What's Changhua like?

Does anyone know about ChangHua, Taiwan? I may be teaching English there at a SHANE school. I’ve looked it up on the worldwide inter-web, but I haven’t found a lot of useful information.

Chang Hua is the pits. But its not far from TaiChung , which is very nice :slight_smile:

Yeah I don’t have much info on it besides I think most people use the train to leave, not arrive.

I was there once, not much to write home about. It’s close to Lu Gang!

Everything I’ve heard about Chang Hua is that it is way deep in the sticks.

DEEP my friend …DEEEEP like the Congo almost :slight_smile: But its only bout 25km from civilization (TAichung)

Changhua’s not so bad. Well, if you want nightclubs and bars and English speakers etc, then yes, it’s terrible. But if you’re happy enough without that then it’s pretty good. Great Taiwanese food can be had, people here are generally very friendly, it’s small enough to not need a car/scooter, there are a couple of cinemas, a bookstore (well, lots of bookstores, but only one with English stuff) and lots of temples.

To the east of the city (walking distance) is Baguashan, a small mountain range with big Buddhas, a lot of short hiking trails, some great cycling, a large sporting complex that rarely gets crowded (stadium with running track, Olympic swimming pool etc). To the west are farm lanes running past rice fields and rivers - but you need a bike to get to them. There’s also Lugang close by (google it, there’s plenty of info on Lugang) and three large wetlands on the coast that attract a lot of migratory birds.

It’s also only 10mins away from the high-speed rail station - from there you can be in Taipei or Kaohsiung in less than an hour.

And you will wish you could ride that train everyday to Taipei or Kaohsiung too :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I only ever went to Changhua to pick up my girlfriend and bring her back to TAichung. I think the town wakes up at bout 2pm and goes back to bed at 3pm. Not really but you get my drift?

Its really like Sanchong but in Central Taiwan close to Taichung , just like Sanchong is close to Taipei

From the HSR station you could always catch the free shuttle bus into Taichung for some “culture”.

Geez, when I went to Taiwan I was initially assigned to Chang Hua, but got switched at the last minute to Taipei County. Based on what y’all have said about the place I’m so glad I never went!

I do like Changhua. I have lived here for 2 years and enjoy it.

The people working at Shane are really good friends. There are a few bars, mostly small hole in the wall places, but some of the nicest people work and hang out there. I have yet to see a restaurant in Taiwan I love more than Casa Minerva.

Working in the Shane in Changhua, I’ll leave my thoughts on that alone especially since you ended up in another branch anyway. And what I have to say is all 2nd hand knowledge anyway.

It all depends on what you’re looking for, though. If you’re looking for a small town, Changhua is good. If you’re happy you’re moving to Taipei, Changhua might not be the best choice.

I’m surprised at the way people run down changhua. I lived there for two years and loved it. The locals are very friendly and unpretentious, the food is excellent and cheap, it’s super easy to get laid (yeah, I’ll be the bad guy here) and you’ll get a lot of Chinese practice, sometimes whether you like it or not. If you enjoy night markets, I think there are two. And there’s the YongLeJie shopping area which is a lot of fun and always busy.

There are two movie theaters, Rose House for some really good coffee, a clean, modern Japanese grocery, an australian steak house where you can get fantastic ostrich steaks, and there are even a few good tobacconists if you look hard enough. Carrefour is within biking distance. The local foreigner hangout is pretty crap, but it’s there.

There are some downsides, of course. If you can’t live without western food and accomodations, it might not be the place for you. There also aren’t too many foreigners, but again, how much that bothers you will depend on your disposition. It’s also pretty loud and dirty, and they pile huge mounds of garbage on public sidewalks instead of using a dumpster.

Actually the Australian steakhouse is no more. It closed about a month ago - there’s a shiny new 3C in that building now. The steakhouse may have moved somewhere else, I’m not sure.

There’s also an oyster omelet guy who does the best omelet’s - he has a monopoly on them in Changhua. It’s one of the few instances where one successful food business hasn’t caused 5 imitators to open up in close proximity.

Changhua is a shithole, and that’s coming from someone who lives in Taiping (Taichung County). I’m sure there are isolated pockets of less-shitty areas but overall it’s a dump. Why bother when you could live in Taichung which is generally pretty decent?

