Alcohol = $$$?

Hey All,

What’s the deal with all the seemingly high alcohol prices in Taiwan? Or is it just Taipei? I’m looking at sites for pubs and clubs, and it seems the going rate for a nip of Johnnie & Coke is around NT$150.

Here in Brisbane (Australia), that’s the equivalent of about AUS$6.50 – really the most you would ever expect to pay. The usual price is about AUS$4-$5.50 (~NT$90-$125). Even on the ritzy Gold Coast, you’d be hard pressed finding a club that charged more than $7.50 at an absolute max (~NT$170).

Now we have some pretty high taxes on alcohol here in Oz, so those prices I see online seem quite steep! So am I:
(a) looking at the wrong sites, or
(b) mistaken as to the economic situation in Taiwan?

What are you guys normally paying for drinks over there? And just for a comparison, how much is a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red from a bottle shop over there? Here is costs about AUS$25-30 (NT$575-690) for a 700mL bottle.

A bottle of Johhny Walker is around NT$700 I think. Not sure which label. You can probably get it cheaper in the big supermarkets or liquor stores like Drinks.

Drinks in Taipei are more expensive because rent is expensive here. You are paying for the space where you are sitting.

Red Label is under NT$500/bottle usually. And no wonder. Its still way overpriced. Black Label is around NT$800 and proper Scotch is about NT$1,000 and up.

Why is alcohol expensive here? High import taxes and high rents.

alcohol taxes are quite high here … the prices in clubs are nuts. you don’t save much money if you are constantly going out to party in taipei.

tipping is not generally expected (at least not out in the boonies of taoyuan), so that saves you a little.

basically, if you don’t wanna blow too much loot, party with some friends at someone’s house, and save going out for special occasions.

as for the bottle, you can get jameson for $550. no need for johnny … :smiley:

He’s Australian. Not tipping, won’t make a difference to him as he wouldn’t tip a barman or barmaid in his homeland unless things in OZ have radically changed in the last two years.
After a visit to the USA, I realised Australia and New Zealand are cheap Western countries.
In 2000 a beer in a Taiwanese pub/club was usually the equivalent of NZ$10!! After being here a while you stop converting to your homeland currency and think about what you’re spending and its relationship to your earnings, its usually fairly minimal.

Now with the present exchange rate it’s about NZ$6 for a bottled beer here in a bar which is roughly the same as back home.

NB My prices may not apply forTaipei but there they are likely to be higher.

alcohol is expensive?? shit, i never look. I just look at my wife’s face…then I know, “OOPs, too much.”

You’ll be lucky to pay 150 for a whiskey coke.

The alcohol prices here are enough to shock anyone who isn’t from Manhattan or Paris. Even in the 7-11 there aren’t many cans of beer that cost less than a (US) dollar each.

Alcohol = $$$$$!
Absolutely right you are.

I took the old girl out last night. Food: She - steak; Me - Eisbein. Drinks: Me - 1 Corona, 1 Carslberg draft (large); 2 Hougaarden drafts also large (thirsty bastard); Her: 1 Cocktail. Damage: NT$1980.

Corona ranges between NT$130 and NT$150 a bottle; Carslberg and Hougaarden (large) drafts are between NT$200 and NT$220. Some English beers are even more expensive. I’m sure you could get a better idea of prices if you check out the on-line menues of some of the pubs.

I’m not complaining though. I have made peace with the fact that I have to pay a little more for some of the good things here in Taiwan. It’s worth every dollar IMHO.

I do agree that frequently drinking in pubs is not the way to go if you wanna save big money quickly.

Indeed in Australia it’s not customary to tip; our hospitality staff are paid fairly good wages for the work (an 18 year old casual worker will earn about AUS$18 or NT$420 per hour). Of course, like anywhere, it’s still a good idea to tip at busy bars to get quicker service. And if the bar chick is cute…


I’m beginning to figure out that the cost of living Taiwan may not be as cheap as I thought it would be. Realistically speaking, do you think I’d be able to get away with living on NT$51,750 a month in Taipei? (That amount is what the HESS brochure says I’ll be earning at 20 hours/wk)

You can live on that. But you won’t save much if you are living in Taipei. If you worked another 10 hours a week under the table (very common), you should be able to make another NT$20k~$30k/month.

You might be interested in this for taipei beer price info…Heinekendex
click on the thumbnail to see the graph

If you can’t get by on NT$50,000 a month you’re either paying too much rent, drinking way too much, or shit at dealing with money.

the bars here are for the rich ppl, Taipei, being a large city has a large amount of them. Don’t expect the common folk to be there…

so where do the common folk like me go to hang out?

so where do the common folk like me go to hang out?[/quote]Beers with mates is the cheapest alternative. Jason’s sell VB for 49nt a stubby. Aussie Footy is on Fri, Sat, Sun night and Sat, Sun arvo. Does it get better than that? Rhetorical question, too.

Real Taiwanese go to beer bars and sit in the sun (um, moon) and drink big green 600cc bottles for 60 or 80 NT. The problem for foreigners is that nobody speaks English at those place.

Why doesn’t any foreigner set up a beer bar for foreigners to hang out? I’d go.

so where do the common folk like me go to hang out?[/quote]
Common folk go to bars too, just not the poseur bars. There are plenty of less expensive bars, but just like anywhere else, expect to pay more when you go to a bar than you would if you just got shitfaced at home. Personally I like Riverside and Blue Note, and Alleycat’s is another good option, although not a bar as such. Taipei Sports Bar isn’t too bad pricewise either.

The thing to remember is that while it may sound more expensive from your perspective in Australia, in real terms when you’re here, it’s not that bad. It ain’t cheap by any stretch, but it’s not that bad. Unless of course you’re a binger, in which case you’re really in the shit.

Well, I AM a uni student, who lived on-campus for two years. Binging is a way of life here…but I can learn to drink before I head out! :slight_smile:

Well, in that case I’d recommend what we used to do back home - buy a doz or two from the local boozer (here, that would be the local convenience store), get utterly ripped, then go into town so shattered you don’t need to buy any booze. :laughing: