Taipei Neighborhoods

Planning to move to Taipei in January 2020 from NYC.
I searched this but a lot is outdated, so wanted to see if anyone has updated info on neighborhoods in Taipei.

We will be a family of 4, kids will be 5 & 3.
Budget is around 60,000NT to 75,000NT.

My company has an office in Tao yuan, so will plan to drive there everyday.

  1. Which neighborhood would be best for commute?
  2. Daan is our top choice now, but also looking at Tianmu for the location to TAS. Any pros and cons for these 2 areas?

Taipei is strange and unlike most cities. You will have a million dollar up new building next to a old tiny building. You can’t tell by neighborhoods or even districts.

Daan is more expensive than Tianmu in general, Tianmu isn’t all that cheap either though. Daan is right in Taipei city and it’s a nice place to live, I live there and it’s great. Lots of food and Daan park is there. Tianmu is next to TAS if your kids are going there.

Daan has vastly different areas. Better focus in on street areas if looking at it.

Neihu/Dazhi is another option to get right on highway. Newer modern area.

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Thanks, guess it would be best for us to get a temporary place and then search locally for a place. Can’t really tell unless we see it right.

If you’re looking for more modern buildings just look at the date they were built.

Regardless of the neighborhood, you shouldn’t secure a place from abroad, really need to take a trip for that or do something temporary like Airbnb initially.

Daan, Taoyuan, and TAS aren’t really convenient to each other. I would be looking around TAS if I were you for easy access to the school. It’s easy to get into central Taipei on the weekends, etc. by public transport or taxi from there.

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If you’re budget is 60-75k, you’ll be able to find a nice place anywhere in Taipei. I would definitely get something temporary on airbnb first and look around. Tianmu is nice and great if you’re sending your kids to TAS, but it’s actually a bit remote. Other areas might be a lot better for your commute to work.

I agree with everything said above. We have a small 2-bedroom place in Daan and then we moved to be close to TAS 2 years ago. The rent we make in Daan more than covers the rent we pay in Beitou for a larger apartment. Ours is a family of 3 and your budget is much higher than ours.

Because we were already living in Taipei, we had a good idea what we wanted when we finally got around to searching for an apartment within walking distance to TAS. We spoke to 3 or 4 agents, saw about 15 places, and are happy with the place we ultimately decided on. The Tienmu area is much quieter than where our place is in Daan near Anho Road, and our proximity to the large park at the Sports College and to Shidong Market are nice pluses, especially when raising a small kid. And, we have not really explored the bulk of Beitou on the other side of the MRT line, partly because we haven’t had a strong need to. As @Mac_Jay said, it does seem a bit far from downtown if you are not driving. I would bet it is a better commute to Taoyuan by car than Daan.

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How set are you on TAS? IMO if you’re on a short- to medium-term expat deal with such young kids, it would be a great opportunity to get them to learn Chinese. So either a bilingual or pure Chinese kindergarten.

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Are you aware that there is a TAS in Taoyuan?

Dominican School too. So you wouldn´t necessarily have to commute so the kids can live close to a foreign school. You could live in Taoyuan and come to Taipei to visit.

With a budget like that I´d live in a nice US style house in Yangmei. There are several older neighborhoods with cool properties. There are also many developments with newer amenities, like shopping malls and stuff, you wouldn´t necessarily have to live in the industrial areas. Nangang/Taoyuan border for example.

I´m saying this because the commute from Taipei to Taoyuan can be brutal. Traffic here is … a nightmare. In Taiwan, working hours are long and you´d be having to adjust to a different environment/culture, so it would be more convenient to be close to the action, even if you may think Taipei is “nicer”. Convenience rules in Taiwan, so it is more convenient to stay in Taoyuan.

Thanks for the advice, we live in NYC now so we like being in the big downtown Taipei city feeling.

My office will be near Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taoyuan, checking on google maps the commute from Daan is around 30 - 40 mins drive.
Does that sound right to you? If that is true, I’m ok with that commute.

Thanks, we aren’t 100% yet. Schools is the hardest decision for us now. I’m planning to stay for at least 5 years. I’m just not a fan of the standard Taiwanese school where all they do is study and memorize stuff.

You might want to specify the time on google maps. Rush hour, one hour would be more like it

Hold on there… I’ve been living in Taipei for a verrry lonnng time and there is a vast difference when picking areas to live - ESPECIALLY with small children! The following is assuming you’ve never been to Taipei…

  1. Does your wife speak Chinese - if not, she’ll probably want to be located in an area with other foreigners around (culture shock is a real thing).
  2. Best to be close to an MRT station - so the family can easily get around while you are off at work.
  3. Also consider shopping convenience - best to be close to a Costco, if you can.
  4. This is probably the most important point - POLLUTION levels! Living downtown Taipei may sound great, until you realize your kids need to wear a mask every time they step outside. Different areas have different air flows and may be damper than others (mold).
  5. Commuting in and around Taipei can be a bitch - whatever commute time you may have been quoted, add 50% to be on the practical side. Also take into account working hours - Taiwan companies DO NOT automatically close up shop at 5 or 6 pm and everyone heads home. You may find yourself leaving the office @ 7 or later… so do some serious thinking about the commute time.
  6. School location has already been discussed - but the little ones will also need to commute to school - something to consider.
  7. Parking is a big issue everywhere in Taipei - make sure you take this into consideration.
  8. Best advice I can give you is plan to stay in a short term rental for a couple of months and check things out before you dive into a decision you may regret. It also would serve you well to hook up with a local to advise/mentor you on the ins/outs of lease negotiation, etc.

Good luck!

An alternative would be Zhongshan District. There are some decent parks, several MRT stations, rent is generally cheaper than Da-an district but still close enough to the things you’ll like in Da-an, and access to Highway 1 from the Jianguo expressway. Traffic is better than Neihu and if you’d be willing you could commute very cheaply to Changgung Memorial by taking a bus from one of the stops between the Dunhua Changgung to just outside Xingtian Temple (bus leaves very regularly, arrives pretty quickly, and is very cheap compared with driving/parking).

Taipei is different from cities in the West. The whole West coast is basically a large urban sprawl. Taipei has more parks, more green, more amenities indeed. But that does not mean the rest is suburban wasteland. I think you need to come and stay a bit and explore.

If you insist on Taipei, you definitely must look into Tianmu or Neigh areas, more likely to be suitable for expat families.

Your commute is going to be a bit hard but there is the metro option, all the way to Chang Gung Hospital, which can ease it a bit. There was a recent article on the papers of the numbers of foreigners involved in traffic accidents, especially on their first year, which is quite worrying.

The airport MRT goes to the area you work at. Find somewhere along the purple line.

Thanks, will look into Zhongshan district. My office is actually very close to Changgung Memorial hospital. It can be a good option.

I work in Daan about 2 or 3 times a week and it takes me on average 40 minutes to drive there from Taoyuan. A good drive will be 30 minutes or so, if traffic’s really bad then about an hour. Occasionally I hit a nightmare, but that can happen anywhere.

I don’t feel it’s as bad driving between Taoyuan and Taipei as many people think. It’s better than public transportation IMO, anyway.

I don’t know much about Taoyuan American School. It’s quite new, isn’t it? I’d imagine at the age of the OP’s children most schools will be much a muchness. I agree with one of the previous posters that sending the kids to a Chinese only kindy is a fantastic opportunity.