There are a plethora of activities and clubs to be found in Taichung, but none with the classic appeal of pool and darts. From friendly games to serious competitions, for new players and veterans alike, these games are always easy to play but take a lifetime to master. You can play for two weeks and become a good player. You can practice and consistently improve; yet there’s always more to learn. Both pool and darts are rewarding pastimes and great ways to unwind after a long day at work that won’t drain your bank account.
There are many places to play both games in Taichung but really good pool halls can be difficult to find. Some of the best can be found in Xitun District. Guan Zhong Guan is a spacious hall with lots of well-maintained tables, and is a common hang-out for many professional players. Competitions are also sometimes held here and there is space for visitors who just want to watch. If you’d like to play here, tables cost NT$2.5 per minute for smaller tables and NT$3 for the larger ones, with deals for those playing between midnight and noon. Light snacks and drinks are also on offer for NT$20-90. Large windows make this a great place to play in during the day, especially later in the afternoon when the natural lighting is at its best.
Not far off, on XiTun Road, Guo Shou is a smaller and more casual establishment that mostly caters to university students. This basement hall has several tables and, usually, a good crowd of patrons enjoying a game. Tables cost NT$2.4 per minute or NT$250 for two hours. On weekdays, you can play for 2.5 hours for NT$250 between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. Drinks and snacks are also available here for reasonable prices similar to Guan Zhong Guan.
If you can’t decide what form of amusement you want, Bruns Darts Shop on HeNan Road has a great setup for everyone with darts available downstairs alongside a well-stocked accessory store, and even offers some free lessons for customers wanting to improve their game. Upstairs is a rather large pool hall with more dartboards and an Internet cafe. Prices for computers vary between NT$20 for an hour to NT$195 for 24. Bruns also has a fair selection of light snacks and drinks. Like most establishments with dartboards noted in this article, darts cost between NT$10 and NT$30, depending on which type of game you select. Pool costs NT$3 per minute any time of the day; on weekends you can play two hours for NT$350, and three hours for NT$400, with NT$50 off those prices for weekday games.
A little further south, Fashion Billiards and Darts is a bit smaller but offers a good space for casual players to play pool with a few dartboards also set up in case you want a change of games. Tables here cost NT$2.4 per minute any time, or you can pay NT$250 for a couple hours. The staff is always accommodating and tries its best to keep patrons happy. Competitions are also occasionally held here for more serious players. Light snacks and drinks are available for under NT$100.
If you prefer more of a bar setting, just down the street for Fashion, on the corner of QingHai and ChongQing roads, is 501k Darts with more substantial cuisine on offer as well as a selection of bottled beers. This is a great place to sit and talk with friends and has many video-dartboards for patrons to play.
A bit further to the south, Gong High is an excellent bar with an extensive drink selection as well as snacks and meals to satisfy even a picky gourmand. Located on XiangShang Road, just east of ZhongMing Road, this is a Taichung nightlife staple and one of the most popular hangouts in the area. With dartboards located both in the busy downstairs areas and upstairs, where it’s a little more low-key, you’re sure to find a comfortable space to play a game or two. Staff here all speak English very well and will always go out of their way to make sure their guests are comfortable.
These spots are just the tip of the iceberg, as there are many places across the city for avid and casual darts and billiards players alike, including many that host competitions for both professionals and amateurs. Generally, the events are irregular, though, so you’ll want to check with the venues for dates.