Cost Of Living In Taiwan- First-Class Amenities For $1600 A Month In Taipei




  • Monthly budget in Taipei for One-person = $1,600  <jump to budget details>.
  • A mid-range budget, but high quality of live with an active social life and frequent meals out
  • World-class healthcare and long-term visa availability makes for excellent early retirement potential.

Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan, has a reputation for being a desirable place to live. It is one of the safest East Asian countries, the locals are welcoming, Taiwanese food is delicious, the health care system is world-class, and getting around is a breeze. These are a few reasons why InterNations has voted Taipei as the top city for expats twice in the last five years.

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Though pricier than low-cost Southeast Asian cities, like Bali or Da Nang, the cost of living in Taipei is low for anyone coming in from major cities in the United States or other Western countries. 

Though high real estate prices are an outlier, Taipei s not an expensive city. Yes, buying property in Taipei is pricey, but rental rates are still affordable. And dining, entertainment, and transportation are all relatively cheap. If you keep your purchases of luxury items and technological devices in check, you'll save 40% or more on your monthly expenses vs. living in the US. 

I have spent more than a decade living in Taipei as an expat. Originally from Canada, I went there as an English teacher expecting to only stay for a year, but like so many others, I ended up falling in love with the city and staying much longer. I met my wife in Taipei, and our two kids were born and raised there.

Our guest collaborator, Nick, describes the cost of expat life in the bustling city of Taipei.

We lived in New Taipei City, a sprawling city surrounding Taipei City, but I worked in Taipei. Think of New Taipei as Taipei's suburbs with the two cities connected by the vast Taipei MRT system. By living outside the city center, I enjoyed cheaper accommodation costs yet kept easy access to all the pleasures of Taipei City.

Having lived in Southeast Asia before, I found the average cost of living in Taiwan per month comparable to Thailand but slightly more expensive. I would also say the costs are very similar to those of South Korea.

In this sample budget, I breakdown the monthly living costs in Taipei for a single person. You can spend less by sharing accommodation with others and/or living in New Taipei City as we did. 

The local currency is the new Taiwan Dollar (TWD). At the time of this writing, the exchange rate is 1 US Dollar = ~28 TWD. For reference, 1 Euro = ~33 TWD.

What Is The Average Cost Of Living In Taiwan Per Month?

Cost of Living in Taiwan In USD Details [Click to Expand]

Total Monthly Expense$1,593
Rent- Furnished Studio Apartment City Center500
Housekeeping Services 3-hours 2 times per week0
High Speed Internet20
Cell Phone- 8 GB Internet Per Month36
Total Housing Expense656
Home Cooked Meals100
Local Food Stalls (3 times Per Day)365
Mid-Priced Restaurant 1 times per Month15
All-You-Can-Eat Restaurant 1 times per Month40
Total Food Expense520
Budget Night Out-Drinks with Friends 2 time per Month20
Bowling with Friends 2 time per Month20
KTV Night with Friends 2 time per Month20
Big Night Out- Cocktail Bar 1 time per Month50
Total Entertainment110
MRT Easy Card100
Uber/Taxi 2 times per Week87
Total Transportation Expense187
National Health Insurance (NHI)40
Health Care Expense40
60-minute massage 1 times per month30
Personal Care Items- Shampoo, Soaps, Etc.20
Household Items- Laundry Soap, Tools, Dishes, Etc.20
Full Service Laundry 2 Loads Per Month10
Total Personal Care and Misc Expense80
Exchange Rate to $1 USD to TWD (Taiwanese Dollar)27.92

 EDITOR'S NOTE : Cost of Living in Taipei, Taiwan- Taiwan's largest city is not the capital. Taipei is actually the 4th largest (New Taipei is first, followed by Taichung and Kaohsiung). But with most expats, digital nomads, and retirees living in Taipei, it makes sense to use Taipei as our baseline for monthly living costs.

It is possible to live for cheaper than $1,600 in Taipei (choosing shared housing, only eating street food, etc.), but it also very easy to blow your budget (dining in upscale restaurants, choosing a fancy apartment, going out a lot).

