I’ve been living with my Taiwanese relatives…which means there is very little leeway for the ratchet lifestyle here. My grams ain’t too keen on me staying out any later than about 10 pm, which is typically the beginning of the night for a young adult of legal age.
So yeah, life’s been hard.
Haha JK it’s been great living with the relatives ❤ Free food, free laundry, free transportation, insider tips on where the best eats are….the perks are endless. They’ve all been so considerate and accomodating even though I’m basically mooching off them for the next couple months. However…the fact remains that I do not enjoy the same level of freedom here as I had in college.
So when my friend from the states, A, hit me up for Taipei’s nightlife I was quite excited to get out of the house 🙂
Address: Taipei City, Da’an District, Section 1, Heping E Rd, 45號2樓
We met up at the Guting MRT station and walked to 45 Pub, which was very close! Only about a 5 minute walk away from the exit 5. As with many businesses in Taipei, the pub was located on the second floor up a perilously steep set of stairs squeezed between two buildings.
It was really early when we arrived (maybe 6:30 pm) since I needed to get back home before by grandma curfew of 10 pm, so the pub was really empty. They do have a minimalist food menu consisting of mainly sandwhiches and small snacks. Their drinks menu included both creatively named cocktails and an extensive beer selection. We ordered a round of drinks from the middle-aged lao ban niang (boss lady) and a “Piquant Beef Rice” dish for me since I hadn’t eaten yet.
My Long Island Iced Tea (round 1) was pretty good…strong, but sweet enough to mask its potency. The beef dish had good flavor, but the beef chunks were kind of chewy and difficult to eat.
A side note: the bathroom is very small and literally shady. The whole room was painted oil-slick black and there was an umbrella blocking the non-existent ceiling above…(yeah um wtf?)
But I guess the bathroom does add an odd quirkiness to the place. Overall, I do recommend 45 Pub! Apparently it’s a popular spot, especially for foreigners. By the time we left around 8ish the pub was getting quite busy.
Da’an District, Taipei, 台北市 106
It was raining again when we left the pub, so we took a taxi to our next stop, the Hide Out bar/hookah lounge. Unlike Pub 45, this bar is located on a corner on the street level, and has a fantastically lecherous piece of wallart on its side, which makes the location very easy to spot. The place was completely empty, so we took some window seats right next to the bar area and got down to business.
The jiu dan (drink menu) was short and sweet and did not include the selection of hookah flavors, so we had to ask for them. The very nice bartender rattled off a list of fruity flavors, and we decided on guava, a flavor I haven’t seen offered in CA. For round 2 I ordered my go-to drink, the AMF, which came vividly, promisingly blue. Later on, inhibitions lowered and happily giddy, I ventured out of my comfort zone and ordered a Lady’s Yogurt, which was a beautiful, cotton candy pink. It came in a delicately tall, wide-rimmed glass and tasted like strong, frothy peach yogurt soju. It was absolutely delicious and I would 10/10 order it again.
Side note: I have not been carded once yet in Taiwan. I have narrowed down this phenomenon to 3 possibilities: 1) Asians tend to look younger than reality so I am merely blending in with my people 2) A is a menacing looking dude and they don’t want to mess 3) Taiwanese people just don’t give any shits about legal drinking age. Or maybe all 3??
When nature called, I was pointed downstairs to the basement, and discovered that in addition to nice bathrooms there is a very cozy-looking basement lounge complete with plush leather couches and dim mood lighting.
I would DEFINITELY recommend sitting in the basement instead of street level just because Hideout’s windows are HUGE and COMPLETELY UNTINTED (how does a bar not have tinted windows?!), which means that literally every Taiwanese passerby blatantly stared at us through the windows as they walked by and even now I can still feel the unadulterated judgment in their eyes. Apparently going to bars/hookah/nightclubs and drinking is highly TABOO here in Taiwan, even more so than in the states. Only the real bad kids go to places like this o.O But I am foreigner so I will do as I please 🙂
The weak-sauce I am was a little delirious by then, but I made it back home safe and sound by curfew.
Okay, maybe I kinda got lost in the MRT station on the way…shhh…