Study in Hsinchu and live in Taipei


Hello there,

I’m a French student and I’m gonna be for six months at the NCTU in Hsinchu. I wanted to know if it was feasible to study there while living in Taipei (without a car or scooter, only with train, bus etc.). I don’t have any specific location in mind but I feel that it will be a more pleasant place to live, with more bars, restaurants, the train station and the airport to travel easily if I have a few days etc.

Thank you for your advices !


If you try this you will soon be exhausted. My advice is to try to set yourself up in Hsinchu, and go and enjoy Taipei on the weekends or other times that you wish.

Best regards,


If you wanna try, there is an unlimited for-student TRA (regular train) ticket.
NT$ 599 (valid for 5 days), NT$ 799 (valid for 7 days), NT$ 1098 (valid for 10 days)
Need to show student ID when buying.

Also available 30 days and 60 days tickets.

Without any special discount card, a single trip cost NT$177.

Mind you, NCTU is not located within walking distance from Hsinchu Train Station.

There are buses from several spots in Taipei, but it’s very limited (only available at certain hours, like morning and afternoon). I know one from NTUST bus stop.
Will need to confirm the bus number later on.
While it’s cheap, and (I remember goes directly to NCTU), it took like 2 hours trip.


Taiwan Rail is not the best way to get from Taipei to the NTHU/NCTU area–it’s not time efficient or cost efficient.

Heaps of highway buses make the connection more quickly and more cheaply. Pace arcticsquid, these highway buses are not restricted to morning and afternoon.

But the question is not whether such transport connections exist; it’s whether doing this on a daily basis would work. Everyone I know who has tried this commute eventually gave up.

Best wishes,


That sounds like a tiresome commute; just live in Hsinchu. It’s pretty nice there and will have everything you need. The only problem is transportation there.


With the new Youbike system now in place in Hsinchu, transport in that city has become less sh*tty. But relying on the Hsinchu Bus Company (in Hsinchu proper; not their highways buses) will drive you nuts.



I did it for 6 months, not recommended. Very time consuming, time that could be better spent elsewhere.


Thank you for your answers, I appreciate.

I understand for the transportation problem, but I talked to some people who were a bit frustrated in Hsinchu about the cultural and social life. Do you think that they were exagerating and that it’s difficult to be bored there ?


I did the opposite, I live in Hsinchu and I took classes for a year at NTU in Taipei. It can get very exhausting if you have a full schedule to travel back and forth between the two cities everyday. I live 15min away from the train station, so from my front door to the classroom at NTU was about 2.5-3 hours depending on the bus and traffic. That’s a 6 hour roundtrip every day so you have to decide for yourself if its worth it to spend that much time commuting or if you’d rather just live in Hsinchu and explore Taipei on the weekends.
The nightlife in Hsinchu is definitely lacking - not many bars and clubs but are there two very big universities here (NTHU and NCTU) so its not completely dead. Taipei and Hsinchu are two completely different cities though, if you just look at the nightlife aspect then yes Taipei definitely wins.


Goto Taipei at weekends. There is enough happening in Hsinchu for six months.


Make friends in Taipei. Hopefully a girlfriend. So you can stay the night.

Do not make your six months here an ordeal. Hsinchu will keep you busy if you give it a chance. Explore the rest of the island, meet people from all over, and live confortably -and a much cheaper price than in Taipei.

Trains are efefctively connected here. Buses take you anywhere all over Taiwan, yes, from Hsinchu. Airport? That si what highways are for. No problem traveling around or abroad from Hsinchu. You do not have to be in Taipei to get anywhere but Taipei.

Taipei has an airport that only goes to japan and Mainland China. Same time from Hsinchu or Taipei to Taoyuan airport to get out of here, say, to Thailand.

Hsinchu has the science park, the college areas for partying. If not enough, then yes, head to Taipei, but you won’t be going out every day anyways. Or better yet, try Taichung, or head a weekend down South to Kenting or Kaohsiung. Hsinchu is a major train hub, you can choose between bullet train or normal trains. It is the same line as in Taipei, you will not miss a thing.


Lots of good points in Icon’s point, but I would qualify two things:

  • the best way to get to and from TPE airport is not the highway; the high speed rail connection via Hsinchu HSR Station will be much smoother.

  • the area around the universities (NTHU/NCTU–they are adjacent to one another) is not a party zone–far from it. The old city center, on the other side of the train tracks, is where a much larger number of drinking and eating places are located–with higher quality, too.



I also hear that Guang Fu Rd is a circus at the ass crack of dawn. Guys coming out of the KTV places and those sorts of venues being drunk and stupid always good for a laugh.


What is the fascination foreigners have with Thailand, btw?


They think it is cheap.

They are looking for beaches, parties, drinking, “fun” …of the vertical and horizontal kind. On the cheap.