Is Taiwan a good place to live

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  1. Nice post Chad!
    I am considering living in Taiwan to English and study Chinese.
    You don’t recommend living in Taiwan to folks who don’t like humidity; so I am wondering if Air Conditioning is a considerable expense, and is common in apartments?

  2. Great questions Steve,

    I hope you do give Taiwan a chance as it does have a lot to offer. I grew up in southern California with no rain or humidity all my life so I think it was harder for me to adjust to the humidity than it would be for others. I think it’s bearable for most of the year though.

    Also, every apartment and office building in Taipei will have AC. It’s a necessity as Taiwanese seem to hate the summer heat as much as me 😀

    The cost will vary depending on the size of your apartment, whether you run the AC 24/7, and if you’re in a managed apt building or not. Managed buildings seem to charge a higher rate for electricity than others which charge the government rate. Either way, it’s not expensive.

    I used to live in a 1BR apt with a high rate for electricity (or so I was told). My bill was for water and electricity combined and never topped $40/month.

    Let me know if you have any other questions and I’ll be happy to help!

  3. Great article, Chad! And thank you for sharing your experiences living in Taiwan. We are considering moving to either Taiwan or Singapore, and Taiwan has more checkmarks for all reasons, especially in terms of affordability, democracy and natural beauty. Would appreciate your recommendations for a good family friendly area in Taipei. Either a condo, apartment, townhouse or house in areas popular with expats. Thank you again.

    1. Hi James, If you’re choosing between Taiwan and Singapore I’d definitely choose the former! I’d also look at Malaysia over Singapore if you do choose against Taiwan.

      The most popular places for expats would be around Tianmu or Guting (due to the nearby universities) but you will find expats in most parts of the city. The best place to live depends a lot on what you’re looking for – I live in a quiet area near CKS station with good bus conections and lots of local food.

      Are there any important qualities that you’re looking for in a neighborhood?

  4. Nice blog!!! Well, I am living in Taiwan and feels always better and safe that this place is really good place to live. Only I face one problem that is language problem, lots of people here are not able to communicate in English.

  5. Thank you! Taiwan is a safe and pleasant place to live for sure.

    I think most younger people can speak English to some degree but with older people, it’s hit or miss. Most Taiwanese I meet are afraid of making a mistake when talking to foreigners and are shy/nervous about speaking English.

    On the plus side, it gives you a good reason to learn Chinese!

  6. Hi Chad,

    Love your articles about Taiwan. My family and I are planning to visit my best friend who lives in Taipei, Taiwan for 10 days in November. Would you recommend a place to buy a sim card for the cellphone? It has to be outside of the airport since our flight arrives at very early in the morning before the airport kiosks are open. Also, how much money would you recommend to bring for a such short trip?

    Thanks again for sharing your experience about Taiwan. Looking forward to hear from you.

    1. Hi Allen,

      I’m glad to hear that you have an upcoming trip to Taipei. The weather in November will be much better than in the summer!

      As for the SIM card, I’d recommend visiting a Taiwan Mobile store near your hotel. They have branches all over Taiwan so it shouldn’t be far. Here is a link to their prepaid plans listed online.

      It’s tough to answer the question about how much money you should bring as it really depends on your travel plans/style. Most high end shops and restaurants accept credit cards so that will cover most large expenses. However, Taiwan is still a cash-based society so if you plan on eating and shopping with the locals you will need to prepare more cash.

      How many people are you traveling with?

  7. Hi Chad, thanks for a very informative article. We are considering retiring in Asia. Does a resident in Taiwan buy health insurance like in the US? Where is a good area for retirees (not looking for a reirement village) which offer good varieties of food (Asian) and activities in the nature? Thanks for your advice.


    1. Hello Hue,

      Taiwan I think Taiwan makes a nice choice for retirees, and will be considering it myself when I retire!

      My biggest question for you would be which type of visa you would be staying under? I am not familiar with retirement visas in Taiwan so I’d need to take a look at that.

      I do know that you can buy in to the national healthcare system if you are a resident here. The cost is fairly affordable at $40 or so per month.

      There are tons of great places to stay in New Taipei City that are close to nature nad hiking spots. I’m assuming you want to live in Taipei?

  8. hi! I would love some more information. Would you be able to email me? I see you have Twitter, but I don’t.

  9. Hi Andrew Kong from ca USA I am looking for a place to retire too kind of question about USA money transfer to Taiwan money is it better thanks

  10. Hello Chad, we are thinking about retiring in Hualien Taiwan. We don’t need a work visa, so is it possible to live there and pay for expat medical insurance? Also, is there an English expat community in the area? Any other recommendations? Thank you, Tom

  11. But what of the risk of China sending in its army into Taiwan and bringing war? If that’s put into the factor, I’d say Taiwan is much more dangerous than the USA

    1. This situation has existed for many decades before I was born. The risk is there and is something you should consider when deciding to live or travel to the island. However, in my mind, potential risk does not equal danger and I view Taiwan to be an extremely safe country.

  12. Hi Chad,

    I am thinking of retiring in Taiwan. I am learning Mandarin. Can you actually live here as a US Citizen without working here?

    I guess the question is -Does Taiwan allow Americans to retire here there?

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