Unique Nights out That You Can Only Enjoy in Taipei

The view from Elephant Mountain | © Free-photos / Pixabay
The view from Elephant Mountain | © Free-photos / Pixabay
Photo of Ciaran McEneaney
28 September 2017

While for many people a night out involves bars and clubs, in Taipei things are a little different. Sure you can hit the clubs (they stay open all night) or spend your time in the local bar (there are tons of them) but what makes Taipei a unique place is that in this city that never sleeps, there’s so much to do. So the next time you’re out in Taipei, maybe try something a little different to your usual night on the dancefloor.

Go shrimping

No, I’m not talking about jumping on a boat and setting off for some night fishing. Here in Taipei, there are quite a few shrimp fishing restaurants where you pay a set fee for a rod and a bucket of bait and then try to catch your own dinner. It’s good fun, and once you have your bucket of shrimp, you head for the barbecue. There’s plenty of ice cold beer in the fridge and the majority of these places stay open late while some stay open all night.

Shrimp on the barbecue | © David Hsu / Flickr

Watch a movie

Okay, so this might sound like your standard relaxing night out, and if you choose a regular cinema, then that is the case. But as you may have guessed, there’s always another option in Taipei. If you like movie marathons, then you could head for Nanshan Movie Theater where they show second-run movies real cheap. On certain nights they will show a series of movies, and with one ticket you can watch them all.

Movies in Xinmending however, are a little different. Here they have a little thing called MTV. It’s a private room where you and your date can sit and watch a movie from the library in complete privacy. You can even bring in whatever food and drink you want. But as everything is on DVD, you won’t get to see the latest releases.

Hit the local KTV place

Karaoke is big in Taiwan. Head to a park, and you might even see some older locals enjoying a song in the afternoon. But when the sun goes down, the younger generation head for the big KTV spots.

These places have lobbies like hotels and are open 24-hours a day. You get a private room the size of which depends on how many are in your group. And in that soundproofed room you have a private bathroom, a karaoke machine, and a phone to order beer and food from the menu.

Like a Five-star hotel lobby | © vintagesound / Wikimedia

Go read a book

Fancy a quiet night out with no loud music? Then a spot of book shopping in Eslite’s 24-hour bookstore could be the thing for you. It’s not wild, it’s not very exciting, but you know, sometimes you just need some quiet time, and this place is ideal.

Eat everything at the local night market

Night markets are everywhere in Taipei, and as the name suggests, they’re open quite late. Here you might find clothing and cheap jewelry, but we’re not interested in that. What you want to do is try as many of the local street foods as you can manage.

The great thing about the night market in Taiwan is that while you walk, you’re burning off those calories and making room for more food. Seriously, you could spend all night eating if you find the right one.

Most night markets will also have a seafood restaurant nearby, and these are great places to eat and drink all night. The food is usually pretty tasty while the beers are cold and if there’s a beer girl on duty, you might even get some discounts on your drinks.

Street food deliciousness | © Larry Koester / Flickr

Dine on a river boat

The Great Queen River Boat is a replica of an old-time Mississippi paddle boat. They take the boat out on the river three times a day and for a set fee you can join the evening run. The sun sets quite early in Taipei so the evening run allows you to enjoy the night views of the city.

The all-you-can-eat buffet is quite good while the beers come at an extra cost. But it’s not the beers or the food that make this a memorable trip, it’s the views of Taipei.

Climb a mountain

You wouldn’t expect this to be a popular option for a night out but you’d be surprised at how many locals make the trek up Elephant Mountain every night of the week. Why? Well, the views are incredible and you’ll get some amazing nighttime photos on Taipei 101 and the city skyline.

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