I based these monthly expenses on what I spent as a single expat living in a reasonably standard studio apartment in Taipei, living cheaply on a day-to-day basis with an occasional weekend splurge. I bought groceries and ate lots of simple, but amazing food. Still, I would go to pricier restaurants with my friends and some bars or nightclubs a couple of times a week.

Like most Taipei residents, I mainly used the MRT to commute, but I also took taxis several times per week. My holiday travels around the island are excluded from the budget.

Because my salary as an English teacher was around $2850 (80,000 TWD) per month (most make around 60,000 to 90,000), I was able to save about a third of my excess income while living this mid-range lifestyle.

 EDITOR'S NOTE : Geoarbitrage on a Teachers Salary- Did you know that working working abroad as an English teacher for just FIVE YEARS could get you to retirement with an additional $2,000,000+ in savings. If you save $11,000 per year ($2850 x 33% x 12) and invest in ETFs with a 7% return for five years, you end up with $67,000. Save nothing else and just sit on your money, after 40 years that $67,000 would grow to $2,000,000. 

 You can expect your salary to be at the lower end in your first year, but you can move up to better jobs or supplement your income with tutoring jobs over time. After I got my APRC, I transitioned to writing and editing work, and my salary also increased.

Cost of Living in Taiwan vs the US

As mentioned, Taipei costs slight more than other Asian cities like HCMC or Manila, but Taiwan has first-class healthcare and metro system that other countries miss. Even though Taipei is "expensive" by SE Asian standards, the lowerer living costs still saves nearly $13,000 per year compared to life in the US.

Take a look at the cost of living comparison of Taipei vs. a medium-cost US city (Portland).

Theses are the Top 4 essential costs in the US: housing, food, transportation, and healthcare. These 4 expenses make up 68% of the average costs in a major city.

Major Expenses

















Total Average Per Month



Save 43% on Major Monthly Expenses

The lower cost of living in Taiwan saves you $13,000+ per year vs. living in the US. 

What Kind of Lifestyle Can I Afford On $1600 Per Month?

Shopping at a specialty gourmet seafood market for spider crab, the biggest crab in the world.

A Typical Week Living in Taipei

As an English teacher, I did a combination of part-time jobs at different schools and some private tutoring in children's homes. This program meant I did a fair bit of commuting. Luckily, Taipei has an incredible metro system called the MRT. It is considered one of the best in the world, and it goes practically everywhere. It is clean, passengers are polite, and (essential in summer) it is heavily air-conditioned.

Many Taipei locals ride scooters, and the traffic can be pretty wild. While I think it's useful to have a scooter in other parts of Taiwan, I don't recommend it in Taipei. Driving a car is even less convenient. It is expensive, parking is often impossible to find, and there are frequent traffic jams. All this is why the MRT is such a godsend!

Like most Taiwanese people, who tend to have long working and school days, I also ate out a lot. Delicious food sold on the street and from hole-in-the-wall shops in Taiwan is incredibly cheap and available everywhere. There are countless breakfast shops and food trucks in the morning, while for lunch, there are takeaway lunch boxes, buffet restaurants where you pay by weight, and more. In the evening, the city's famous night markets come alive, while every street corner has several food vendors to choose from.

 INSIDER TIP : Chinese Language- While Mandarin is the primary language used for official matters in Taiwan, many locals also speak the Taiwanese language. English is also fairly standard, and most locals can speak at least some basic English.

A day trip to walk Jiufen's Old Street for tea in the afternoon and street food at night.

street food makes the cost of living in Taiwan affordable

A MRT accessible day trip to Danshui's pedestrian street, where you can sample all of Taiwan's famous street foods. 

In a nutshell, Monday to Friday, I relieved heavily on the MRT to get around, and I ate most of my meals on the go from cheap eateries.

When it came to the weekend, it was a different story. I would often hop in a taxi to meet my friends in a nicer restaurant. These restaurant prices were 5-10 times more than the average meal on the street with drinks. We'd then take another taxi to a bar or nightclub, stay till the early morning, then I'd take a taxi back home. 

Some weekends, we'd also do day trips or overnight trips around the country. Taiwan is small enough that you can get almost anywhere in the country in a weekend, especially with the High-Speed Rail. While quite a bit more expensive than the local train, the HSR can traverse the country from north to south in just a few hours.

How Much Is Rent In Taipei?

Housing Costs


Monthly rent will be your largest expense and prices vary wildly depending on your type of accommodation. Keep in mind, Taipei is a crowded city where space is a luxury. Houses are virtually non-existent. Everyone, even the rich, lives in apartments, and only the ultra-rich have huge flats. The lack of space plays havoc with real estate prices, so the average Taipei apartment most people live in is relatively small.

As a single person, I lived in a small studio apartment and paid $500 per month (14,000 TWD). These can easily go up to $700 (20,000 TWD) or more, especially with more than one bedroom.

As I mentioned, space is at a premium in the city center. If you want to step up to a bigger one-bedroom (average rent $650/18,000 TWD) or a two-bedroom (average rent $780/22,000 TWD), expect to pay significantly more. 

Other things you might need to include in your housing budget: WiFi in an apartment ($20/month) and apartment utilities and garbage ($100/month).

 INSIDER TIP : If you want to save on accommodation costs, I later lived in New Taipei City (which is quite a bit cheaper than Taipei City) with a friend, and we only paid $570 (16,000 TWD) between the two of us for a two-bedroom apartment. By MRT, it only took us about 20 minutes to get to the Taipei City center.

What Is The Average Food Budget In Taipei?

Taiwan is considered to be the boba tea capital of the world.

Food Costs


As I mentioned above, I ate most of my meals during the week from food stalls and simple eateries. The average breakfast cost me $3, which includes both a meal from a breakfast shop and an Americano from 7-Eleven (Taiwan has the highest concentration of convenience stores in the world, and they offer a surprising range of foods and services).

There are also many upscale and Michelin star restaurants in Taipei where you can easily spend $100 or more on a meal.
eating at 7-11 food lowers the cost of living in Taipei, Taiwan

Asian 7-11 > US 7-11-  US folks don't underestimate 7-11 food. In Asia, it's a great budget meal.  Photo Source.

For a typical lunch, I would spend $4.50 on a large bowl of noodle soup or takeaway vegetarian lunch box that included several dishes on a bed of rice. It would be some street food from a food stall in my neighborhood with a similar price for dinner. Once in a while, I'd get meals at Western restaurants or get international food, which costs more like $10-20 per meal.

I did eat some meals at home, too, so I also spent around $100 on groceries per month.

On weekends, when I often had dinner out with my friends, I would easily spend $15-40 on a meal at a mid-range restaurant, and that would usually be including a few alcoholic drinks. If we went to a local restaurant, it would be on the cheaper side of that range, but something like all-you-can-eat hot pot, Indian food, Western food, etc., was higher.

BBQ $1- Cheap food can be found at street stalls, food trucks, and night markets all around the city. 

Oyster Vermicelli Soup (O-ah-mee-sua) $2- Sit down meal at a cafe or food court still doesn't break the bank.

All You Can Eat Hot Pot $25- If you want to go for a weekend splurge with friends, a traditional Chinese hot pot is great social meal.

How Much Should I Budget For Entertainment?

Ximen is a bustling shopping district and considered the hippest neighborhood. It's the main weekend hangout for the city's Millennials.

Entertainment and Sports


  • Bowling with Friends $10- My friends and I often went bowling for less than $10 per person, and we could bring in our own drinks and snacks.
  • Karaoke Nights $10- Another popular entertainment option in Taipei is KTV (private karaoke rooms). You can expect to pay around $10 per person, plus the cost of drinks and food if you decide to order any.   
  • Cocktail Night Out $50- In the mood for a party night out? Drink prices in bars and nightclubs go up by 3X or more. You can expect to pay $3.50 for a domestic beer in a pub or $7-10 for a craft or imported beer. Average prices in fancy cocktail bars will easily cost you $10-15 or more for a drink. Most nightclubs charge a cover fee of $15-20, but this usually includes 1 or 2 drink tickets. Note that if you tend to spend a lot of money on a night out or go out a lot, your monthly costs in Taipei can quickly skyrocket.

