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Definitely check out The Key (on near Zhong Xiao Dun Hua station) if living here for more than a month. Cafe + Gym + Bar all in one, monthly membership about $50 USD. English-friendly, no contracts. Made my 3 month stay here immensely better with fast wifi in the cafe and it's a great feeling to be able to work out immediately after working.
1 year ago
Stayed here for 3 months (Thank you Taiwan for the generous hassle free Visa)
This place is a goldmine for Nomads, great cafes everywhere, very convenient.
Taiwanese people are truly blessed, they're kind, honest and genuine.
There's a very cheap coffee-shop chain called "Louisa" cafe which is dirt cheap and has great set ups for nomads .
Highly recommended, Kaohsiung is cool too.
For some reason, they LOVE to sleep on desks and chairs in Cafe / Offices (Don't ask me why!)
1 year ago
I have been to many cities but I have been returning to Taipei the most. The keyword in my opinion is liveability. Although dense the city is relaxing. Turn off the main roads and you often find streets empty, especially during office hours. Small parks are everywhere, just as food stalls and a cheap bikes to cycle in between them. Like Tokyo you can find gems of cafe's and shops just by walking around. On the bustling side of things there are plenty night markets. And being a city with lots of students Tapei has got a proper night life too. Culturally, there is everything you can expect from a big city: cinema, festivals, music scenes, (hidden) cocktail bars and modern art venues. Within an hour outside Taipei you can reach the ocean and mountains. I also liked getting a cheap rental car and just touring the island. All-in-all Taipei has got a good balance between quiet places, nature and being a big, bustling city. It definitely hasn't got as many gems as Tokyo, as big of a food scene as Hong Kong or as big as a party scene as Bangkok but it does combine many of these things in a balanced manner.
Few other thing I want to mention. Like others said the air quality can be brutal when the wind is coming from China. There are not many Western tourists so expect to feel a bit like Lost in Translation sometimes. There are lots of Japanese influences. The youth is very Western oriented and liberal. Still they life with parents until married. Stay in student houses if you can, it's cheap and social. The food is great but carbs based (lots of noodles!). Get some veggies from markets and eat some chicken/eggs from the 7Eleven to top up proteins. The insects are crazy. Butterflies are huge but so is other stuff.. If I could change Taipei I would also add more digital nomads and coworking spaces. Ok that's it!
1 year ago
Stayed here for 1 month in Da'An district. As a previous reviewer said, Taipei is a real hidden gem and really has the best of both worlds on many fronts. It's a very modern city with excellent public transportation and utilities, yet you can live here cheaply. It's also very laid back while also having many interesting things to see and do. The north and east coast of the island are especially worth visiting if you come here. Street food scene is incredible, some of the most interesting and diverse food I've tried anywhere in the world. People are also reasonably friendly, but without being fake. It helps to speak basic chinese here to get around, but is by no means a necessity. While Taipei is not for everyone (for example, it's probably not a great place if you're looking to party), it's certainly an amazing place to live and work while getting just enough culture shock without being uncomfortable. It was my favorite place to DN in asia by far.
1 year ago
Really friendly and social people, laid back, easy to get around, food is good, 4g is great. Heavy clouds for the 4 days I was here in December, which was depressing as hell.
2 years ago
There are many a reason few Westerners are here. Keep that in mind.
2 years ago
It's the hidden garden of Eden of Asia.
Safe, clean, good services, relatively cheap for the quality of living you can get here.
Friendly people and attractive girls.
You walk out of the house, sun is shining with this cool tower in the skyline, you get your coffee, and some 7 eleven snack you go do some work.
As Pieter said, you get to hang out with cool taiwanese ppl, many studied and worked in USA, and in general open to foreigners. Always felt treated well.
For some reason, Taiwanese people don't think as highly of their country, but having seen the rest of the world, believe this is Heaven.
