Monday, November 8, 2010

TAIWAN TRAVEL 2010: Guide to Shopping in TAIPEI 臺北

Finally!!! My Shopping Journey around Taipei Main Station Underground Mall (台北地下街 Táiběi Dìxiàjiē), Shilin Nightmarket (士林夜市 Shìlín Yèshì), Wufenpu Wholesale Clothing Market (五分埔), Xi Men Ding 西門町, Raohe Street Nightmarket ( 饒河街觀光夜市 Ráohé Jiē Guānguāng Yèshì), Shida Nightmarket (師大夜市 Shīdà Yèshì), Gongguan Nightmarket 公館夜市, and Lung Shan Market.

I know it's year end and a lot of people are actually planning holiday trips to Taiwan :-D

Neili Train Station, this was where I lived in Taoyuan and the starting point of my shopping adventures every weekend :-)

While waiting for the train...Taking the train and MRT is convenient and inexpensive in Taiwan...Would be good if you'd know some Mandarin to ask around for directions & read signs.


Wu Fen Pu is a place where most of the clothing distributor are. You'll get all the LATEST taiwanese/japanese/korean here and is by far the CHEAPEST place to shop in Taipei ( I've surveyed around ALL shopping places in Taipei!!! You're Welcome!!! :-D)

Do NOT go on Mondays and Fridays coz that is when they take a stock check and only sell to distributors...Songshan Station stop is the closest to Wu Fen Pu, but would still need to walk 5-10 minutes before reaching your destination. Do ask around so that people can direct you there.


Raohe nightmarket is located 10 minutes walk from Wu Fen has the best Archway/Entrance amongst all the other nightmarkets in Taipei.

After Shu Ying (new intern) and I shopped like CRAZY in Wu Fen Pu we headed to Raohe Nightmarket for food...we didn't know what to eat so we just followed the "crowd" and lined up at this pepper biscuit/bao place :-D

*Update Dec 2012: I recently read that this particular Pepper Bun was "one of the things to eat in Raohe Nightmarket,Taipei"...I can't read Chinese, so I'm glad that throughout my 2 months stay in Taiwan, I manage "bumped" into many of the great street food there.

It was pretty good actually but slightly TOO peppery for me...

Took the MRT to Taipower Building Station stop to go to Shida Nightmarket

Didn't buy ANYTHING AT ALL!!! The Things & Food were overpriced...Much more expensive compared to other shopping/food locations in Taipei.

Took the MRT to Gongguan Nightmarket...

Eventhough this place is called "nightmarket" but it's just rows of shops...It's located near NTNU (National Taiwanese Normal University) so you'll spot a lot of University students...ahem***CUTE GUYS WHO ARE MY AGE***ahem

Saw alot of people lining up here also so we (Shu Ying and I) followed them and lined up also :-P

We didn't make the wrong choice, it was OMG YUMMY!!!!!!!! Fresh Milk, Brown Sugar and Tapioca Pearl...No tea at all...something new for a change...

*Update Dec 2012: Ochado Tea House Chain in Malaysia tried to create a similar drink but it cannot be compared to the one that I had here in Gongguan Night Market :-( Still craving for this drink until today! (2 years later!)


Surprisingly, a lot of Halloween stuff were being sold around, though ironically, Taiwan is not even as westernised as Malaysia

Some pastry shop mascot

Underground Shopping Mall...there are ALOT of shopping malls/shops in the MRT stations...most of the fashion here quite "lala"/ah beng though....But I managed to get some clothes (corsets) from a COSPLAY shop *winks*:-P

You'll see a lot of this kind of game machines around, even in nightmarkets

Even mothers who are "supposed to look after their babies" like the one above playing with this machine :-P

The famous SHILIN nightmarket where all tourist die die also must go :-)

Saw a lot of people lining LINED UP TOO!!! v (^__^) v

Then while lining up, I found out they were selling something called "Sheng Jian Bao"... A Shanghainese/Taiwanese delicacy. They even have a!

Available with meat filling or...

with vegetable filling

It's actually "bao"...cooked in broth instead of the usual "steamed" dim sum style...very very nice :-)

Smelly Tofu...Not as smelly as the Cheras Pasar Malam ones...I find the smell of smelly tofu in China, Hong Kong & Taiwan milder than the ones available in Malaysia. But, in these'd get soupy/slimy version ones too :-S

Mango ICE!!! Yummy!!! A must eat at Shilin Nightmarket :-)

Tired but happy "post-shopping" face :-)

There's this place located between Shilin Night Market & Shilin Food place that sell pets and domestic animals.

Sharon Lum!!! If you're reading this, I know you'd love this place :-)

Shilin Nightmarket is usually packed with people unless you go early at 5-6pm or later at 11-12pm


Xi Men Ding was the first "shopping area" I visited while living in Taiwan...Xi Men Ting is like the Harajuku of Taiwan XD

I always loved Yoshinoya's Beef Rice, Too bad it has since closed down in Malaysia...Available here at Xi Men Ding!

