What are the best things to buy in Taiwan? The answer is lots! So much so that we have grouped them into various categories. Find out what are the most unique souvenirs you can buy in Taiwan in this installment of our Taiwan Travel Guide Series.
Top Things to Buy Back from Taiwan
Contents in this Article
- 1 Top Things to Buy Back from Taiwan
- 1.1 Best Food to Buy from Taiwan
- 1.1.1 1. Jiang Mu Cha (薑母茶) – Ginger Tea
- 1.1.2 2. Hai Yan Wo (海燕窩) – Brown Sugar With Coral Seaweed
- 1.1.3 3. Iron Eggs (鐵蛋)
- 1.1.4 4. Chun Cui He (純萃。喝)
- 1.1.5 5. Instant Noodles
- 1.1.6 6. Taiwan Confectionery
- 1.1.7 7. Mochi (Muah-Chee) and Fruit Jellies
- 1.1.8 8. Dried/Preserved Fruits and Nuts
- 1.1.9 9. Tea Leaves
- 1.2 Best Lifestyle and Fashion Products to Buy from Taiwan
- 1.2.1 10. Fashionable Clothes
- 1.2.2 11. Hair and Fashion Accessories
- 1.2.3 12. Umbrellas
- 1.2.4 13. Bags (RITE and Uma Hana)
- 1.2.5 14. Shoes (Fu Fa)
- 1.2.6 15. Cuddly Soft Toys
- 1.2.7 16. Cup Holders
- 1.3 Best Souvenirs to Buy from Taiwan
- 1.4 Best Beauty and Skincare Products to Buy from Taiwan
- 1.1 Best Food to Buy from Taiwan
Taiwan is a foodie’s and shopper’s haven. Things in Taiwan are not just extremely affordable, they taste good and are of good quality as well. In this article, we bring you the best 20 things that you can buy back from Taiwan. Scroll and read on!
Discover Book Travel Step by Step Itineraries
Best Food to Buy from Taiwan
Here are the best food items that you must bring home from your trip to Taiwan to share with family and friends:
1. Jiang Mu Cha (薑母茶) – Ginger Tea
Those with a cold constitution will love ginger tea for its beneficial effects in warming up the body. Perfect for a cold wintry day or to banish wind from your body, Taiwan’s ginger tea has been in existence for a long time. There are even added flavours such as brown sugar, red dates, and osmanthus to add variety to a already popular product.
Discover Book Travel Tip
Most of them are pre-packed into cubes making it easy to bring out of the country. Request for a sampling before you decide on buying.
Where to Buy Jiang Mu Cha (Ginger Tea) in Taiwan
Look around the shops at Taipei Main Station, Jiufen Old Street, Shifen Old Street, and Wulai Old Street.
Read More: How to Visit Jiufen and Shifen in one day
2. Hai Yan Wo (海燕窩) – Brown Sugar With Coral Seaweed
Said to be great for your complexion and for enhancing woman’s health, this collagen-rich beauty drink comes in prepacked cubes that are easy to store and travel with. To make the drink, simply boil each cube in a pot of boiling water. Add ice cubes to the finished product if you will like to serve it cold. What’s best is that it taste incredibly good for a health product. I personally love this beauty drink and highly recommend it to anyone visiting Taiwan.
Where to Buy Hai Yan Wo (海燕窩) in Taiwan
The shops that sell Jiang Mu Cha (Ginger Tea) will usually sell Hai Yan Wo as well.
3. Iron Eggs (鐵蛋)
Iron eggs are a specialty of Taiwan. They are stewed repeatedly in a broth of spices until the texture becomes chewy and are especially flavorful due to the strong infusion of spices. It is one of the must-try food items of Taiwan.
Where to Buy Iron Eggs (鐵蛋) in Taiwan
Danshui Old Street (淡水老街) in Taipei is the best place since it is where the iron eggs originates. Look for the shop Ah Po Tie Dan (阿婆鐵蛋) which is the original chef of iron eggs. They are available in vacuum-packed forms which makes it easier to bring home to friends and family.
4. Chun Cui He (純萃。喝)
These bottled milk tea and coffee beverages are so popular in Taiwan, they made waves when they were first imported into Singapore. Alas, only a limited range is available in Singapore, but in Taiwan, you’ll get to see lots of varieties never seen elsewhere. We highly recommend trying Mandheling (dark blue bottle) and Sumiyaki (black bottle) which is charcoal roasted coffee. You won’t want to try other bottled tea and coffee beverages after drinking this.
