Moving to Taichung to study Mandarin, what are some do’s and dont’s of everyday living. What things are different then the U.S. in terms of etiquette and general life? Ive already looked at apartments, so I’m probably okay in that area.
I am moving to Taichung soon as well. I have lived in Taipei for 2 years, but I would like to see some of the responses. I know that the culture is all about saving face and not causing problems for others. It’s a very harmonious way of living. I don’t know that much Chinese though, so this is just from my general knowledge from living in Taipei.
People in Taichung are friendlier than Taipei. They say hello more often and like to chat in public.
This is my first post on this Forum (so please be gentle with me).
Sorry if I appear to be hijacking this thread, but it seems that I seek similar info as the OP (Mods, please move my post if incorrectly posted).
I too am relocating to Taichung in Nov/Dec of this year. I am relocating due to a work transfer, together my Wife and youngest daughter (14 yrs).
I’m British, my Wife is Indonesian, and my 2 Daughters are somewhere in the middle (the eldest is now in Uni in UK).
We have lived it the broader region for more than 20 years (Singapore, Tokyo, and for the last 13 years, Bangkok)
We are coming to Taichung this weekend to have a look around (its over 15 years since I’ve been in Taiwan, I guess things may be a little different to how I remember them).
Whilst we have much to learn, much to explore and many things to understand, there are 2 specific issues that I’m struggling to find any info (seems that Taiwan is very absent on the internet).
International Schools - I can only find 3 in Taichung, and they are all American System Schools (I’m sure they are fine, but at age 14, moving from British system to American System is a bit of a bind). Many of you guys appears to be it he Teaching Industry. any change of a low-down on those 3 International Schools (Morrisons, Ivy, AST).
Rental Housing Ideally I’d like a house. I’m not really an Apartment type of person. I’m not really a ‘Downtown’ person either, so do not need to be very close to all the activity. Where could I find details of such properties for rent? Either on the Internet or by contacting an agent when I arrive this weekend. Any suggestions or advice?
Any advice you can give on the above 2 points (I know the questions are very general, but I have to start somewhere), would be greatly appreciated.
My youngest daughter is a great singer and musician. What type of music options (outsides training, youth rock bands, family places with good music) exist in Taichung?
MY wife is a Reiki Master, and very much into spiritual healing - I believe she will have no problem fitting in.
I enjoy riding motorcycles, and will be selling my beloved S1000XR (I will leave smaller bike here in Thailand, as we will still keep a property here for Holidays etc…)
Oh, we are vegans too, which is not so easy in Thailand, but seems we will have much more eating opportunities in Taiwan.
Greatly appreciate any pointers you guys can throw at us. Its a new experience for us, being green in a new country. Should prove very exciting!
If looking for houses in Taichung areas such as Beitun and Dakeng are some you should check out.
Schooling, no idea.
Plenty of motorbikers and routes around Taichung and Taiwan in general, you should enjoy that. You might need to get the local big bike license.
Plenty of local people and some foreigners too are into all sorts of Buddhism, Daoism, Christianity , new age stuff, yoga and everything in between, your wife should indeed find some like minded people.
Taichung has changed a heck of a lot since 15 years ago, it’s quite a big city now, loads of newly developed areas but still fairly easy going compared to TaipeI.
Taichung is easy to get around if you have wheels, it’s a drivers city although it does have some reliable bus routes , one train line and one MRT line now under development.
There’s also a HIgh speed train station on the outskirts of the city and there’s an airport about 30 mins drive out of the city with some routes to China, Japan , Hong Kong and SEA which can be handy.
One of the good things about Taichung is it’s location, you can visit the scenic mountainous spots in Miaoli, Hsinchu, Nantou and Chiayi easily enough and then only a few hours driving South or North will get to a lot of destinations. You can even drive right across the central mountain pass to the East coast which is a great trip in itself.
Only major drag for me was the air pollution I expect it is not worse than bangkok though , probably better overall!
I reckon if you learn a bit of Chinese things will be a bit easier after a while. Don’t need to be expert.
Thanks a lot for the reply.
Generally speaking, is it critical to live in the same part of town as your office? Or can you easily travel daily from East West, North to Southcon a daily basis?
Remember a short commute for me in Bangkok is 1.5 hours and anything under 2 is fine. Raining can lead to 3-4 hr commutes, or at least it did a decade ago, now is better.
Sailing? Anything interesting locally? I’m not a champion, but sail Lasers occasionally, as does my daughter.
Finally, pets… we will be bringing with us a menagery. Anyone have any (hopefully positive) tales (tails!) to share regarding importing? How pet-friendly are landlords (even in Apartments, though I’d still prefer a house).
Thank you so much
Really useful info coming back to me
Commuting around Taichung will be a breeze compared to Bangkok. It takes about a half an hour to get to the other side of the city or maybe an hour max at rush hour. You can live anywhere you want.
There is a good ring road around the entire city now.
There are no problems with flooding in general.
Thanks again Brian
Looking at the Air Quality Index, Taichung is generally better than Bangkok. This is very welcome!
Will be arriving in Taichung tomorrow for my first real exploration visit.
Very interested to know where I can find (maybe on the internet) details of property rentals - not yet ready to go to visit properties yet, will probably do this in late August. However, would love to see some websites that have available properties, so that I can get a feel for areas and prices. Can find several but they only show Apartments, really want to look for a House if possible.
Taiwan seems very poorly supported on the Internet!
Thanks again for all feedback
Taiwan and Taichung is not very ‘expatty’. There are few resources for English speakers compared to Thailand and far less Westerners around in general. This might take some getting used to. The other major challenge is the Chinese signage and writing.
These days GPS and google make things so much easier to find stuff.
Fortunately a lot of people speak English to varying degrees so you can usually get by okay. Governnent departments usually can help with inputting application forms in English as well. Not too bad.
A good resource are Facebook groups like Taichung info exchange and then the local expat groups like Taichung golf society or the chambers of commerce. The Christian groups are probably good for those inclined that way.
There’s also some cycling clubs.
Houses in taiwan usually refers to townhouses not detached houses. The best resource to check is 591.com.tw
Generally you can live in a detached house if you live in the countryside. Can you handle that?
There are of course agents who can help with these things.
There are some exclusive almost western style housing communities in Taichung need to check with agents or local high level managers/biz ppl.
I never joined any of those club above so I can’t help there (I lived in Taichung for a few years though so know it well).
Thanks again for all the info.
For type of house, I guess I need to keep all options open, same for location. I really know nothing about Taichung. I realised my last visit was probably 20 years ago, not 15. I spent a few weeks in Taipei, Taichung and Tainan, most of which was either in a factory, or in a car travelling to/from a factory, or sat in a restaurant or bar. Not really something that i can draw upon much in my current need for information.
Took a look at 591.com.tw, but for me not so easy to use. You mention agents, how does that work in Taiwan? From whom do they take a commission? and how effective are they? Is this the normal method of house-hunting? Is it also practical to simply drive around those suitable areas and look for For Rent signs?
For the Townhouses (and also for Apartments), generally speaking, how pet-friendly are they? We will have 3 cats in tow (all of whom hate each other!). I’ve been well informed that they are all integrated members of our family, and if I disagree, then perhaps I should consider to be less integrated also!