Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Clubbing and Going out, Western style, in Taipei

Taipei, although not famed for its nightlife, does have a selection of clubs and bar/clubs scattered across the city. These places range from the sleazy and sordid, to the smart and sophisticated, and its here that you’ll have the closest thing to a night out like you know from home.
At weekends most places have a cover charge. This is normally upwards of 500NT($17) for boys and 250NT($8) and above for girls. During the week girls are even luckier as many places have girls’ nights with free entry for the fairer sex.
Included in this cover charge are normally one or two drinks, and some places will give you unlimited drinks all night. These relatively high entry costs combined with the largish distance between clubs means that you often end up staying in the same place all night.
In my time I had the pleasure of visiting 4 different places, all with a very different character.

Wax has a foreigner night every Wednesday (girls free, boys 350NT), and I’m sure there was a pimp in there with some Vietnamese prostitutes… but I went on a Friday (girls not sure, boys 500NT) and it was much better: many Taiwanese people, not many foreigners, and no suspected prostitutes in sight! Also because it’s so cheap the drinks are truly terrible.

Babe-18(pronounced baby 18) has the reputation of being a place where lots of girls go… Although when I went it was 80% boys. It has unlimited drinks and a lot of the “cool” Taiwanese hip-hop crowd go there. It has a much younger atmosphere than its neighbour Club Myst. About 700NT cover charge and unlimited drinks. Here the drinks are very good.

Club Myst is very swanky, three different bar areas, including one outside with a closeup view of the 101. This has a much more sophisticated feel and the patrons seemed more mature than in Wax or Babe-18. Cover charge is about 700 (NT) with two drinks.

Finally my first night out was at Roxxy 99. This is a kind of rock disco-bar, that starts the evening playing rock music and a few people sitting at tables enjoying a couple of drinks. The night ends with club music and people falling over each other on the dance floor.
This actually makes it a great place to stay all night as it really feels like two different places as the night goes on. Unfortunately is has a high cover charge (700NT), and no unlimited drinks.

One place does deserve mention, and it's many locations make it the most convenient place to drink a beer. Colloqiually known as "Club 7”, 7/11 convenience stores are the cheapest and perhaps most comfortable places to drink on a Friday or Saturday!
Don’t be ashamed of sitting down with your friends, having a couple of beers before you go to a more established establishment. Often the 7/11s near clubs without unlimited drinks are filled with happy foreigners. It’s part of the Taiwanese drinking experience!

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