Taiwan's Southwest Coast drinking and nightlife

Top Choice Bar in Tainan


Directly opposite Matsu Temple, TCRC (The Checkered Record Club) is cool in all the right places – a speakeasy vibe, indie sounds, colourful cocktails and a hip low-key crowd. TCRC also has a small underground live-…
Top Choice Cafe in Tainan

Gandan Café

The owner here has built a lushly caffeinated hang-out from a rubbish heap by filling it only with recycled materials. The hip spot is wedged into an old building facing Kailung Temple, down a hidden valley, and is …
Top Choice Cafe in Kaohsiung

Hsiao Ti Cafe

One of Kaohsiung's oldest cafes, Hsiao Ti was started by a Japanese-speaking Taiwanese woman 36 years ago and it seems nothing has changed since then – neither the aromatic siphon coffee, nor the artificial flowers …
Pub in Tainan

Former Julius Mannich Merchant House

The First Opium War between the British Empire and China led to the opening of ports in Taiwan to European trade. This fine old wood-and-brick structure is mildly interesting to tour as a site but is also highly enj…
Teahouse in Tainan

Daybreak 18 Teahouse

Tucked away in the garden of the historic Tainan Public Hall (公會堂, Gōnghuì Táng), this elegant teahouse-cum-art-space occupies a fine replica of a 1930s Japanese-style wooden structure. Settle in and taste the wide …
Cafe in Guanziling

Hua Xiang Cafe

A low-key cafe where you can watch the sunset, adopt a cat (it's also a cat shelter) and drink coffee. It's your call between all-Taiwan or Italian, which uses 20% Taiwan beans. The pastas and burgers are surprising…
Club in Kaohsiung


The place for clubbing in Kaohsiung, with a DJ and themed parties almost every night of the week and an international clientele. At the time of research, LGBT night was Thursday and Ladies' Night Wednesday. See its …
Cafe in Guanziling

Ta Chu Hua Chien

An immensely popular cafe offering heaps of foliage, wooden furniture and organic Taiwan coffees (from NT$150), but the main draws are the killer sunset views and the gentle golden retriever. Be sure to book a table…
Coffee in Kaohsiung

Ruh Cafe

A laid-back roadside cafe run by musicians. You can sit on the bench outside and play with the cat or ascend the narrow staircase at the back to a quiet apple-green room with tatami mats to read under a whirling fan…
Juice in Tainan

Lily Fruit Shop

Across from the Confucius Temple is this well-known shop serving delicious bàobīng (刨冰; shaved ice and fruit) and fruit drinks.