Quick start introduction to living in Taipei


I am currently visiting Taiwan until 20th September. My wife will also join me for the last 5 days.
Purpose of the visit is to take a look around and get a feel for how it might be to live here. If positive then we will move out with our 2 year old daughter early 2019 on a 2 year expat programme.

Whilst in country this time I am keen to make the most of the time and visit as many areas as possible before deciding on areas to base ourselves.
Two options will be:


To understand a little further I am after some guidance, advice, friendly tour guide even to look at some of the following:

• Best areas to live as an expat family
• Kindergartens for our daughter
• Best places to visit whilst here
• Personal experiences positive and negative from those who have moved
• Potential events whilst here
• Best places to meet expats

Appreciate I have left this a little late since I am already in country. Any advice and suggestions greatly welcomed.


Not sure touristy shit is gonna give you the best idea of day to day life. It’s great man, just dive in head first! :smile::smile::smile::smile:

Cheers Zapman, if we did not have the daughter then for sure that would be an option.

Depends where you’re coming from. If you’ve lived in big cities before this won’t excite you much long term. As a foreigner on an expat package salary though you will be able to enjoy a high standard of life.

Unfortunately it is one thing to visit a place for a week or two but another to live there for a year or two. Case in point: South Korea and Japan. I love to visit them for a week or so but after that I’m itching to leave. I lived in both countries for 1 year each and didn’t really like the way of life/culture etc.

Taiwan is no different. It’s an alright place but it just never clicked with me. I’ll leave in the near future and I’m excited for the next challenge. But living in Taipei is ok. It’s more international and has a good subway system that is even cleaner than Japan’s. That surprised me I must admit. But I wouldn’t move across the world for a subway mind you. That’d be madness


What do you usually do when you go to South Korea for a few days?

Same things as any other country. Travel, meet, eat, drink, sleep, repeat.

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I think Taipei would be a better option considering you have a daughter.
There is a lot more to do that would be interesting for parents and kids.

Low crime rate
Super convenient
Friendly atmosphere
Good salary and higher standard of life
The food is really good and you can also buy Western food especially in Taiepi
Easy to travel to other Asian countries
Time zone can mess with watching sports (3.45am Champions League games are rough)
Things people do that you don’t experience in your home country will piss you off
air pollution
language barrier
job might suck
might not like the local food and have to eat out all the time = expensive

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I agree the food is generally good, but don’t expect the same tastes for the Western food that you’re probably used to. I find western stuff generally quite lacking in Taipei overall.


Whether it’s Taipei or Taichung city you live in both are hideous so there’s that to comfort you. The nature is nice though. Sun moon lake is good for a day out. A vacation is perfect. My friends and family came for 2 weeks and I took them to all the best places such as Taroko, Sun moon lake, Alishan, Hualien, South and Northern Taiwan (Kenting, Keelung) and after that they went home happy knowing they’d seen all there was to see pretty much. Mission accomplished!

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Agree 100%. For example, the Italian restaurants all over Taiwan make me froth from anger at the sorry excuse for Italian food the chefs serve. But then I remember, this IS Asia so I guess they don’t really know any better.

Everything is too sweet here. Sugarcubes are placed in babies mouths to calm them when they cry, which is gradually increased as they get older. By the time said child reaches adulthood they must have their daily bubble tea with 20 spoonfuls of sugar or they’ll be unable to function throughout the day. Yes, this country has a sugar addiction.

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Yup definitely, but it is a lot easier to find ‘authentic’ Western in HK or even Shanghai than it is in Taipei, so I wouldn’t discount all of Asia just yet.

Just trying to find bread without bucketloads of sugar isn’t that straightforward.

RE: Italian, there are a few decent pizza joints, but hard to find good AND cheap pasta here. For cold cuts and general Italian produce, I recommend a visit to Gusto.

make your own bread

love at first bite cafe for deep dish pizza. Just call in 30-45 mins before you arrive so they can prepare your pizza for you.

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Buy the Lonely Planet Guide to Taiwan/Taipei!

Me and thousands of other outdoor enthusiasts beg to differ. If you’re prepared to make the effort (i.e. have legs will walk) Taiwan has a great number of spectacular locations. For example over 100 peaks above 3000 meters.

Sunmoonlake is way over-rated.

Whilst definitely not Italian, I will save it and go check it out. Thanks!

Chicago deep dish pizza. :boom:

It really is good and they have other things on the menu too.

I’m sure it does but a tourist is not going to be so inclined to climb 1000 so so hills when they can just climb the main one. That would be like me eating 5 star food all my life and gradually eating worse and worse, until my final meal is MacDonalds in my old age. (Which I’m sure for some posters here is the definition of fine dining. No offense intended if you DO love Maccy Ds.)

One of the main attractions is the food. Get a little sick of our Western rubbish

Yes but, every one of those peaks is magic in their own right. OK, you don’t have to climb every mountain (cue orchestra) but doing a handful is much more rewarding than just going to Alishan with the hordes. In terms of your analogy, Alishan is Maccy D’s, it’s a fast food destination. A slow food destination is one where you have to hike in and out for three days battling the elements.