June 11, 2010
World Cup Fever
It’s World Cup time again and even Taiwan has not escaped football fever, or soccer fever if you insist.
Should you be visiting during the competition and want to catch a game, fear not. Despite the fact that Taiwan is usually far more focussed on baseball and basketball, the World Cup seems to bring out the fans in surprising numbers. Taiwan will not be appearing in the competition, and having seen them play in the pre-qualifiers I am not surprised, but there is still a lot of interest.
The opening game (South Africa vs. Mexico) is being shown in the Xinyi District by the Vieshow Cinema complex (map here) on a high-defintion large screen. I’ve seen some baseball games screened live there and it is fun.
If you are watching local TV, you can watch a lot of the games on Much TV (scan the channels as the exact channel varies, although 38 is common). You won’t get English commentary though. For that there are a plethora of places to choose from. Bars/restaurants that don’t even usually have a screen at all often get one hooked up for the tournament. The boss of a well-known chain of pubs/clubs told me that although he hates doing so, the demand is such that he can’t refuse. Many of the large hotel chains also seem to be showing the games.
There are too many places to mention, obviously, but I will recommend the Tavern (http://www.tavern.com.tw/) as they have a fantastic array of screens inside, and a giant screen outside. Be warned though, almost every venue gets packed for games regardless of the time the games start, so it would be wise to either call ahead and make a reservation or get there way early. There is a good guide to the teams and where to watch here.
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