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Cost of Living in Taiwan

Costs will obviously vary to a degree throughout the country, so as a benchmark, this page is geared towards prices in the capitol, Taipei. In most cases, costs should be lower in provincial capitols. Most notably, housing costs are significantly lower in the south of the island.

Like most places in the world, the cost of living in Taiwan can be as high or as low as you make it. There are a fair number of English teachers here, sometimes on a lower budget and they manage to live quite comfortably. We will concentrate on the main expatriate areas, which are usually slightly more expensive than average, the reason being that many expat families will want to live near the American and European schools. In the case of Taipei, this would most likely be the Tien Mu area.

'Going local' is the way to save money. If you can get to grips with the culture, eat at local noodle shops, make use of the public transport, stay away from expat bars etc and make do without imported western goods, you'll see a lot more of your salary at the end of the month.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of life in Taiwan is the 'eating out culture'. Cheap, delicious food is available just about everywhere. A reasonable daily food budget could be less than NT$300. See below for more.

The following sample costs are meant as a rough guide only. All figures are in New Taiwan Dollars. If you have any specific questions, feel free to start a thread in our Taiwan expat forum...

Coming to Taiwan? Take a look at our hotel rates: Taiwan Hotels

Everyday Items and Entertainment

Big Mac

$80 - $100

Can of Coke




English Newspaper

$15 - $20

Can of Taiwanese beer (convenience store)


Bottle of Heinieken (bar/pub)


Cinema Ticket

$200 - $300



$1000 +

Cable TV

$700 +



Landline phone

$100 (basic fee)

Mobile Phone

$200 (basic fee)


Bowl of noodles


Moderate restaurant meal


Fine dining

$1000 +


Need advice? Got a question? Go to our Taiwan Forum