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Move over Taipei; Kaohsiung is the new darling in town.
Taipei, Taiwan‘s capital, is already an internationally known city. However, Kaohsiung is no stranger to the global spotlight. It hosted the World Games of 2009 with huge fanfare. Kaohsiung morphed into a modern city a rapid transportation system and the second largest Taiwanese international airport. Kaohsiung, located in the southwest, has beautiful sites and a rich culture to explore. If you need a break from the noise, get out of Taipei and head down to Kaohsiung. It’ll take your breath away.
Kaohsiung is all about hospitality and having a great time. Taipei may be the king of nightlife, but Kaohsiung has plenty to do that rivals Taipei’s bar and club scene. We have ventured into this fantastic city to discover many hidden gems — from clubs to live music venues to other gay places so you can experience Kaohsiung’s Southern charm:
How cool is it to discover a “discotheque” in Kaohsiung? At this ultra-hip club, young hipsters, sexy babes, and expats mingle and dance together to the latest beat. This nightclub plays hits that will make you dance — and you can see internationally renowned DJs like Andrew Chow from Singapore’s Zouk Club to get you into the groove.
Did someone say “all-you-can-drink?” Muse is the best place for champagne services and best of all: It has all-you-can-drink menu! Beautiful people flock to Muse for the EDM in town and listened to fabulous DJs spinning at this newly renovated space. Muse also has a cafe, if champagne is not your cup of tea. For the ladies (and gay men), Wednesday is Hunky Boys’ Night — which always attracts a huge crowd for a night of lust and fun.
If you need to take a break from EDM and bright neon lights, Brickyard is the best place to mingle with party-goers and bond with locals in this basement venue. This warehouse-inspired space has different theme nights including a gay night, Rainbow Thursday, and Brickyard always teems with fun party energy. A go-to club for expats, Brickyard plays hip-hop and Latin music for a fun young crowd.
Live Music Venues
Located at the famous art district, Pier-2, In Our Time is a live music mecca that houses a bar, restaurant, gallery, and a radio station. Sunday is the best day to check out this place, hanging out with locals while enjoying live music at this artsy spot. In Our Time is a hipster haven — they come here for its chill ambiance and vast array of craft brews.
Rocks is the best venue in town for alternative music fans. This place exudes an indie vibe and is the best place to rock out with both local and foreign bands. If this is your first time checking out Rocks, make sure you get clear directions from the locals. Rumor has it that Rocks is so hip, first-timers will have a hard time finding this dark, brick basement.
If you have expensive taste, Barcode offers a luxurious experience for a sophisticated crowd. This upscale bar has a posh vibe and serves fancy (and pricey!) cocktails. Barcode is notorious for its strict dress code. So if you want to impress the crowd, you better step up and dress up at Barcode.
If you’re a huge jazz fan, Marsalis Bar is the sleek place to be. This swanky place has a fantastic bar for whiskey and wine connoisseurs. As for the music lovers, Marsalis Bar brings top talents hailed from Japan, the US, and Europe.
Mercury Bar is another favorite local hang-out spot with great beer selection and friendly staff. Patrons come to this cozy lounge to socialize with friends in its soothing environment. Besides hosting regular live music events for local artists, Mercury Bar also serves comfort food like hot dogs and fries to satisfy your hunger after a night of drinking.
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The best way to absorb local culture is to check out the night markets in Kaohsiung. Locals visit night markets to socialize with each other and, most importantly, feast on Taiwanese delicacies. The two largest night markets, Kaisyuan and Jin-Zuan, are the ones to see. Kaisyuan Market has over 1000 food vendors and stalls for guests to sample while Jin-Zuan Market has about 500 vendors of food, drinks and more for visitors to taste.
Hi-Bar Club exudes fun, high energy, and a touch of sass. This bar loves to throw fun parties with drag queens and go-go boys. If karaoke is your thing, Hi-Bar regularly hosts karaoke contests so you can unleash your inner diva in this friendly bar.
We know we mentioned Brickyard and Rainbow Thursday already, but we just wanted to make sure you didn’t miss out. Every Thursday night, boys come to Brickyard and shake their booties to the sound of hip hop and music with a latin beat. Already a popular hangout place for both boys and girls, Brickyard spices things up with this high energy party. If you only have time to check out one event at Kaohsiung, Rainbow Thursday is worth the time to explore and experience the fun with both locals and expats.
Hi-Man is the premier spot in Kaohsiung for guys to meet and socialize in this safe place. Conveniently located by the train station, this sauna has an excellent facility for guys to relax and unwind. Hi-Man also has different theme nights from Student Night to Solider Night for your party preference. Don’t forget to check out the bar before or after you have been pampered by the Hi-Man staff.
(Featured image via billy1125/Flickr.)