The capital of Taiwan, Taipei is a fascinating metropolis known for its many thriving night markets and vibrant street food scene. It is also characterized by bustling shopping streets, Japanese colonial lanes, and modern buildings. Here, you’ll find the Taipei 101 skyscraper that is 509 meters (1669.95 feet) tall which has an observatory at the top, where you can have uninterrupted views of the city. Also, at its base are numerous high-end shops and stores. If you’re done with the sightseeing and ready to go souvenir hunting, then you have to check out our list of the best things to buy in Taipei, Taiwan. Happy shopping!
1. Mini sky lanterns
One of the most popular festivals in Taiwan is the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival. Vacationers can also fly a sky lantern with their wishes written on it, anytime, at the Shifen Old Street. But, what most people don’t know is that you can also buy a mini version of a sky lantern and take it home as a souvenir. It makes a good ornament, decorative item, or you buy it as a gift for your friend back at home.
2. Mochi products
Another great find in Taipei is mochi products. This local delicacy is made of glutinous rice and has a sweet or tangy filling in the center that seeps out through its skin when you squish or bite it. A lot of people love this sweet treat for its variety and flavors. You can also eat it any way you want it. Since it is made of sticky rice you can freeze the mochi and have it like ice cream. It is also a festival food staple so expect to find more of it during any kind of event or celebration in Taipei.
3. Oolong tea
Are you a fan of tea or do you have someone in your family who loves it? If so, then you have to buy the Oolong Tea. If France is to wine, then Taiwan is to tea, for its climate makes it easy for them to grow and cultivate tea. Oolong Tea is the most popular and most sought-after tea in Taiwan. You have to taste it to know why. So make sure to bring a box of tea leaves or two before heading home.
You can always buy jade anywhere in the world, but what you’ll find in the Jade Market in Taiwan has a rare quality of its own. You’ll find here the most beautiful jade in different sizes and shapes. Since Taipei offers the finest quality jade, make sure you have a fair amount of money with you because this magnificent piece does not come cheap.
5. Pineapple cake
One of the best things you can take home from your trip to Taipei is their famous pineapple cake. It is a pastry with a sweet surprise in the form of a pineapple paste at the gooey center. This sweet treat is also said to bring good luck and fortune to anyone who devours it. It is stored in an airtight container, making it easy for you to take home with no hassle. Make sure to bring some and let your loved ones have a taste of what Taiwan has to offer.
6. Taiwanese peanut nougat
If you have been crossing out peanut nougats from your list of things to buy when in Taipei, thinking that it is the same nougats you buy in candy stores, then you are in for a big surprise. The Taiwanese peanut nougats are a sweet treat that is hard but chewy and has lots of peanuts in them. You’ll also find some with sesame oil or brown sugar. It is one of the most traditional delicacies of the country that you’ll find boxes of it everywhere, most especially during festivals and celebrations.
One of the most popular souvenirs you can take home when you visit Taipei is their French nougats from Sugar and Spice. This nougat is supple but chewy and has an almond and milky flavor. It is also has a long shelf-life and comes in a cute packaging, which is very convenient for traveling, making it one of the best local delicacies you can bring back home. Another good thing about this French nougat is that you can pick it from the airport with the help of Klook.
Sugar & Spice French Nougat (Taiwan Airport Pick Up)
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8. Taiwan-style postcards
In case you think that a postcard is a cliche form of souvenir and doubt yourself if you should want to buy them, then you’ll be surprised for the postcard has a charm of its own. These are not your typical postcard for they are made of wood and depicts local sceneries and landmarks. They are also affordable and make a beautiful decorative item that you can display at home or on your fridge door.
9. Taiwanese glove puppets
One of the biggest and oldest forms of entertainment in Taiwan is glove puppetry. It is a type of Chinese Opera that made use of gloves puppet to entertain people through storytelling sessions and the topics revolve around popular folklore. These puppet gloves are also a favorite among tourists. You can buy them at Chang Yi Fang Puppet Creations and Puppetry Art Center of Taipei. It makes for a great gift for kids and people who are into collectibles from different cultures.
10. Oil paper umbrellas
A sign of good luck and fortune in Taiwan, oil paper umbrellas are bright, multi-colored, and come in beautiful designs. They were originally used by the Hakka people to shade themselves from the sun, as a protection against the rain, and during ceremonies like weddings or a right of passage for their sons. To this day, these umbrellas serve as an ornament, a decor, and a collective item. You can buy them mostly in the older parts of Taipei and in the night markets like Huaxi Street Night Market.
What to buy in Taipei
Taipei is an interesting city to visit if you’re into street foods and night markets. But, aside from those, it also boasts of many delicacies, quirky items, traditional decors, and many more artifacts which make for a good souvenir. In case you’re wondering what to buy in Taipei, check out our list of the best souvenirs you can bring back home from your trip to Taipei, Taiwan.
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