Relocating to Taipei


I’m a French guy, living in Singapore, and I may be relocated soon in Taipei with a “local +” package.

I’m totally lost since I don’t have any info on:

  • Rental: How much would be a 30/40 ping appartment in a fairly recent condo, not too far from Taipei central??

  • Squash: Is that a popular sport in Taiwan? Many players / courts?

  • Motorbiking: I’ve heard that big bikes are baned in Taiwan… Is that true?? I’m fond of bikes! Which kind of cc could I get there?

  • I’d come with my GF who is Singaporean national but Javanese. Are Taiwanese generally racist against these not-so-fair-skin people?

  • What would you consider as a decent revenue to live there nicely? Not big luxury, but…

Thanks a lot for your help!



For housing, see the Housing Classified Forum.

Squash seems almost unknown in Taiwan. Tennis is fairly common however. Motorbiking, well 150cc is considered big power for an average person I believe. Discrimination against a Javanese, I don’t think so, but what is her visa status going to be? She can’t get a visa due to your work status, since you are not married. Decent income to live in Taiwan nicely, well NT$ six-figures, minimum.

Rent: Depending on your standards, DIY abilities, proximity of your apartment to the downtown area, etc. you can expect to pay anywhere from $15,000NT/month to $55,000NT/month. I pay 15k, which gets me a rooftop apartment with a 12 ping bedroom, a 10 ping living room, a summer kitchen/bathroom (A little weird & took some getting used to), and a large patio space. I renovated at my own expense what was originally a pretty dumpy little place in exchange for a permanent rent freeze. The place looks pretty good now, I think. The location is a little bit outside of the downtown area, but not yet into Taipei County. I’m also very close to a MRT (subway) station.

By contrast, a very good friend of mine (who coincidentally is half French, half Singaporean)lives in a western-standard apartment on Anhe Road, which is a fantastic location in Taipei. Total size is about 30 pings, hardwood floors, western kitchen, etc. and he pays $55,000NT/month.

I don’t know about squash in Taipei at all.

Thanks to Taiwan’s recent WTO entry, as of July 1st of this year, big bikes will be legal to import, buy and ride. Until then, 150cc’s is all you can get. Hard to believe, but for city riding, it’s actually ok. I still feel like I’m riding a toy, though.

Taiwanese racism towards foreigners is less overt if you are a western foreigner, and even then it tends to be racism stemming from ignorance more than anything else. Towards others, particularly towards southeast Asians, the racism gets a little worse. Some people look down their noses at darker-skinned asians as being foreign labourer types. I imagine that you will pick social circles where this kind of thinking doesn’t exist. There are of course, a lot of enlightened, sophisticated locals here also - you just have to find them.

If I wanted to jump into a nice lifestyle in Taipei, I’d want to make over 90K a month minimum. If you don’t mind achieving that nice lifestyle over a longer period of time, you can do nicely with as little as 50k, as long as you’re watching your wallet. Add half that again if you’re supporting your gf here. These are rough estimates only. Some people need much more and others much less to have a happy life here.

Taipei is actually a pretty great place if you know how to “work” it. Welcome, and good luck!