Taipei is a large city. As the capital of Taiwan you expect that. What you might not expect is that the city has a rather large commercial sex industry that is hidden in plain sight. There are no go go bar complexes with half naked women calling in customers but as I have reported here over the last few years and in my book Prostitution in Taipei: The Complete Report the city is home to a lot of places offering sexual services.
Escorts are very popular for locals and visitors alike. There are many local escorts in Taipei. They mainly find their clients through online advertisements on sites like JK Forum. The same goes for foreign escorts who sometimes stop by Taipei to ply their trade while traveling through the region.
Unlike Singapore where “health centers” often offer sexual services places that call themselves health centers in Taipei are usually completely mainstream. Places offering full sexual services often have “spa” or “sauna” in their names but there are also mainstream spas and saunas.
Taizhilian Spa (泰芝戀男女養生會館) is a smaller massage parlor popular with foreigners where a mostly Vietnamese staff offers everything from handjobs to full service.
Many small massage parlors in Taipei have “Thai” in their name but unlike Thai massage parlors in other countries these places do not staff any actual Thai women or even offer Thai massage. A few places with Thai in the name like Thai Happiness and Thai Leisurely Life usually offer handjobs to customers at the end of oil massage sessions.
Apparently there are or at least were some blowjob bars in Taipei but their existence eludes me. Reports say they are not particularly easy to find or access for people who do not speak Mandarin.
Hostess clubs on the other hand are fairly common. People who do not speak Mandarin might have a hard time visiting them but they are popular with locals and even travelers and expats from other parts of Asia like Japan. These hostess bars are more like hostess clubs in Japan than hostess bars in Cambodia. This means they are mainly places for guys to unwind with attractive women.
There are not a huge number of street walkers in Taipei but some ladies do stand around looking for customers. Lin Shan N. Road is one of the most common places for street walkers to stroll. The area is also home to a number of other adult related businesses.
There are also many KTV or karaoke centers in Taipei. They operate as KTVs all over Asia do. A staff of women provides entertainment to customers who pay for use of the rooms as well as any drinks or food they purchase. Customers are expected to tip the women for their services. Some of the women will leav the KTVs with customers but others will not.
Many of the biggest and most popular KTVs are located around Linsen North Road (林森北路). This is also a popular area for touts to seek out customers. Women sometimes work this area for customers too.
In both Linsen and the old Monga red light district in Wanhua some of these women try to pull customers into their lounges and tea houses. The main customer base is made up of immigrant workers and older locals which is why these places are often referred to by locals as a gong diam (阿公店) or “grandfather shops”.
Monga was a large and open red light district until laws passed in the early 1990’s banned the sale of sexual services in Taiwan. Recently however there has been talk of establishing a legal zone for prostitution in Monga, probably in response to the fact that prostitution continues in the area on an underground basis even though it is officially outlawed.