Cost of living in Taiwan
Interested in the beautiful island of Taiwan? Feeling like you want to move here for a job or maybe an extended vacation?
You are going to have to know how to budget your expenses and how much money you are going to need on a monthly basis.
From personal experience id have to say an expat can live in Taipei city for NT$ 30.000 normally, nothing fancy. Small studio apartment and basic necessities. Luckily for us the average pay for an ESL teacher is around 50.000~60.000 after tax and for engineers roughly 40.000~45.000 after tax.
Moving further south or east is a great way to save money as the smaller cities or even rural cities can cut living costs in HALF if not more.
As example, my current rent is NT$ 13.000 a month for a smaller studio apartment in central Taipei. My friend who is living in Kaohsiung in the South pays 13.000 for a 5 story house she is sharing with 5 other people, which works out to only NT$2000~2500 a person . 10 min drive by scooter to the nearest train station.
Food expenses. Food is cheap cheap cheap in Taiwan no matter where you go and its always delicious. From nightmarkets ,to street stalls to higher end restaurants. You will always find something to eat at any time of day in Taiwan. Try the famous stinky tofu or oyster omelet !
Small meals can run anywhere from NT$30~100. Taiwan is famous for its tea shops that are EVERYWHERE and cost just NT$20~40 for big 500ml cup. Try out the pearl milk tea, but not too often…its quite fattening haha.
Transportation. Again very cheap and very organized! Metro starts at NT$20 for a few stations up to NT$60 to all the way at the end of the lines.
Bus rides start at NT$12 and up. Normal trains are ridiculously cheap, prices depending on where you want to go. HSR the Taiwanese version of the bullet train is like half the price of Japan and can get you to Kaohsiung in 90min for just NT$1500. Compared to a 5+ hour bus/train ride.
But if you are going to live here as expat please note that you will pay more tax since you have higher salary than the locals. And the insurance costs will run you NT$1000~1500 a month. Which should be deducted from your pay by your employer if they do not offer to pay these fees in the first place.
All in all id say comfortable living is doable for NT$30.000+ in Taipei , NT$25.000+ in Taichung/Kaohsiung and rural cities.
Add NT$10.000 to that and you can live in style and have fun eating or partying a few times a week.