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    TAIPEI

    category
    Nightlife
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    Nightlife

    in Taipei

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    • Bar at WET

      W Taipei, ZhongXiao E. Rd., Sec. 5, No. 10

      Taipei

      Nightlife

      Festive

      Trendy poolside lounge on the roof of the W Hotel Taipei.

    • Barcode

      SongShou Rd., No. 22

      Taipei

      Nightlife

      Festive

      true

      • Barcode
      • Fashionable Lounge
      • XinYi District
      • $$$

      Spacious sophisticated lounge with skyline views and some of the finest cocktails in town.

    • Brass Monkey

      FuXing N. Rd., No. 166

      Taipei

      Nightlife

      Kick It

      Catch the game or down a pint (or both) at this rowdy expat bar.

    • Champagne 2

      AnHe Rd., Sec. 2, No. 169

      Taipei

      Nightlife

      Well-Coiffed

      Upscale, sofa-strewn lounge specializing in bubbly of all varieties.

    • Dazzling Champagne Dining Bar

      SongShou Rd., No. 28

      Taipei

      Nightlife

      Festive

      Stylish champagne/cocktail lounge with a hopping dance floor and chill, refined terrace.

    • MOD Public Bar

      Ren Ai Rd., Sec. 4, Ln. 345, Alley 4, No. 40

      Taipei

      Nightlife

      Kick It

      Dark, semi-hidden bar favored by connoisseurs for its high-end selection of scotch.

    • Quube

      Le Méridien Taipei, SongRen Rd., No. 38

      Taipei

      Nightlife

      Well-Coiffed

      • Quube
      • Rooftop Hotel Lounge
      • XinYi District
      • $$$

      Chichi rooftop lounge at Le Méridien where well-connected jetsetters and locals mingle over cocktails.

    Taiwanese culture is full of superstitious suggestions for warding off ghosts, who are thought to emerge after the sun sets: don't whistle at night (lest you accidentally invite a ghostly visitor), don't hang laundry at night (it looks like flying ghosts!), and by all means don't clip your toenails or fingernails (limit those manis and pedis to daylight hours, please).

    But another much more enjoyable way for night owls to dodge the ghosts is to indulge in Taipei's rich nightlife scene. While in ancient times lanterns were hung to ward off ghosts, today the bright stalls of bustling night markets, dazzling neon of glam clubs and lounges, and glowing TV screens of karaoke bars keep revelers safe from the specters until the wee hours of the morning (bars/clubs/markets have no set closing time). So chances are you won't cross paths with the spirits, but you'll reliably see a few other groups haunting the Taipei night: sharp-suited businessmen cocktailing their way through deals, well-off jetsetters flashing all-important couture labels, and pretty young things looking casual in urban-cool gear (but still ponying up for extravagant bottle service).

    Aside from these niche nightlifers, people from all walks of life can be seen snacking their way through the nocturnal extravaganzas known as Night Markets: families, couples, dates, and groups of friends both young and old. Beginning with nightfall and lasting anywhere from midnight to the early hours of the morning (whenever the crowds wane), Night Markets are great places to sample the local color and flavor, with "small eats" (street snacks) galore, reflexology practitioners, shopping stalls, and people-watching opportunities. One of the city's busiest is in the colonial fishing village of Tamsui, where snack vendors and handicraft shops along Tamsui Old Street are consistently packed after dark. Also popular is lantern-laden HuaXi Street (Snake Alley) Night Market, renowned for its snake delicacies and foot massages.

    But if communing with the spirits (alcoholic, not ghostly, of course) is more your speed, there are a range of drinking establishments at which to wet your whistle. On the rowdier end of things is Brass Monkey, an expat bar that'll cure any homesickness with pints of beer, classic bar bites, and international football and rugby games on the flatscreens. Young partiers (the drinking age here is 18) from the US and Europe flock here on weekends.

    For a more refined and mature crowd, head to one of the city's swanky lounges. Quube, atop the Le Méridien Taipei, is a haute haunt of 20- to 40-something Taipei locals and hotel guests who imbibe indoors or alfresco on the sprawling terrace with killer views (candlelight and private glassed-off nooks keep things intimate). Also ripe for sophisticated schmoozing is the XinYi District lounge Barcode. Don't let the presence of the pool table in the "chill-out zone" fool you: this mod bar is one of the poshest spots in town to get your drink on−you'll be knocking back delish cocktails alongside fashionable expats and locals (the Taiwanese celebs who pop in tend to retreat to the secret VIP bar The Den). But if you really want to hide out from the phantoms of the night, cozy up in dark, semi-hidden MOD Public Bar, where the specialty is (what else?) spirits, in particular single malt scotch (we're talking 250+ varieties of high-end scotch).

    And finally, we couldn't sum up nightlife in Taipei without a mention of its ever-popular karaoke joints (just look for the neon "KTV" signs all over). Nights on the town often begin and end in their private rooms, where groups of friends gather to drink, nosh, and unleash their voices to the encyclopedic selection of English, Japanese, and Chinese songs. Go ahead: channel your inner Mariah Carey! When you nail that piercing high note, any ghouls lurking around won't stand a ghost of a chance.

    Photo of Quube courtesy of Le Méridien Taipei