When the entrance to a club involves being ushered into a lift by ‘men in black’ you know that something extra special awaits you. Gazing up at the large polka dot ceiling of the glass elevator, making eye contact and smirking at our own reflections on the mirrored walls, we ascend into the warming thrum of the sensual nightclub that beckons. And let’s face it, the first flushes of arrival at a venue is what really counts, it’s all part and parcel of the anticipation and addictive buzz that we thrive on, especially when ‘being ushered’ is involved.
The history of Taipei club culture is relatively new, it’s a fresh scene, located almost entirely in the buzzy, vibed up Xinyi District that orbits around the famous Taipei 101 building. The streets are teaming with dolled up clubbers, hanging out, prepping for the night ahead. Music pulses from every corner, a cacophony of systems swelling from bars and hotspots.
When Club Myst sprung onto the scene in late 2011 they set the bar extra high for their surrounding competitors. John Digweed was invited as the chosen one to whet the appetite of this most welcoming of crowds at their opening party. Born out of the experience its owner, Andy Chung, a retired DJ himself, had had when he visited Las Vegas and indulged in the spectacular energy and luxurious atmosphere there, at venues like XS and Jet. He was truly inspired and returned, his head buzzing with ideas, hell bent on creating much the same in Taipei, the whole shebang, super slick and uber plush, the like of which didn’t exist there. His rule of thumb - to spawn the most enormously stylish, sexy club that the Taiwan capital had ever seen. Job done!
As we exit the lift our entourage is swept through the glistening club, past the cascading waterfall and demi-pool, clusters of banquettes, a bar to the left, a bar to the right and on down to the generous sunken dancefloor. A Saturday Night Fever, disco-tastic dancefloor with matching translucent, LED ceiling, all low and cosy. We grin. There’s a recipe here for something tasty. Outside, a balcony wraps itself round the building, wide views of the 101 and the sparkling, sprawling city stretch out in front of us. You’ve got to love a club with a good view. Original plans for the place included a whole floor with a swimming pool; this could well happen in the next couple of years.
Back inside, the balmy soundsystem says ‘come hither’. The resident DJ eases us into an electro trance-charged set that skips into deeper territory as the night progresses. We’re informed that Avicii, Guetta and Tiesto top the clubs playlist, but in reality this hungry crowd is ready to throw shapes and embrace a burgeoning Asian scene and the European vibe that DJ Mag and Marc Vedo have come armed with. An MC hops to the stage and just as quickly disappears into the crowds, teasing us with his vocal quips, geeing us up without being totally ‘in yer face’. And then it’s time to bring on the dancing girls! Production is polished, lights are finely tuned and glossy. We’re glowing and the night is still young.
CHECK IT OUT!
If you do one other thing in Taipei, make sure it’s one of these…
Night markets… There are two main ones in the capital. Long stretches of road, lit up with festoon lights and bunting. Stalls sell cheap fare and street food, and the vibe is fun and bubbly.
Drink!... It’s a drink culture here. Some clubs have an all you can drink policy. Alcohol aside, fresh juices are big in Taipei. A pitstop in a juice bar or street stall is the vitamin shot required.
Doggie style… Make sure to check out the shop upon shop selling puppies and kittens. Seeing is believing. And good luck trying to sneak one home!
Hot seat… Book into the Tai Pan suites in the Regent Hotel. It’s got a roof pool, some seriously classy décor and heated toilet seats, with a squirter that comes out for an extra clean bottom!
Fresh shopping… Check out the newly opened Carhartt WP store for some camo-charged retail therapy. Opening hours are 2pm to 10pm for a much more civilized shopping jaunt.
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