 INSIDER TIP :   For a budget night out, you can buy beer and other alcoholic drinks from convenience or grocery stores in Taiwan. There are no open liquor laws, so you can drink in a park, at the tables provided at convenience stores themselves, or while going for a stroll in the streets. Boom. A fun night out with friends for less than $10.

There are loads of free or low cost entertainment options in the city. There are lots of hiking trails around Taipei, which of course are free, while it only takes 1-2 hours to reach several beaches by cheap local bus or train. In winter, you can visit hot spring spas around Taipei ($2 for public ones, up to $25-100 for a private room). Finally, There are also lots of museums in Taipei, with tickets only costing $2-3. 

What Does Transportation Cost?

Clean, cheap, and on time, the Taipei Metro, locally known as jie-yun, is considered one of the world's best metros.



Like most Taipei residents, I relied heavily on the MRT. I used a reloadable EasyCard, and I put around $100 on it per month. This monthly expense included multiple rides per day and some trips on weekends, too. You can also swipe an EasyCard at convenience stores and on local (non-reserved) train or bus rides between cities.

Taxis are relatively cheap in Taipei, and there are so many of them that you never have to call. You just go to any main road and wait. Outside of popular places, there is usually a line of them. The base fare is $2.50, and it goes up slowly from there according to distance and time. Most rides I took cost less than $10, and even the longest ones (from the city center to the suburbs when I later moved there) still cost well under $20.

If you want to buy a scooter, the economy transportation among locals in Taiwan costs $1500-2500. You'll need to take a local driving test. Once you have it, though, fuel costs are low, even cheaper than riding the MRT. For better deals, you can find used scooters for $300-1000

If you'd like to purchase a car, expect to pay even more than what they cost in the United States. You may also have to pay a monthly fee to park it (even in your neighborhood, as the narrow streets don't have space for them), plus parking fees wherever you go in the city.

Taipei also has a public bike share program called YouBike, with stations everywhere. You use an EasyCard (MRT card) to sign them out, and they only cost $0.35 (10 TWD) per 30 minutes. Taipei does have some air pollution due to the heavy traffic, but it's not as bad as it used to be, thanks public transport and the MRT.

 INSIDER TIP :   For walking, main roads have sidewalks and traffic lights, but most smaller, residential streets don't. It's essential to be careful, and the rule of "pedestrian always has the right of way" absolutely does not apply in Taipei.

Other Miscellaneous Costs

Affordable Luxuries

  • Housekeeper $12-  Many middle and upper-class Taiwanese families hire maids to care for elders and children or clean the house. Most of them are Southeast Asian or elderly Taiwanese women. You can hire them through agencies in Taiwan and expect to pay them about $10/hour. In Taipei, it is quite common for people to pay a housecleaner to clean their house regularly. Most of them only charge around $7-14 per hour.
  • Spa Services $30- There are many massage salons in Taipei, often with Southeast Asian workers and billed as "Thai massage." Prices range from $30-60 for a one-hour, full-body massage. Foot massages are also common, but heads up that they can be quite painful. When you need a haircut, you will pay $3 in a budget quick cut salon or up to $30 in a fancy salon.
  • 8 GB Cell Phone Plan $36-  When arriving in Taiwan, you can get a local SIM card for around $20 and then recharge it as necessary. Expect to pay around $40 per month. If you have an ARC and plan to stay longer, you can sign up for a one or two-year phone plan. It can cost anywhere from $10-40 per month, depending on how much data you need.

Important Information about Moving to Taiwan- One-Time Moving Costs

When you first arrive in Taipei, if you plan to become a resident through work, you'll need to budget in some set-up costs. These include residence card application fees, health check fees, and so on. You should budget $200-300 to cover all of these expenses.

Most landlords ask for a deposit of 2-3 months' rent on apartments and ask that you sign a one-year contract. If sharing an apartment with others, you can sometimes just pay a monthly rate without signing a contract.

If you're moving to Taiwan for work, you should consider the time before you start working, set-up fees, plus the time you need to make it to your first paycheck. You might have to get by for one or two months before even seeing your first paycheck. For these reasons, I wouldn't recommend moving to Taiwan if you don't have at least a few thousand dollars set aside for start-up costs.