Each to their own I guess. Personally I’d say that Taichung is a shithole, mainly due to it’s woeful woeful transport system and the fact that it’s too big to walk around. Any place that requires you to have a vehicle to get around is a shithole in my eyes.

But right now I’ve got the window open getting a nice breeze coming off the mountain, and the only outside sounds I can hear is the occasional car/bike and a very nice mellow saxophone being played by some guy who lives down the road. He’s good, and I usually get to hear him play 2-3 evenings a week, all from the comfort of my apartment.

The people who actually live in or near Chang Hua seem to like it, with one exception. The loudest voice against living in Chang Hua admits to having only been there once, briefly, and probably several years ago. I’d pay attention to what people who actually know what they’re talking about say when making a choice about where to live.

But not someone living in Changhua. :hand:

Everyone I know here likes living here. That’s not to say there are people here that do not. I just don’t know who those people are.

I live in Zhonghe now and will be moving to Changhua this week. The one thing that strikes you about Changhua is the openness and lack of high rises. There is also a lot less traffic and places have actual parking. Being a 8-year resident of Taipei, you learn to appreciate those type of things.

The things that I need to find to make it as livable for me are decent restaurants, driving ranges, Thai grocery store, Filipino grocery store and good places to go bike riding so I can lose some weight. I’m also looking forward to owning a car and having free parking for it in December for the first time in 8 years.

Also the difference in housing is huge from Taipei to Changhua. Here I pay $16,000 for a 2 bedroom apartment 1.5km from the MRT station. In Changhua that would probably get me a 4 story house to myself.

The only things that worry me about Changhua are the crime, since it’s close to Taizhong, burglary, and the traffic “rules”.

I think Changhua is a decent small sized city as far as they go in Taiwan. As cf says, you can get out to Big Buddha park area in minutes and be on some nice country roads for a bike ride. The area right around the train station is fine, with walkable sidewalks.

Hey, Lonely Planet has kept coverage of Changhua the same over the years while Taichung keeps getting shorter and shorter. What does that tell ya, huh? :wink:

Hm, I guess it never seemed any more run down to me than any other part of southern and central Taiwan, but again your temperament and personal preferences decide how you feel about the place. I would rather live in Changhua where people are comparatively direct and honest, than have to deal with the conceit, arrogance and duplicity of big city life. I am not one to give easy assent to common stereotypes about country virtue, but in some ways my experience in Taiwan bears them out.

A friend from Taipei was driving his car to get dinner with me this weekend. He said how light the traffic was. I said it was pretty heavy for Changhua. I mean, there was a whole LINE of cars in front of us…about 6 or 7 of them. Doesn’t happen that often on the smaller streets.

The things that I need to find to make it as livable for me are decent restaurants,[/quote]

Since you’re moving here:

There’s a small restaurant on 135 San Min Rd. The train station is on San Min Rd, if that’s any reference. Just take a left out of the train station and go about 2 blocks. Before the light by the 7-11, there is a small restaurant next to the shoe store. It’s in a small house and they have a recently build screened in porch. The place is the most addictive place in Taiwan. They have sandwiches, pasta, fish and chips, fantastic salads, and a wide selection of Belgian Beers that he rotates on a regular basis to give a good variety. Derek, the owner, is one of the nicest guys around. He’s closed on Mondays and occasionally closes on other days when nobody is able to open, but that’s rare. His cakes are hit and miss…sometimes I love them, other times they just look like a cake I could get anywhere else. If you have something specific you want him to make, ask if he can make it sometime. You might see it on the shelf the next time you’re in.

There’s one somewhere. If you haven’t found it, I’ll be glad to ask around to see where it is.


The only things that worry me about Changhua (Zhanghua) are the crime, since it’s close to Taizhong, burglary, and the traffic “rules”.[/quote]

Traffic rules aside, I’ve not really seen a lot of crime. There is some level of mafia presence, but they tend not to cause any problems. I have only heard of one bar fight with the mafia and that was from someone who has lived here for 5 years. She was in the bar when it broke out. Even then, they didn’t go after her…they were out to kill each other.

I worried about crime more in Cincinnati than I do here and I consider Cincinnati a safe place to live. I don’t even think about it here.