Thursday, August 11, 2011

a kaiami guide to shopping in taipei.

Here's to you, anon. This is in no way an ultimate Taipei shopping guide. Just some shopping places that I like and/or suggest. I'd been meaning to make one of these, but I didn't take many pictures in Taiwan because I often forgot my camera at home. Instead I'm using and crediting pictures. In Taipei city, the underground metro is really convenient. It's also pretty foreigner friendly, since translations are available everywhere.


SOGO: located in Zhongxiao Fuxing station (blue line).
photo from
There are several Sogo department stores in Taipei, but I am most familiar with these two. The white building is Zhongxiao Sogo, which is one of the earlier Sogos, and also the one that I grew up going to. Every hour, the clock in the from plays "It's a Small World." Worth seeing once, I think. There's a Junkudo in this Sogo, which, I think, is the best place to buy Japanese books in Taiwan. Manga section is HUGE. There's maybe 12 floors in this Sogo that carries things ranging from cosmetics to children's toys.

photo from soeperbaby on flickr
The blue building is the Fuxing Sogo. It's pretty much just right across the street from Zhongxiao Sogo. I've only been to this Sogo once, but it carries all the designer brands. Some that I can remember from the top of my head are Burberry, Chanel, McQ, Vivienne Westwood, Mulberry. And then there's a lower floor that has Nine West and Aldo. That kind of stuff.


Wufenpu (五分埔)

Photo from

photo from wikipedia
I've only been to wufenpu once, and that was about two years ago. I don't remember much about it, but I feel like these pictures are pretty inaccurate of what I do remember. When I was there, it was really messy and hard to get around, and hard to find anything decent for sale. But! In Taiwan, there are several stores that sell the same things because they have the same supplier. Many stores get their clothes here and then sell them in the streets for a marked up price. So if you're looking for the cheapest place to get clothes, it might as well be here.


Hankyu Department Store (阪急): Located at Taipei City Hall Station (blue line)

photo from
Hankyu is pretty boring, actually. It opened late last year, so it's relatively new. It's worth going if you want to check out Uniqlo. This year, they had Big Bang shirts, Disney, Harry Potter I think, Cath Kidston, Barbie shirts, and some other cool stuff.


Taipei Underground Metro Mall: located in Taipei Main Station (the big station; red/blue line)

photo from

photo taken by me
photo by mom
The underground mall isn't as popular as it used to be; but still fun to go to. Especially on rainy days. There are several underground malls at the Taipei Main Station. The big one is supposed to Taipei City Mall. Next to it are Station Front Metro Mall (I think this one is the one filled with a bunch of books), Zhongshan Metro Mall, and K Underground Mall. Somewhere there, there's also a new shopping center that I didn't really understand what it was. I left pretty quickly though, because everything was out of my price range.

The first picture on top is Zhongshan Metro Mall. The bottom two are from Taipei City Mall. There's a place on the left side all the way near the back in the Taipei City Mall that sells ice cream for a good deal. It's a little more than a dollar for two big scoops. Sometimes I wish we had these deals in America. We make up for it for having affordable Haagan Daz. A small pint sized one costs about $10 in Taiwan.

Close and connected to the Taipei Main Station is the Taipei Railway Station. There are shops there too. It used to just be stores. I think it's considered to be Breeze Department Store now.


Eslite 誠品: located closest to Taipei City Hall station, next to Shin Kong Mitsukoshi (blue line)

photo from Wikipedia

Photo by mom
Eslite is supposed to be a bookstore, but most Eslite locations carry a lot more than just books. This one is the main building, and is my favorite building in Taipei. It also has really expensive stuff. There's a stationery store, CD store, and floors with food, clothes, and books.

photo by me
The reason I love this building so much is because of the urban fashion floor. I could just live on this floor please. The first store I see while walking in is Yohji Yamamoto's Y-3. And then as I go in more, I see a store with a giant poster with an Aitor Throup sketch. Aitor Throup!!!! I'm such a fan. But the real winner is this store that I took a photo of, TuanTuan. Half the store is dedicated to Comme des Garcons. This is the most CDG I've seen in my life. I'm not even joking. I was shaking while touching the clothes. The other half of the store carries equally awesome designers such as Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owen, Balenciaga, and then I don't remember the rest. They're all hand-picked awesome designers, though.


Taipei 101: located closest to Taipei City Hall Station (blue line)

photo by me

photo by mom
Everyone knows of Taipei 101, right? There's actually not that many floors you can visit. If you pay about ten bucks, you can take the elevator to a high floor. They don't actually take you to the 101 floor though. I think it was 89th. Most of the stores on the available floors are high end stores that I don't really go to. Taipei 101 is a tourist spot, though, which is why it's on my list. Worth seeing, but once is probably more than enough. If you go to the OnePage bookstore, there'll be a lot of English speaking customers roaming around. English books are available there.