Imagine if whole of China was as cool as Taiwan, the world would be one big happy party. Sorry not sorry
2 years ago
I lived in 🇹🇼 Taiwan for 3 months. Here's my TL;DR on Taipei: great food, friendly people, mellow vibes, great for working, great infrastructure and slightly boring but in a good way.
First thing (and I recommend everyone does this wherever they arrive ALWAYS), get a 4G SIM card. It's only 1000 TWD (or $33) for UNLIMITED 4G! And it's VERY fast. The only other country I know that has this for foreigners is South Korea.
Da'an is my favorite area. It's the center of Taipei for fashion, shopping, hipsters, mixed Taiwanese and foreigners a like. Da'an itself is pretty giant and it has lots of sub-neighborhoods with third wave coffee shops, boutique vintage fashion and lots of excellent (and cheap) Taiwanese and (not so cheap) Western food.
For Taiwanese, Da'an is supposedly expensive af. But internationally it really isn't. I had a good deal but I paid $23/night for a clean studio with bathroom right smack in the center. The more normal price would be $40/night. That's $1,200/month for an Airbnb. That means the rent is generally half here, so $600/month. As I said, that's pretty cheap to live in a really cool area. I was told houses here cost upwards of a million dollars. Okay.
Now, if you're not Taiwanese. You might already have been in contact with Taiwan in your daily life. Your iPhone is made in China, but by a company from here called Foxconn. You used to have a laptop that always broke and it was probably by a company from here called ASUS. You might not have an ASUS laptop but there's a 30% chance your laptop is still made by a Taiwanese company called Quanta, who actually makes the laptops sold by Dell, HP, Lenovo and Toshiba. Their microchips are great and they're probably in almost every electronic device you have made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC). This is most of their entire economy. It's high tech AF. And it's for a reason. They're smart AF too. They're the highest educated people in the world.
The fact that they're high-tech means that their internet is super fast and solid everywhere. Their 4G is also on-par with the best in the world, which is Korea. Generally, technology is approached just very proper in Taiwan. Government somehow gets it and most interfaces you'll use in Taiwan will work very very well.
So what's the vibe here? Culturally? Well, it's pretty unique. You can see the strong Japanese influence in their aesthetics. It's still here. Girls wear giant lenses to make their eyes look bigger (that's a predominantly Japanese thing) and their make up looks strongly Japanese, not at all Chinese. "Oh Pieter, why do you talk about how people look?". Well, because it's a pretty good indicator of their cultural influences.
Then there's that definite Western vibe. As in, people talk, move and behave very Western (unlike the rest of Asia). Now, there's not many foreigners here at all. So I can only presume that comes from the Taiwanese diaspora (that means people living outside the country), which is massive and predominantly in America. That means you get lots of American-born Taiwanese and Taiwanese studying and working in America. You know a few of them probably, like YouTube's co-founder Steve Chen and Yahoo's co-founder Jerry Yang.
Another thing is, it's a dense city but somehow it's not busy on the streets. There's so much space. I've never seen any crowds in the street in Taipei. That has a very calming effect.
Actually, yes, that's the keyword. Taipei is calm. It doesn't stress me out like Tokyo or Bangkok or (sometimes) Bali does. It's not loud here. It's not busy. People are mellow. I'd go as far to again call Taipei boring, but unlike when I was here 3 years ago, now I like that it's boring. It's boring in a good way.
There's one big thing that makes it hard to live in Taipei. The air is one of the most unhealthy in Asia.
And it's not so much their fault, but China's. When the wind blows east, China's pollution goes straight to Taiwan. But it doesn't pass over. Taiwan is pretty much an island that is half one big mountain that crosses it. And that mountain is so high it blocks the air pollution, so it gets stuck. I don't really know what you can do about this except blowing up that mountain. But that's probably unfavorable.
Here's my TL;DR on Taipei: great food, friendly people, mellow vibes, great for working, great infrastructure (like 4G, roads, etc.), slightly boring but in a good way.
The most important word though is, Taipei is mellow. Maybe boring. But in a good way.
2 years ago