Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Taipei: A Sleeping Giant.

Bangkok, Jakarta, Singapore, Bali, Viang Veng and ……..Taipei. The list of Asian big hitters when it comes to nightlife is growing every year. Undoubtedly a hidden gem of the region, fist pumping, alcohol flowing, hard to recall nights can proudly be added to the familiar ‘made in Taiwan’ tag.

2012 has been a breakthrough year for a country overlooked in the past as a poor relation to main land China. Developing at break neck speed - bars, clubs and the unearthly popular KTV’s (Karaoke Television) are popping up all over the place and pushing the nightlife, especially in Taipei, to the forefront of Asian party venues.

Where does the night begin?
Food is cheap in Taiwan and most nights start with a few local brews over a social bowl of noodle soup or fried rice – take your pick, the choices are endless and mouth-watering. Upwards of 1000 7/11 convenience stores mark the pavements of Taipei – cheap and rowdy is the scene when drinking in the street is legal, and at £1 a pop a lot of young party go-ers find a lively social corner. Think friendly street party, not under age annoyance.

Fancy something different?
You haven’t experienced karaoke until you’ve been in a room with a group of anything between 3 and 30 people, blaring our songs you wouldn’t even sing in the shower, completely enthralled, passionately loving it!
Fairly pricey at between 300 and 500NT (£7-£11) per person, it usually includes a drink and you’ll want multiple until you get your confidence flowing as freely as the drink. My memory of KTV’s is fairly blurry – so I’ve never left sober.

Time to hit the dance floor
If it’s clubs you’re after then take your pick. From foreigner friendly pick up joints to Taiwanese packed super clubs, Taipei provides for all. Luxi is a favourite – an enormous club on multiple floors that often boasts international DJ’s, bands and live entertainment on stage. Expect to pay a steep cover charge (300 – 700NT, girls get reduced or free entry) but be supplied with free drinks, sometimes all night.

Taipei is one of the friendliest capitals in Asia. Although not advised, walking through a park on route home post night out has more chance of ending in the viewing of a martial arts or yoga class, not a nervous and speedy jog. Glaring looks are usually that of interest, approaches on the dance floor are a regular occurrence and striking up conversation with the locals is harder to avoid than start.

Other clubs to note are: Babe18 – all you can drink for 300NT on a Wednesday night, Roxy99 – a place where smiles and small talk won’t have you going home alone, Wall – Taipei’s best option for live music.
Taiwan as a country is blossoming and the nightlife is beginning to play a big part in the attraction. Packed with diversity, excitement, beauty and unique locations – the party scene mirrors the bigger picture of this intriguing nation. 

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