Both Zhongshan and Da'an are considered "upperclass" suburbs of Taipei and have lots of restaurants, bars, cafes, etc. They're also both very expensive.
Since you are a foreigner though it's probably ok for you, but just know that you can probably half your rent if you moved a little bit out of town.
If you don't mind me asking, is this your first time to Taiwan?
Yes this is my first time. I travelled other parts of Asia but haven't been to Taiwan. I plan on staying at least a year as I have a one year contract, but if I like it I'll stay indefinitely.
Is one of Zhongshan and Da'an better for commuting to work near Taipei 101 each day?
Oh, that's great. Welcome to Taiwan 🙂
Actually, both Zhongshan and Da'an are pretty similar distances to Taipei 101. The best/easiest way to get there is by MRT.
Da'an would technically have a shorter journey since it's a direct route. If you want to have a look at the MRT map, you can see it here:
I’ve lived in Taiwan for almost 10 years, including a year living at both Da’an and Zhongshan. I can say confidently you’ll be better off living in Da’an.Zhongshan is nice to visit and shop in, but is way too busy and hectic for living. In my opinion. I did like living there, but the constant lines to get into restaurants and rushing during peak hours (morning, lunch, afternoon) wore on me a lot.Da’an has the same vibrant lifestyle but without the hectic rushing. So if you want to be able to do a lot of things (socialise, eat at restaurants) and also be able to relax, then you should choose Da’an.
That’s actually really helpful info that I was looking for. I am not sure if I mind it being busy though. I am still quite young so I can enjoy the entertainment value of lots of things going on around me.
Is one of them cheaper than the other, or are they both roughly the same price to live in?
It depends, they both have expensive and less expensive accomodation options. If you're living with someone (girlfriend or flat mate) then it's going to be a lot cheaper.
Honestly, if you plan to live in one of them for a year, then you should at least visit and explore both of them before deciding. Why don’t you find short-term accomodation and stay in both of them for 1 week each? Airbnb is a viable option.
Thanks Jenny I appreciate that. Which suburb would you say is better to live for foreigners?
I think they're both pretty good for foreigners.
They only thing that I can think of is that Da'an is next to Da'an Park which is a big area for running and riding bikes. So if you want to be able to do that, then that is something to think about.
Zhongshan does have a big public sports centre though with a pool and it's pretty cheap. Zhongshan also has my favourite brunch place, Poffertjes Cafe 😀