and as a pedestrian, you’re just the little fish in the sea.

Last - and this may not bother some people as it does me - because there are so many scooters and so little open space, and because the roads are narrow, many places in Yonghe are filled with constant loud noise. In Taipei City there’s also a lot of traffic at places like the intersection of Roosevelt and Heping, but the roads have many lanes, which means the traffic is not as dense. And there’s space for the sound to disperse, instead of just resonating against the surrounding buildings.