'Partytown' feature has given the lowdown on scenes
in our fair city from Jazz to Punk to DJing, but
it's time for a vacation to sunny Taichung for
a weekend away. The city is well known for a dining
and nightlife scene of far greater size and variety
than the population would lead you to expect.
Taichung is Taiwan's Texas - it's all big down
there. Pubs and restaurants are often two or three
stories and the discos frequently large enough
to conduct military maneuvers in. Even better,
the prices make us up here in Taipei recall the
1980's - which goes a long way towards covering
the cost of a hotel.
Like to start the evening at a quieter place with
style or unique character? One great place to
get started is La Bodega (3, JingCheng 2nd St;
04-2310-7006), a Spanish-run bar that is cozy
and specialises in great snacks (Spanish Tapas)
mixed with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
If you like to sit outside, you can't go wrong
with PJ's Cafe (23 DaYe Rd; 04- 2325-2457), with
their pleasant indoor pub and a nice outdoor bistro
area that is good for people-watching. Taichung
even has an Irish bar in O'Chang's (Closed).
If you're feeling dressy or simply like a nice
sofa, be sure to check out one of the many lounge
bars in the city. Crystal (120-3 ZhongHua Rd Sec
2, B1; 04-2208-6206) and Escape (45-2, TaiZhongGang
Rd Sec 2; 04-2328-0768) are both small, cozy and
high-end establishments perfect for a date or
meeting with friends. Liquid Lounge (98, ZhongMing
S. Rd; 04-3601-9980) is classy and comfortable
during the week, but frequently hosts the hottest
parties in town during the weekend. Also, be sure
to check out J&J Jeay & Jazz Bar (91,
DaYe Rd; 04-2310-0136).
After a few drinks it's time to pick up the tempo,
and perhaps catch some entertainment. Check out
The Londoner (143, HuaMei
West St. (04) 2314-6919)
- fronted with huge Greek columns, a large outdoor
deck, a lounge-like interior and probably the
only outdoor pool table in the country. Chubby's
(11, JingMing Rd; 04-2329-3327), rising up three
stories and with an enclosed garden area is famed
for interesting activities and great steaks. fM
(185, BoGuan Rd; 04-2329-6400) is a fun and funky
spot noted for having probably the finest cocktails
in the country, art showings and occassional wild
parties (like their famous underwear parties!).
If art is your scene, then drop by Oldies (117,
ZhongCheng St; 04-2328-7071) - with an surprisingly
cozy museum-meets-gallery-meets-flea market decor
and almost nightly performances. On the larger
and noisier side, Live 2001 (5, NingXia E. Rd;
04-2311-8268) offers up cover bands and Concession
(170, WuQuan W. 4th St; 04-2378-3576) provides
cover bands, manpower and pole dancing shows in
an old Shanghai setting.
No night out is complete without some dancing.
Taichung's answer to MoS is Mint 27 (Taichung
Central Dept. Store, 10F - 186, FuXing Rd, Sec
4; 04-3608-0599), a hotspot that features the
best local DJs and performers (like Wu Bai and
Power Station) as well as many international acts.
A popular night spot for the over-25 set is the
Pig Pen (41, DaGuan Rd; 04- 2383-4456), with a
British-themed pub downstairs and a disco upstairs.
To wind down at a late night spot, and if burgers
in a friendly attractive bar sounds good then
be sure to drop by Peggy's Circle Bar (16-1, JingCheng
1st St; 04-2329-3998). Another spot which always
retains a party atmosphere well into the late
evening is 89K (89, ZhongMing S Rd; 04-2320-7010),
a place where motorcycle enthusiasts mix with
late night revellers for some high octane fun.
For details on shows, events, parties and activities
at all of these locations be sure to check our
sister publication in Taichung, the COMPASS or
download a copy at www.taiwan-guide.net.