How Much Is Health Care?



Taiwan has a national health care system, and any resident (ARC holder) pays a tiny percentage of his or her income into it. Anytime you visit a doctor or dentist, you pay a nominal fee of $5 (TWD 150), including any medication prescribed.

Will My Home Country Health Insurance Cover Me?

Most likely no. Most health insurance will not cover you for any injuries sustained outside your home country. To get protection while living abroad, there are two options:

  • Travel Health Insurance- This will cover you for unexpected medical issues while overseas. However, the coverage requires you to maintain insurance in the United States or your respective home country. I pay roughly $50 per month for complete coverage with no deductible.
  • Expat Medical Insurance- If you retire abroad, expat health insurance is a more complete option. Expat Medical Insurance is the "normal" insurance you are familiar with from home. Coverage is built for people who live in a country versus traveling. While more expensive than Travel Medical Insurance, premiums are still cheaper than in the US. 

 EDITOR'S NOTE : Healthcare for Expats- If you apply for residency (ARC) in Taiwan, you must enroll in their National Health Insurance. This "requirement" is a good thing. Taiwan has the highest-rated healthcare systems in the world and health care costs are shockingly low. 

Health Insurance plans would cost you:

  1. Through a local employer- 1.41% of your monthly income (your share of insurance premium would be )
  2. As a digital nomad on the Gold Visa- still only 4.69% of your monthly reported income.

Private health insurance or travel health insurance - These options may make sense if you are only in Taiwan for a few months. My international health insurance covers me everywhere globally, except the US, for roughly $50 per month.

Quality of Medical Care- Do not mistake cheap for poor medical quality. How good is Taiwan's health care system? In 2021, it was ranked #1 for the THIRD YEAR IN A ROW. 

Will I Have To Pay Taxes Living In Taiwan?

If you're planning to work in Taiwan, you should be aware that you need to spend 183 or more days in a calendar year in Taiwan to avoid being taxed 20% of your income (with no deductions). For example, if you are a teacher and plan to arrive in Taiwan in August to start teaching in September, you'll have to pay 20% of your income from September to December of that year. These taxes could add up to thousands of dollars.

If you spend more than 183 days in Taiwan in a given year, you'll only have to pay around 5% (depending on your income bracket), and you'll receive some deductions so that the tax rate could be close to zero. They actually count the days you are physically in the country, so if you take any holidays outside of Taiwan, those days will be deducted from the total number of days you spent in the country. It doesn't matter whether or not you were working, just how many days physically in Taiwan.

For this reason, I recommend arriving in Taiwan before July if you plan to work that year, even if that means you won't start working until September. The same thing goes when you leave Taiwan; stay until at least July, or expect to have to pay 20% for the first months of the year, even after you leave.

 EDITOR'S NOTE : Tax Residency- Expats who stay in Taiwan for 183 days or more in a calendar year are considered a tax resident.  A foreigner who stays for less than 183 days in a calendar year is considered a non-resident.

Taiwan uses the credit method to avoid double taxation. Foreign income tax paid on foreign income may be applied to reduce the income tax owed in Taiwan up to the amount of Taiwan income tax derived from foreign-source income.

Sound complicated? It is. Expat taxes are complicated. Speak with a tax advisor for details.

What Is Not Included In The Monthly Budget?

Expat Taxes

If you stay longer than 183 days, many countries will consider you a tax resident. Being an expat may help you save money on your taxes. Talk to a tax professional to see how tax residency applies to you. I partnered with a firm specializing in expat taxes to secure a special deal for Nomadic FIRE readers.

Use the promotion code "Nomadic25Consultation" for $25 off a tax consultation to get you started. 

Even better, use their experts to prepare your tax return, and the entire consultation is FREE.

Moving Costs

Save Up To 40% On Your Moving Costs. Between customs, freight, packing costs, and ground transportation, figuring out how to move your stuff overseas can get expensive. EmbarkEx is Nomadic FIRE's new service to save you money on packing, trucking, and shipping overseas moves for expats who want to live and retire abroad.

