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Entertainment & Nightlife in Taiwan


Taiwan has an abundance of nightlife, and Taipei in particular is lively at night. Western-style entertainment can be found in hotels, and in the many discos, clubs, restaurants and cinemas in Taipei. Popular amongst local people are KTVs, a type of sing-along club modelled on Japanese karaoke bars; and beer houses, which sell draught beer and snacks. The northern district of Tian Mu contains a street of open-air beer houses.

The nightlife scene in Kaohsiung and Taichung may not be quite so hip as Taipei's, but there's still more than enough to fill one's plate of desires.

Traditional alcoholic drinks in Taiwan are very strong. Kaoliang is the most famous alcoholic drink. A distilled grain liquor, it is extremely strong, usually 140 proof or more, and often drunk straight. Taiwan also produces many types of Shaoxing (rice wine), which are considered by many as being some of the best in the world.

Visitors can also sample both traditional and modern tea houses, open all day and in the evening. In the tea-growing countryside around Mucha, it is possible to visit all-night tea houses and sip locally produced teas such as ’iron Buddha’ tiehkuanyin tea. High-quality meals and snacks are also provided. These tea houses are popular with local families, particularly on special occasions.

Places to Unwind


Taipei has many bars and pubs dotted around the city. In addition to neighbourhood bars, hotel bars are usually elegant and you'll be able to mix with both local and foreign business people. If you are looking for a piece of home, there are Australian, Japanese, British, Irish and American-style bars like My Other Place in Song Shan.

The Combat Zone, a cluster of bars dating from the Vietnam War, when the main US base in Taipei was nearby, can be found on Shuang Cheng Street, not far from Minquan (Mincyuan) West Road MRT station. Despite its name, the neighbourhood is not especially raucous. Several of the pubs here also do good Western grub; especially noteworthy in this respect is Malibu West (9 Lane 25, Shuang Cheng Street). My Place Bar & Restaurant (3-1 Lane 32, Shuang Cheng Street) serves great food, has two bars, pool table, and shows live sports on multiple screens. There is outside seating for smokers.

In the last few years, two newer establishments have made quite a splash: Carnegie's (100 Anhe Road) and The Tavern (415 Xinyi Road, Section 4). The former attracts hordes of men and women looking to let their hair down; the latter is very much a sports bar, with satellite TVs showing events from around the world.

Lounge bars burst onto the scene a few years back, and their popularity seems to be holding. Bliss (148 Xinyi Road, Section 4) has won plaudits from both Western and local clientèle.

Taiwan Beer Bar (85 Bade Road, Section 2) is a godsend for the thirsty budget traveller in a city of pricey bars, and most certainly be the cheapest bar in town. It's attached to the brewery where Taiwan Beer is made, close to the intersection of Bade and Jianguo Roads. What it lacks in ambiance it more than makes up for in value. NT$50 per mug of Taiwan Beer, NT$100 per litre. Interior and exterior seating are available.

Dance clubs, especially those near National Taiwan University and Shi Da (National Taiwan Normal University), combine drink, dancing, and loud music that ranges from rock to alternative to techno. Apocalypse Now is an established stand by for an evening of dancing. A more mellow crowd and live music can be found at the Blue Note Jazz Bar in Da-An.

Luxy (5th Floor, 201 Zhongxiao E. Road, Section 4, near the Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT station), is one of the most well-known clubs in Taipei. Luxy has two levels: the lower level has a side room playing house/techno and a main room playing hip-hop; the upper level is a lounge with a small dance floor over-looking the main room.

Ziga Zaga (2 Song Shou Road, Grand Hyatt Taipei) is a club that specialises in cocktails and Italian cuisine; both the service and food are excellent. It's popular with locals and expatriates.





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