Ximending: located on Ximen station (blue line)

photo taken by mom

photo by heart of serpendipity
Seems that Ximending is pretty well known nowadays too. This is the most popular hangout place for students. This is where I always get my haircuts, because they're cheap. It was $12 for me for a wash massage and a cut. The only downside is that their cuts are pretty mediocre. Both times that I've had my hair cut here, I've felt relatively neutral about my hair. Ximending is one of my favorite places just because finding things is really convenient. There are a lot of clothing stores, CD stores with import CDs, this one anime store, and a big beauty supply store called Miranda.

Shilin Night Market: get off at Jiantan Station (red line)

photo by stan2china
If you've heard of night markets, you've probably heard of Shilin Night Market. Night Markets are all about shopping and food. Sometimes you can find things a little cheaper at the night markets. On most days, especially weekends, there'll be a sea of people. Avoid getting in those, because you literally wont be able to walk in those crowds. You just get pushed through people. Weekdays are just a little better. The thing is, I have blah luck so almost every time I go it's raining, so there are significantly fewer people. The streetside stores wont be there on rainy days though.


Danshui/Tamshui (淡水): located on Danshui station (red line)

photo by

Photos by me/ mom

Tamshui is Danshui in Taiwanese. So either way you say it in English is ok. Danshui is one of those places that I visit twice a year. The shopping area is called the old street, and is filled with all types of stores. More to the back, is a store that sells ocarinas. Ocarina is the only instrument I play (badly, though). I used to buy from there before I started making my own. I also get all of my backpacks here. Including those floral backpacks everyone keeps asking me about.

From Danshui, you can take a boat to Bali or the fisherman's wharf.

photo by mom
Bali is good if you want to go biking. You can rent bikes there, with a choice between a single bike, two person bike, or 4 person bike.

photo from gilron
At the fisherman's wharf, there's this pretty bridge. That's pretty much the only good thing there. Fisherman's wharf is a relatively long boat ride from Danshui. I don't think it's always been like this, but this year when I went to visit, it was like a ghost town. Nearly all the stores were closed/vacant.

Anddd there are the big places that I suggest! Shopping in Taiwan is fun, and there are shops everywhere in Taipei. Even stores like 7-11 and Watsons (convenience/ drug store) are fun. If you're looking for something more specific, I can't promise I know where to find what you're looking for, but feel free to shoot me a question.

Department stores carry a lot of Japanese imported brands and higher end Taiwanese brands, as well as imported foreign ones. Some of my personal favorite Taiwanese clothing brands are Gozo, Art Icon, a la sha, and J Daheck. Street brands are always nice, though, because you can look through pieces that have been picked out already and then haggle.

Taiwan is still constructing and rebuilding, so no matter what, this will still be incomplete.

Love, Kai


Magnet said...

The shopping there looks incredible.

Anonymous said...

thanks!! <3

Kaiami said...

No problem! I hope you have fun! :)

Cheap MLB Jerseys said...

I just wanted to add a comment here to mention thanks for you very nice ideas. Blogs are troublesome to run and time consuming thus I appreciate when I see well written material.
Your time isn't going to waste with your posts. Thanks so much and stick with it No doubt you will definitely reach your goals! Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

THANKS! I've been to Taiwan 3 times already, so I've pretty much visited all the touristy stops in Taipei already. Thanks for your really nice ideas! :DD Good day! :D

Rabea said...

Hi there, I found this blog at Google and I found it to be really interesting. I still have a special question. I will be in Taipeh in a couple of days for a stay over of my flieghts and I was wondering if you could help me out a little. I would like to find some earrings and a scarf, preferable locally produced. Would be great if you have any helpful information. Thank you very much! Rabea (

m.c said...

I am looking for Hello Kitty Key pad casing for mac air. Any ideal where can I find it in Taipei?

Jhon Staphen said...

there have brilliant ways of Taiwan like traveling in markets with best brands in Asia. nice views entertainment places. thanks so much this beautiful lands views.

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Unknown said...

Hi Kaia! My name is Elise from South Korea:)
I'm so glad to find your blog post while I was searching Comme Des garcons store in Taipei.
Actually, I'm planning to visit Taipei in Feb this year!
I have a quick questions about Comme Des Garcons store in Taipei.
Is Tuan Tuan in Eslite the only Comme Des Garcons store in taipei? and also,what about the general price of Comme Des Garcons clothes compare to Japan local price?
Have a great day, Kaia :D

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