I have partnered with 10,000+ pre-screened global moving companies to save you time and money. Fill out our 60-second form and get 5 quotes from accredited moving companies competing for your business. Compare and save by clicking the button below.

What Are The Visa Requirements For Taiwan?

Typically, you can come to Taiwan on a tourism visa and stay for 3-6 months, depending on your nationality. I had friends in Taiwan who worked under-the-table jobs part-time and did visa runs indefinitely.

However, during the pandemic, tourists are not allowed to enter Taiwan. This policy is one of the reasons Taiwan has done some well with COVID-19. Daily life there has remained mostly normal, and they've had very few cases and only a handful of deaths.

The only way you can currently enter Taiwan is by moving there for work. You'll need proof of employment, and you'll also have to get a test before flying and do 14 days of quarantine in a government-approved hotel upon arrival. 

Working in Taiwan – Working Visa

The school or company you work for will usually apply for an ARC (alien residents card) and working visa on your behalf. You can also get an ARC through marriage to a local. If you maintain an ARC for five years, you can apply for an APRC (permanent ARC).

If you're a native English speaker, it's easy to find teaching work in Taiwan, and you only have to teach a minimum of 14 hours per week. Besides teaching work, there are not so many employment opportunities available if you can't speak Mandarin.

 INSIDER TIP :   If you get an ARC (working visa) through a school or company in Taiwan but decide to quit, you may lose the ARC. You'll either have to find a new company willing to provide you with one ASAP, convince your old company to transfer your ARC to the new company, or leave Taiwan, re-enter, and start again from the beginning.

Other Resident Visas

Entrepreneurs and digital nomads can also apply for a Gold Visa if they make $5700 or more per month.

 EDITOR'S NOTE : What about a Taiwan Retirement Visa? - Taiwan has neither a Digital Nomad Visa, nor a Retirement Visa. Taiwan has two ways for retirees and digital nomads to stay long term. 

  • Gold Visa- good for successful digital nomads, as the visa allows you to work in Taiwan, if you can prove ~$5,700+ monthly income.
  • Investor Visa- good for retirees who can invest $200,000 into a local active business or investment fund.

Nomadic FIRE will have a full article on visa option for Taiwan in the near future. In the meantime, check out these countries for retirement visas. 

Compare Cost Of Living In TAIPEI

Still researching the best cities for retirement? Check out our extensive Cost of Living collection for the best expat destinations. Get insider information and real examples of expat life from people who have spent years living abroad. I've compiled all the information you need: cost breakdowns, insider tips to save money, and detailed examples of the quality of lifestyle you can enjoy. 

Final Thoughts: Cost of Living in Taipei, Taiwan

The cost of living in Taipei is by no means the cheapest in Asia, nor are any types of visas easy to get right now. But if you make an effort to get in and establish yourself, you'll love your quality of life. A comfortable life in Taipei is very affordable, and that's why so many expats swear by it.

 EDITOR'S NOTE : HOW-TO BECOME AN EXPAT- This is Nick's 2nd collaboration with Nomadic FIRE. In December, I interviewed 12 expats who have lived in 22 different countries, with over 100 years of combined expat experience. These expats reveal their tips for traveling abroad for the first time, breaking down the challenges they faced living internationally and sharing their essential steps on How To Become An Expat.

Resources for Working and Living Abroad

Save Up To 40% On Your Moving Costs

EmbarkEx is Nomadic FIRE's new service to save you money on packing, trucking, and shipping overseas moves for expats who want to live and retire abroad.

I have partnered with 10,000+ pre-screened global moving companies to save you time and money. Fill out our 60-second form and get 5 quotes from accredited moving companies competing for your business. Compare and save by clicking the button below.

Protect Your Health While Abroad

Your home health insurance is unlikely to provide coverage for you while overseas. Get premium health insurance designed for expats and digital nomads that protects you anywhere you are in the world, even during a pandemic.

Use A Virtual Mailbox To Keep A Permanent US Address And Receive Important Documents and Packages

Get a US street address you can use while you are overseas. Use a digital mailbox with a REAL physical location to receive mail from USPS, FedEx, and UPS.

A virtual mailbox can receive and forward all your important documents and packages, replace credit cards, maintain state residency, get checks deposited, or file business and tax applications.