Was there before opening time (12pm), hence every shop was still closed and streets empty

Cute/Kawaii wear (if you're that type of girl...)

Goth/Cosplay wear

9.30am....and already a lot of people were lining up to get tickets at the cinema

Cinema ticket prices are more expensive here compared to memory, it was about RM 20-30

Since majority of the shops weren't opened yet, I decided to head to the FAMOUS Ah Zhong Mee Suah

Hmmmm...maybe I not much of a savoury food kinda person la...Not as nice as I thought it would be :-P

Bought ALOTTT of Beauty Talk products too...also available in SASA in Malaysia's freaking RM40 cheaper than in Malaysia!!!!! Stocked up and also bought their eye cream which won some kind of award :-D

*Update Dec 2012: This product kinda lost its effectiveness after using Laneige's sleeping mask...Is H20 sleeping mask good? Do write me a comment ;-)

The super "chun" 7 Eleven are available all over Taiwan...There are so many food items available and you can even find PORK BURGER!!! ATM machines are available in most 7 eleven too :-)

Some spray painter guy.....dunno why he had so many audience... like "Jakun" never see before :-P...ok...I'm one of them...

Around 3pm, Xi Men Ding would be like this...People Mountain People Sea..XD Was there the whole day! Shopping here is also EXPENSIVE!


Only took picture of the famous Lung Shan Temple (a tourist spot) from afar because my host family were rushing...

My host mum and her mum came here to buy clothes for their brother/son's engagement ceremony...Super "auntie" fashion :-P No young people clothes here...sorry!

Apparently, Engagement ceremonies before the actual Wedding is a MUST is Taiwan..

1. The Prices of clothes in Taiwan's nightmarket is equivalent with Sungei Wang & Times Square but the Quality is MUCH better and also more choices & trends which are more current. Cheapest place to shop for clothes are Shilin Nightmarket, Raohe Nightmarket & Wufenpu

2. Bargaining is necessary!!! But don't expect to slash prices until 50% off (like China & Indonesia) maybe can bargain until a few bucks cheaper of max RM 20 bucks cheaper only nia...

3. The Best Time to go shopping in TAIWAN (for Malaysians) is actually during autumn (September/October) coz we would get CHEAP clothes that is suitable for our weather ^__^ (off season summer fashion) but BE PREPARED to SWEAT alot!!! Due to global warming, "Autumn" is freaking warm!!! As hot as MALAYSIA!!!



Unknown said...

Hope you had a GREAT time in Taiwan!

Looks like you did.

You didnt try any Taiwan Dim sum?

Sarah May Low said...

Nope. Didn't have the chance to try any dim sum there :-( any good?

Mantinggggg said...

Which hotel do u stay at? That's convenience for us to shop easily. Do u have any recommendations for hotel stay?

Sarah May Low said...

Stayed at a dorm near Taipei main station and traveled around via their trains :-) Better to stay in a hotel if u have the budget :-)

Anonymous said...

hii, is November suitable for shopping in taiwan? (for malaysians)

Sarah May Low said...

A lot of winter wear are being sold in November :-( Not really suitable to be worn in our warm Malaysian weather :-(

Cheerybell said...

Hi Sarah. My mom, bro and I are going to Taipei for a week during the last week of May. Is may a good month for shopping - trends and prices?

How much (RM) would you suggest for 1 week?

Thanks =)

Sarah May Low said...

Hi Cheerybell,

May is great for shopping as the clothing available at that time is suitable for Malaysian weather. How much to bring depends on how much you wanna shop. DO take note that clothing prices are similar to Sungei Wang prices and food item prices/cost of living are practically the same as Malaysia. Have fun! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi! May i ask if there's shops that sell Laneige/Cellabelle beauty products in Taipei? Thanks! :)

Rachelle said...

Hi! May i ask if there's any shop that sells Laneige/Cellabelle products in Taipei?

megan said...

heyy! i would like to ask if end of march is a good time for shopping!! (for clothes to wear in singapore as well as malaysia) thanks :))

Sarah May Low said...

Hi Megan,

End of March would be great as the weather would be getting warmer. So all the spring/summer fashion items would be out for sale :-) Enjoy your trip!

Sarah May Low said...

Hi Rachele,

Haven't heard for Cellabelle but if Laneige is available, it won't be as cheap as in South Korea. Just came back from South Korea and the Laneige items are 1/3 the original price! Do look out for my post coming out soon :-)

Bowie T. said...

Hi Sarah, Is Mid Aug a good time to shop for clothings suitable for Singapore humid weather? Be there for 5 days so need some guides where to shop cheap other than those areas stated on your blog. Thanks in advance. :)

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