As a digital nomad, one of the key considerations when choosing a location to work from is the cost of living. Hsinchu City located in north Taiwan is a lesser-known destination for digital nomads. If you’re looking to live in an area that is a little bit off the beaten path, consider Hsinchu City as a potential home base as the living costs will be more affordable.
In this blog post, we will break down the cost of living in Hsinchu City, Taiwan for digital nomads.
(Side note: this blog post is also published on another site that I help manage, but in this post, I’d like to inject my own personal views, and speak from the perspective of someone who actually actively lives and thinks like a digital nomad, so while the content is very similar, the opinions and thoughts in this post are more personal.)
🛏️ Accommodation for Digital Nomads
The cost of accommodation in Hsinchu City largely depends on the location and type of accommodation. For a one-bedroom suite in the city center, expect to pay between NT$10,000 to NT$15,000 (approximately $340 to $510 USD) per month. Outside the city center, prices drop to NT$6,000 to NT$10,000 (approximately $200 to $340 USD) per month. Many digital nomads choose to live in shared accommodation, which can cost between NT$3,500 to NT$6,000 (approximately $120 to $200 USD) per month, depending on the location and the number of roommates.
Shameless self plug here: my family runs a suite of rooms that are perfect for digital nomads. The rooms are newly renovated and have everything you need to live comfortably. If you’re a digital nomad or are considering DN’ing in Taiwan, and are interested, feel free to click here to see the rooms. My grand vision for this building it to turn it into a co-live and co-work space that could be a hub and community for digital nomads. Creating content and building an audience and community is the first step for this grand vision. Okay, back to our regular programming…
🚌 Transportation as a Digital Nomad
Hsinchu City has a decent public transportation system that includes buses and a city bike share. Taiwan boasts a very efficient and convenient intercity bus and train system. A single bus fare costs NT$15 (approximately $0.50 USD), while a single bike share session starts at NT$10 and goes up from there for every 30 minute increment the bike is being used (approximately $0.30 USD), depending on the distance traveled. Many digital nomads also choose to rent scooters, which can be rented for approximately NT$3,000 to NT$5,000 (approximately $100 to $170 USD) per month.
Quick tip: If you get an EasyCard, you can top up the card with cash and use it for all public transportation and even buy food from convenience stores.
Honestly, the city itself is extremely walkable just be careful at crosswalks.
The second thing is, [whispers] if you book a room with us, arrangements can be made where we loan you an e-scooter. This is a part of that grand vision of mine, but I digress.
🍲 Food and Drink – Gotta get fed
Taiwan is renowned for its street food and night markets, which offer a wide variety of delicious and affordable cuisine. A typical meal at a local restaurant can cost between NT$100 to NT$200 (approximately $3.40 to $6.80 USD), while a meal at a more upscale restaurant can cost upwards of NT$500 (approximately $17 USD). Grocery shopping is also affordable, with basic items such as rice and vegetables costing between NT$20 to NT$40 (approximately $0.70 to $1.40 USD) per kilogram.
Quick note about grocery stores:
There are a few places to buy food:
– Local markets, which are super cheap, but you’ll need to go with a local who knows their way around
– Supermarket chains: there are two that I frequent more: Carrefour (formerly Wellcome) and PxMart. PxMart is the cheaper one. Carrefour has more European/American food options.
– If you’re in a pinch, Taiwan also has an obnoxious amount of 7-Eleven’s that have warm and cold food.
📱Communication and Utilities for when you’re wandering about and also need to work
The cost of communication and utilities in Hsinchu City is relatively low. Internet services cost approximately NT$700 to NT$1,000 (approximately $24 to $34 USD) per month, while a prepaid mobile plan with unlimited data and calling can be purchased for as little as NT$500 (approximately $17 USD) per month. Utility bills, including electricity, water, and gas, cost approximately NT$1,500 to NT$2,000 (approximately $50 to $68 USD) per month.
Personally, I pay 500 NTD for an unlimited data plan, with limited calling and text feature. In Taiwan, the locals use a messaging app called LINE, most businesses and practically everyone uses it everyday.
If you’re a digital nomad, WhatsApp is also a very useful one. This is my messaging app of choice when I am travelling.
For social media, I usually add new friends to my Instagram or Facebook network.
🍿 Recreation and Entertainment
Hsinchu City offers a range of recreational and entertainment options, including museums, parks, and cinemas. Admission to museums and parks is typically affordable, with prices ranging from NT$50 to NT$200 (approximately $1.70 to $6.80 USD) per person. Cinema tickets cost between NT$200 to NT$350 (approximately $6.80 to $12 USD) per person, depending on the cinema and the time of day.
Hsinchu City has a lot of great bars you can go to if you’re looking to have a drink or two. Most are cash only, while some do take credit card. If you would rather have coffee or tea in the wee hours of the night, there’s a nighttime coffee shop that you can try called ThereCafe, which also has two cats that might visit you. I also frequent this cafe during the day to get work done, they open at 10am and close at 2am.
💭 Closing thoughts for digital nomads considering Taiwan
Overall, the cost of living in Hsinchu City, Taiwan for digital nomads is relatively affordable, with accommodation, transportation, food and drink, communication and utilities, and recreation and entertainment all within reasonable budgets. With its vibrant culture, modern infrastructure, and affordable cost of living, it’s no wonder that Hsinchu City is a popular destination for digital nomads.
Hsinchu City is a 30 minute High Speed Rail ride away from Taipei, the metropolis in Taiwan. (You’ll need to take a local train that takes you to the High Speed Rail station, but it’s all fairly seamless as the trains, metros, HSR, and bus systems are all connected in Taiwan.