When you’re planning your expedition to Asia, don’t forget to consider a visit to Taipei – the capital of Taiwan.
Things to do
- Taipei 101: One of the world’s tallest buildings, with an observation deck on the 89th floor.
- Chang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall: Dedicated to the founding father of Taiwan, this huge hall is set in peaceful gardens that also contain the impressive National Concert Hall and Theater.
- National Palace Museum: This vast museum could well take hours to see everything, but most people focus on the largest collection of Chinese antiquities anywhere in the world.
- Gondola ride to Maokong: Go to Taipei Zoo station and take the gondola high in the hills. At the top, take a walk around to have some fresh tea whilst perched on the hillside overlooking Taipei.
- Hot springs: Take the train to XinBeitou and relax in one of the many natural hot springs there. One particularly gay-friendly one is Kawayu – Chuan Tang Spa. It’s all-male and all-nude. Particularly busy at weekends and evenings.
- Night markets: Taiwan is famous for its evening markets and Taipei has some of the biggest. The most famous is in Shilin where you can buy an array of clothes and goods, or just sample the street food including, squid risotto, stinky tofu, oyster pancakes, and sweet rice dumplings.
- Wufenbo market: A huge area of alleyways predominantly offering cutting edge clothes, mostly inspired by the newest fashions from Korea and Japan.
- Afternoon tea: The Grand Hyatt or the Shangri-La are the best options.
Most people start their evening in the area behind the Red Theatre in Ximen district which has numerous bars. One popular bar is Café Dalida. Cosbys is a burger restaurant by day and a predominantly lesbian bar at night.
Afterwards there are plenty of clubbing options:
- Funky: Attracts a mostly younger local crowd with a mix of Asian music, karaoke, and Western pop.
- G-Star: One of Taipei’s most popular clubs with a stage, dance floor and two levels of fun-loving people. Music is mostly K-pop.
- Jump: Hugely popular club, often packed at weekends and on special nights, playing house music for topless muscle boys.
- Park: A stylish cocktail bar serving sophisticated drinks and packed with locals.
- Re-Fresh: Spread over three floors and includes a lounge bar, dance area, and shower podium.
- Taboo: An underground lesbian club with a packed dance floor after midnight.
- Twiice: Twiice has one floor for boys, and another for girls.
Where to stay
- Inhouse Hotel: Close to the gay district of Ximen, the Inhouse is great value for a designer hotel. The Inhouse is located a 5-minute walk from Ximen MRT station, with surrounding night markets just outside the hotel door.
- SWIIO Hotel: A stylish and modern hotel. The hotel is only blocks away from gay bars in the Red House Quarter.
- Hotel Eclat: A boutique luxury option with a design aesthetic all its own. An excellent location for parties, close to the shops and Taipei 101, Taiwan’s tallest skyscraper.
- W Taipei: the W brand brings its eclectic visuals and supreme service to the streets of Taipei, conveniently located above a department store and blocks away from major sightseeing stops. The W also great for making it to parties and has an excellent pool to come home to.
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