For Foreign Students: Quick Breakdown of Taipei Districts
Wait, where should I stay in Taipei anyway?
Don't live next to Ximending, living in Xinyi and Da'an may be too expensive… are you confused on the districts in Taipei?
Even though Taipei is a small city, it is divided into 12 areas for each of them functions differently and it matters a lot when serving altogether. Here is the quick and snap breakdown to help you find your best place to stay asap.
||| 7 Bustling Parts |||
Datong and Wanhua — Mostly locals and travelersSource:gvm.com.tw
You'll get to know the traditional appearance of Taipei once stepping into any block in the west.
Compared to the modernity of the east, Datong and Wanhua remain as the oldest neighborhoods with a host of antique and short buildings. Make sure you won't miss the chance to experience the bustling atmosphere during Chinese New Year by hitting Dihua Street market in Datong. Wanhua, known for its cultural spot Longshan Temple and the hipsters district Ximending, serves as a convenient area for travels.
Zhongzhen to Gongguan — Here! Students, travelers and localsSource:hsrintw.com,1111.com.tw
Sure, you will definitely reserve your schedule to visit Zhongzhen district as one of your beginning ventures in Taipei.
The CKS Memorial Hall, in the memory of a political figure in Taiwan, stands as the symbol of this district and adds a special serene atmosphere around. Stretched a 5 minutes U-bike riding along the Roosevelt Road, you'll pass through Guting, Taipower Building and Gongguan stations where the historical vibes gradually change into the young beats of college students.
Staying around these 3 stations can be super convenient for foreign students because here is the base of NTNU and NTU, aka Shida and Taida. A place full of students means a world full of food, drinks and fun. However, the rental may be quite pricy near Gongguan, so try to look for one in Guting or Taipower Building instead (hmm, may be a bit pricy as well).
Da'an and Xinyi — Juicy and yummy, but not for studentsSource:shotrip.com,flickr.com
I highly recommend you to explore countless cool stuff here from daytime to night, but don't rent a house in this thriving and pulsing area of Taipei because the rental may probably kill you.
Da'an district is a treasure for every abundance. You can start a food safari here in Yongkang Steet or plan out a coffee shop adventure from corner to corner. The most popular shopping area East District, aka Dongqu, is also here. Xinyi District is especially known for its alluring and unstoppable nightlife with plentiful nightclubs. You'll find yourself hanging out here a lot after staying for a while in Taipei.
Spending your whole noon and night wandering around Da'an and Xinyi is never gonna be boring. Because of its convenience, the rental in Da'an and, especially, Xinyi, are expected to be higher than other districts.
Zhongshan and Songshan — MixtureSource:s-ec.bstatic.com,cdn2.ettoday.net
These two neighborhoods are kind of between the stability of west Taipei and the wildness of east.
You can find the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Xingtian Temple, Ninxia night market, Taipei Grand Hotel and Miramar Entertainment Park in Zhongshan. You will know Fujin Street if you try to explore in Songshan for chic cafes and vintage stores. Taipei Arena, Ikea, Breeze Center, Wufenpu shopping area and Raohe night market are all located in Songshan district. Like the mixture of tradition and trend, the range of the rental varies differently due to the location.
||| 5 Suburbs Parts |||
Shilin and Beito — Far for studentsSource:2.bp.blogspot.com,photo.network.com.tw
Shilin would also be your first few visiting spots in Taipei for its symbolic Shilin night market. Go to the amazing National Palace Museum if you’re a Chinese-culture-mania; or have a walk to Yanming Mountain for some fresh air. Beito is a smart one-day getaway option in Taipei. It's abundant in the resources of hot spring, so you can plan on a sauna relax during the winter.
The rental around here will be cheaper than other districts for sure, but transportation may be something you have to sacrifice for.
Neihu and Nangang — Mostly locals, and always mysterious for foreignersSource:pse100i.idv.tw,wikimedia.org
Due to the distance from downtown, some foreigners may never hit here even if having stayed in Taipei for a long period.
But indeed, stores are springing out here for the growing population in Neihu. You can take a walk at the Dahu Park or find an incredible night view on a mountain in Neihu by peeking at Taipei on its brim. Here hosts Science Industrial Parks, multinational companies and some large stores like Costco and Carrefour due to the large territory. An apartment here is much cheaper than the central Taipei, but also, transportation may be an annoyance.
For tea or nature lovers, Wenshan district is a can't-miss.
Taipei Zoo and Makong Gondola are both great places for either tourists or locals. As a district full of nature scenery, there are still some colleges here like ChengChi University. It’d be better to catch buses if living here because the MRT branch cannot reach out to many spots here.
||| MRT is the solution |||
Basically, it won’t be a problem as long as your apartment is around any MRT station. The rest depends on your personal preference in which atmosphere you wanna live around.
But what you need is actually more than information. Want to explore more hidden gems in Taipei?
Btw, this is our last Mahjong event this year. Quick sign up here. Now or never.
Contributor: On Knee Chen