Start Speaking A New Language In 30 days

Pimsleur is the best method I have found to get to "Survival-Level" quickly when learning a new language. With Pimsleur, I can ease the stress of arriving in a new country and start speaking with people in my neighborhood. Ordering food, getting directions, haggling prices, and making friends is 10X easier when you can communicate in the local language.

Achieve better results using Pimsleur's short classes and organic learning methodology vs. the mindless repetition, endless verb conjugations, and tedious memorization of other language courses. 

Transfer Money Internationally

For expats and nomads, Wise offers an International Bank account for your money transfers. It's an easier and cheaper alternative for paying your bills while overseas.

Looking to buy property abroad, Wise has a Large Transfer Rate for even bigger savings. 

Get Your US Expat Tax Questions Answered

US Expat taxes are the most complex in the world. However, living abroad comes with potential tax advantages, but mistakes are very easy to make. It is no wonder many expats are frustrated. 

Avoid complications, penalties, and fines, Taxes For Expats is here to help.

Travel Tools and Resources

Skyscanner- My favorite airline search tool to find all the cheapest flights in one place.
Airport Pick-Up Service- Arrive at your destination stress-free with a private car cheaper than most taxis. 

Loctote- My favorite day pack. Secure your belongings while walking around town.

Want more insights on Living Abroad? Sign up below.


I have traveled to over 40 countries to give you the best ways to save, invest, and live overseas for less cost than in the US. After five years of traveling, my list of places to live keeps getting longer. To give you more information on the best places to live abroad, I partner with experts from the expat community.

You want insider information from people with feet in the street? I only work with expats with real-life experience living in countries you want to know about. Together you get updated info on the best neighborhoods, detailed Cost of Living examples, money-saving advice, and recommendations on the local places to eat, drink, and see.

Are you a travel blogger with information you can share on living in another country? Contact me and let's talk about collaborating on a guest post. 


Nick Kembel is the author of Taiwan in the Eyes of a Foreigner and has written about Taiwan for CNN, National Geographic Traveller, and many other publications. He is also the creator of Spiritual Travels, a travel website dedicated mainly to Taiwan, and Taiwan Travel Planning, a free travel resource for Taiwan travel information.

About the author

Hi, That's me. I'm Marco Sison. I am a survivor of the corporate rat race. I started Nomad FIRE to show you an alternative to the stress and grind of 70-hour weeks to pay off a mortgage, student loans, and countless bills. After getting laid off in 2015, I said screw it all and retired early at 41 years old. I have traveled the last eight years to over 50 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries for 70% less cost than the US. I have been featured in: US News & World Reports, HuffPost, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, Association of MBAs, the iTunes documentary Seeking FIRE, and the Amazon Best-Seller, Abroad: Expats That Thrive . [view press...]

  • I remember Taipei well. A wonderful city with great night markets. We had great mango smoothies at the night markets and I even tried a bitter cucumber smoothie, which was not something I ever want to drink again.
    We ate at small mom and pop restaurants and, yes, the prices are super cheap and the food is simple and tasty. But forget about English in this small kitchens – they only speak Chinese or Taiwanese. Once in a while we had some other guests try their English on us.

  • Hi Marco – thanks for your super informative article.
    I’m hoping to secure a job at one of the international schools in Shilin next year (TAS or TES). I’m curious where you would recommend living if I was working at one of these schools? Shilin and Tianmu seem so much more expensive and have few 1 bedroom options. But I also don’t want to commute more than say 20-30 minutes each day. I would also prefer to use the MRT as I would definitely die on a scooter 😂.
    Thanks !
    – J

    • Hi Julia,

      Like most cities, the popular neighborhoods tend to get pricy. Also, as you have probably found, the size of the flats in Taipei is smaller than in most Western countries. There are two ways to consider cutting down your rent costs though

      1. Check with your school. Many times they already have places they recommend that fit their teacher budgets. Some schools even have contracted rates with specific places for an even better deal.
      2. Consider co-living. Especially if you are new in a city, living with another teacher is a great way to save money and jump start your social circle

      Good luck on your job hunt.



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