Lotus Hill, a great community just outside of Taipei

I’ve lived in Lotus Hill longer than I’ve lived anywhere, in Taiwan or elsewhere, for that matter. After 20+ years in Taiwan, after having lived in the rural south, and again in the hustle and bustle of Taipei City, there’s nowhere I’d rather be. than in this easily overlooked corner of Xizhi District. Here’s why:

It’s *quiet*. I quite enjoy renao (熱鬧), the “hot and noisy” aspect of life in Taiwan that is cherished by Taiwanese (but often only endured by foreigners), because I know I will have respite when I go home. The access road to the community is entirely underground, making this neighbourhood one of the quietest I know of. Here’s what I mean:

Beyond the quiet, there are trees, and grass, and flowers everywhere – even a lake! This kind of natural setting is not an easy thing to find, and does wonders for one’s mental health.

The community is right next to some of the best hiking in the area. No need to drive away, just lace up your shoes and get on the trails. Roped rock climbs, hidden lakes, fresh air, and beautiful vistas are all just around the corner!

The security at Lotus Hill is excellent. It’s a gated community, so all visitors must check in before they can enter. Because of this, there’s no need for bars on windows, and kids can safely play outside with no supervision. There are lots of international and bi-cultural families living here. The playground chatter is often a mix of Chinese and English.  The community is dog-friendly and the dog-owners are (for the most part) pretty responsible for cleaning up after their dogs.

The place makes up for being outside the city by being convenient. Lotus Hill has its own restaurants, a convenience store (FamilyMart), hairdresser, laundromat, etc.  Underground parking means  cars and scooters live longer and you never have to get wet unloading groceries on a rainy day. There are plenty of recreation options at Lotus Hill. In addition to indoor and outdoor basketball courts, there are tennis courts, squash courts, a billiard room, a fully equipped and well-maintained gym, a (heated) indoor and an outdoor swimming pool, a spa area,  separate saunas, steam rooms, jacuzzi pools and cold pools for men and women, and a large indoor community center hall.  The outdoor swimming pool is awesome. Honestly, it looks just like a resort swimming pool:

The apartments themselves are good, but nothing extraordinary.  They’re fine, but they’re already almost twenty years old, so most of them have that “lived in” feel. On the other hand, many Lotus Hill kitchens are large enough to house a western-sized oven, and most apartments have front balconies with a view, and rear balconies big enough to hold western-sized washers and dryers.

Rent tends to be considerably less than what you’d get in Taipei City for the same amount. A 50 ping apartment usually goes for less than 30k, often with parking included. Management fees are about $50/ping, maybe a little more, but include (limited) access to the club facilities. (Full access requires a monthly membership)

The biggest drawback to living in Lotus Hill is that you are truly living in a suburb. If you’re out on the town each night, or if you’re living on your own, you might find the lifestyle a little isolating. And it’s certainly better if one has transportation of some kind, a car or a scooter makes suburban life considerably easier. But even without transportation, many Lotus Hill residents manage just fine, thanks to a shuttle bus that regularly goes between the community and the Donghu MRT Station (Brown Line) and the Nangang Exhibition Hall MRT Station (Blue Line). If one prefers, a taxi ride to Taipei’s East District is usually between $300 and $400 dollars, depending on destination. And a drive to Xinyi District is only 30 minutes away, 20 if you’re on a scooter.

With over 2,000 units here, there are always places available for rent. If you are interested, your best bet is to come in person and visit one of the real estate agents located in the centre of our community. Gloria from CityKey is probably one of the better known ones.

And once you’ve moved in, feel free to join the local FB group, or just come and hang out at the community FamilyMart patio – you’ll soon be a part of the community! For more info, you can also go to the discussion here.