December 08, 2008

Shopping in Taipei

In the 1970s, Ximending was a prosperous entertainment centre crowded with movie theatres, dance clubs, performance venues and coffee shops, but its influence waned with the rise of the city's other commercial districts. Following a period of revitalization, Ximending is once again a booming area with diverse entertainment venues and shops catering to Taipei's youth. Plenty of street boutiques and shops selling strange and interesting gadgets stand next to one another in the winding back-alleys. I bought some bags and several pairs of shoes but the photos were lost when my hard disk crashed, so nothing to show here.

Night markets are great places to shop for bargains and feel the pulse of Taiwan's after-hours life. The markets are a bustle of noise and energy, with friendly restaurant owners calling out their menus, stall holders calling out their wares, and crowds of curious onlookers, shoppers and diners mingling together in the night air. We visited Shida Road night market near National Taiwan Normal University. This night market features mostly snack food and other low-priced items needed by students.

One of the largest and most bustling night markets in Taipei, Shilin night market has a vast collection of food stalls selling a diverse selection of economically priced Taiwanese snacks. There are also numerous stalls selling a wide variety of products from clothing to toys and watches. This night market continues from noon until the early hours of the next day. In addition to its fame for great food, the night market's proximity to several schools has made it a magnet for teenagers shopping for clothes, accessories, cosmetics, music CDs, DVDs and other bargain items. During the day, it functions as a day market selling fresh produce and food items.

Dihua Street is a popular destination with old buildings, temples and one of Taipei's biggest markets for traditional dry foods, snacks and Chinese medicine. During the Chinese New Year, it is converted into a street dedicated to selling CNY goodies like peanuts, kuaci, sweets, dried vegetables and fruits, and many more. The last night before we left, the CNY festive sales began and we had the opportunity to experience shopping for CNY goodies in Taipei. Unfortunately the colourful photos of Dihua Street, and photos of my Taipei shopping loot were among the casualty of my hard disk crash, hence this rather lackluster post.


agnes said...

well.. love ximenting too.. ;) and managed to shop a lot there the last time I went...

LittleLamb said...

I heard that shopping in Taipei now is very worthwhile. Their goods are of better quality and customer service is good. Furthermore pricing also good right??

jazzmint said...

whoa...tis really good guide for taiwan trip ;)

A Mom's Diary said...

Agnes - we stayed in Ximenting so we went jalan-jalan practically every night.

LittleLamb - customer service is OK, nothing to shout about. Their shoes are really a good bargain.

Jazz - make it your next annual trip with Mr. Hon.