Taiwan — Shopping and Leisure
Taiwan has several types of shopping ranging from markets to malls, with something to suit every pocket. Taiwan is a cash society so most purchases should be made with cash, as many stores either don’t accept credit cards, or apply a hefty surcharge. Taiwan is known for affordable and exciting shopping, with clothes, shoes, computers, jade and tea being some of the common items for tourists to buy.
Night markets are endemic across Taiwan and are the place to try local specialty foods, pick up souvenirs and get bargains on everything from handbags to t-shirts. If prices are not marked, that is the cue to haggle, which is done with good humor on both sides. Some of the bigger and better known night markets are the Shilin Night Market (between Dadong Road, Danan Road, Wenlin Road and Jihua Road) in Taipei, FengJia Night Market (Fengjia Road, Taichung, Taiwan) in Taichung, and Liouhe Night Market (Zihli 2nd Road to Liouhe 2nd Road of Jhongshan 1st road in Sinsing District) at Kaohsiung.
At the other end of the scale are Taiwan’s trendy shopping streets and Malls. Kaohsiung has Taiwan’s largest mall, Dream Mall (No.789 Zhonghua 5 Road,Qianzhen District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan) which features nine stories and three basement floors of shops, famous brand department stores, movie cinemas, restaurants, a gym, and even a Ferris wheel. The landmark Taipei 101 building (No7 Hsinyi Road Section 5, Taipei City) is home to one of Taiwan’s most famous malls, and the place to go for elegant dining or shopping for designer brands, high end fashion and beauty products. In Taichung city, Taichung Central Mall (186, Fushing Road, section 4, Taichung) offers over 300 shops, a SEGA amusement centre, fitness centre, movie theaters, restaurants, and cafes.
Out of the malls and away from the markets, Taiwan has several trendy shopping streets where shoppers can people-watch or arrange a wardrobe upgrade. The neon streets of Taipei’s Ximending District (Ximending District, Taipei, Taiwan) have been compared to Japan’s Harajyuku and are known as the area in Taiwan from which trends originate. Bustling Yizhong Street (Yizhong Street, Bei District, Taichung, Taiwan) is the most popular shopping district in Taichung city, particularly amongst young people.