When traveling, shopping for souvenirs on the last day of your trip is always one of those love/hate activities. It’s so much fun, but it also gives you a huge headache. What should I buy? Where can I get them? Is it the cheapest there is? Is the quality okay?
If you’re having a hard time deciding where to start your souvenirs hunting, head over to one of the places below: they will give you plenty of ideas to choose from.
Ximending Red House
The Red House located in Ximending is home to Taipei’s creative and culture industry. The complex of nearly a century old was originally built to serve as a public market place, and has evolved throughout time to become the multi-functional building of today, hosting art exhibitions and shows on a daily basis.
Within the Red House, you’ll find a creative boutique of two floors filled with small shops promoting their own unique products. Postcards in the shape of a big tea bag (with actual tea leaves), “I LOVE TAIWAN” T-shirts written in Chinese calligraphy, old-school pins with Taiwanese sayings, aboriginal handmade scarfs… you can definitely find something special and different here. Note: if it’s still not enough, walk around in the Ximenting area for even more shopping, the prices get cheaper there!
Due to its close location to the Dadaocheng Wharf, the 800-meters long street used to be the central trading market for Chinese herbal medicine, rice and tea, as well as fabrics. The whole area has a nostalgic feel to it, walking around makes you feel like you’ve jumped back in time.
While being quiet on most days, Dihua Street becomes crazily packed a few days before Chinese New Year’s Eve, with thousands of people trying to squeeze into the shops for free samples and vendors yelling their lungs out.
If you are into dried goods and candies, this is the place to be. There are a wide variety of stalls selling dried items and local snacks (there’s a “fish candy” that you must try, it used to be considered a yummy treat for kids back in the day), feel free to try them out before buying!
This is for the lazy ones: you can actually find most of the typical Taiwanese souvenirs in any local supermarket! Places like Wellcome, Px Mart and even Carrefour offer the cheapest prices when it comes to food-related souvenirs, and often have a very wide range of brands to pick from. Here are some products that you could bring home:
- Tea leaves (oolong and high-mountain tea are must-buy flavors)
- Instant noodles (the brands Tongyi and Weili are the most popular ones)
- Pineapple cake (the best snack to go with a cup of tea)
- Egg rolls (be careful as it is easily breakable)
- Dried shredded squid (there are spicy and normal flavors)
- Pork or beef jerky
Taipei City Mall
You will have a lot of fun shopping here, at the biggest underground shopping street in Taiwan. It is more than 800 meters long, and has everything you can ever think of: food and drinks, makeup stores, massage center, electronics, clothing and even anime merchandise! There are also a lot of affordable and whacky souvenirs to buy; everything is cheap here so take your time to get lost.