Sightseeing in Taipei is fun but just like any holiday, a tourist would love the opportunity to also shop when they are on a vacation. Luckily Taipei is also an interesting shopping destination. To be honest, when I first received the itinerary for the recent media trip to Taipei, the part with shopping tours did not seem too interesting for me. However I was proven wrong as I actually enjoyed the (window) shopping experience in this happening city.
One place should be on everyone’s list is Ximending Shopping District.
Ximending is not only a shopping haven, it is also one of the city’s culture centres home to a massive variety of fashion clothing shops, wide-ranging restaurants and kiosks that sells interesting stuff.
Known to some as “Harajuku of Taipei”, this place is perfect spot for people watching while enjoying a cup of Taipei’s famous bubble milk tea.
Good news for Malaysians. Fridge magnets (Malaysian’s favourite travel souvenirs) are available here. Bargaining is not possible or maybe my charm just did not work on the sales girls.
Or simply spend time doing window shopping and check out things that are unique to Taiwan.
Besides Ximending, we also enjoyed our time at Raohe Street Night Market, another “must see” shopping place.
In Taipei alone there are a quite a few night markets that specialise on different kind of goods so be sure to allocate at least one evening to check out these markets.
Raohe Street Night Market is mainly for food and unfortunately almost all are not suitable for Muslim visitors. However it was still a nice walk and there are adjacent shops that sell souvenirs and clothing.
Street shopping at the night markets and Ximending are fun but what I love the most is actually our visit to Eslite Spectrum.
When I first saw the building I was like “Why on earth do we have to go to a mall? We have lots of this in KL”.
Once again, I was proven to be wrong. After spending about an hour at Eslite Spectrum, I was impressed by its concept and wish we got to spend more time at this mall.
Eslite Spectrum is not your ordinary shopping mall. It is actually a bookstore that has evolved into a “cultural experience” shopping mall with different floors for books, lifestyle, food, shopping and simply tea sipping.
Even the products like the fashion range are mainly local designers and not those big brands that you would usually see on departmental stores.
The part that I find very interesting is the “lifestyle” activities that you can do within one mall. From film processing to carving to creating your own piece of jewellery. Now that’s a romantic way of spending an afternoon.
Every corner of this mall is carefully designed and very instagram-able!
So yes, Eslite Spectrum is in my opinion worth spending some time at even if you do not want to buy anything. I could imagine a good few hours of coffee, books and people watching here as part of a relaxing holiday. Oh, there is also a theatre on the ground floor of the building which I think is also quite a cool appeal for a mall.
During our trip, the media delegates were also brought to Syntrend Tech Mall.
This is like the high-end version of Malaysia’s Low Yatt and Imbi combined. Although not as sexy as those huge tech and gadget malls in Japan, Syntrend is still worth a visit especially if you are a tech-geek.
The concept at this mall is more of a experiencing the latest technology. Visitors get to try various latest gadgets and trends like virtual reality.
Visitors can also purchase gadgets and IT stuff but due to higher exchange rates and possible international warranty issues, the price was not too attractive for Malaysians.
After a full day of shopping tour, I have to say that it was not too bad of an experience. I’m sure my other half enjoyed the day shopping but for me the experience is kind of fun especially being at Eslite Spectrum where shopping is not just about buying stuff 🙂
Next up… Halal food in Taipei!.
Malindo Air flies daily to Taipei with attractive rates, free luggage allowance, inflight-meals and free inflight entertainment. Head on to MalindoAir.com for more details.