Where to Buy Chun Cui He (純萃。喝) in Taiwan
Available in all supermarkets, 7-11 and other convenience stores.
You may also like:
5. Instant Noodles
Taiwan’s convenience stalls are all well-stocked with instant noodles! Although a tiny portion of these are available in other countries, Taiwan remains the only place that has a huge range of its own locally made instant noodles. And they all taste incredibly good!
Those who love Taiwan Beef Noodles will be delighted to learn that they can be brought home in the form of instant noodles. We also highly recommend trying the Ja Jiang Mian (炸醬麵) and Hua Diao Ji Mian (花雕雞麵).
I’ve seen people at the airport shipping cartons of them back to Singapore! If you are wondering which brands to try, Man Han Da Can (滿漢大餐), Wei Lih (維力), TTL and Tung-Yi (統一) are your best bets.
Where to Buy Instant Noodles in Taiwan
Available at all supermarkets, 7-11 and other convenience stores.
You may also like:
6. Taiwan Confectionery
Taiwan’s confectionery are among the best in the world. The highly recommend ones are Pineapple Cakes – of which Sunny Hills and Chia Te are the absolute best in the market. There are also the Sun Cakes (Tai Yang Bing – 太陽餅) from Taichung. Sun cakes are flaky round cakes stuffed with a maltose filling.
Where to Buy the Best Confectionery in Taiwan
Sunny Hills is available at Taoyuan Airport and their own shops. Check out their website for a list of their stores. Chia Te is available at gift shops at the airport and at selected convenience stores.
Discover Book Travel Recommends
For added convenience, purchase your Chia Te Confectionery online and have it delivered right to your hotel.
7. Mochi (Muah-Chee) and Fruit Jellies
Taiwan is especially famous for their mochis – glutinous rice balls stuffed with sweet fillings. They are also among the best in the world, so don’t leave Taiwan without them. The best muah chees that we highly recommend are A-Mei Muah Chee (阿美) from Hualien and Joy-Way Mochi (久味) from Taichung.
Where to Buy Mochi and Fruit Jellies in Taiwan
Taipei Main Station has a great selection of Mochis and Jellies. They come beautifully packed as a gift-set.
8. Dried/Preserved Fruits and Nuts
Taiwan is one of the biggest exporters of preserved fruits and nuts. If you are a fan of these snacks, you can get them much cheaper and fresher in Taiwan. You may even get to sample them before buying.
Where to Buy Preserved Fruits and Nuts in Taiwan
Try the stall opposite Beacon Hotel which sell them in loose form, or the supermarkets which sell them in pre-packed form.
Read More: Hotel Review : Beacon Hotel Taichung
9. Tea Leaves
If you have a tea connoisseur at home, then the tea leaves from Taiwan will certainly be to their liking. Taiwan is huge on teas, and the tea leaves they grow can be said to be the best in the world. Besides concocting the best bubble teas in the world, they also infuse tea into their everyday lives – you’ll find things like tea soaps in the department stores! The best teas to buy back are Oolong, and the Sun Moon Lake Assam Red Tea (阿薩姆紅茶).
Where to Buy the Best Tea in Taiwan
Try the tea specialty shops, or if you are tight on budget, the supermarkets are actually a great place to look into.
Best Lifestyle and Fashion Products to Buy from Taiwan
10. Fashionable Clothes
The fashion is Taiwan is amazing! Don’t forget to do some clothes shopping while you are there!
Where to Buy Fashionable Clothes in Taiwan
There are a few local chain boutiques that specializes in street wear. They are easily found in and around the night markets. The department stores are also a great place to browse, but prices there are infinitely higher.
Read More: Kaohsiung Shopping Guide 101
11. Hair and Fashion Accessories
Besides Korea, Taiwan is actually one great place that has good quality and fashionable hair and fashion accessories. I once bought a Korean hair accessory in Taiwan for a third of its price in Singapore.
Where to Buy Hair and Fashion Accessories in Taiwan
The night markets and commercial districts around the night markets usually houses a few exclusive fashion accessory stores. You’ll find amazing pieces at amazing prices there.
Not many people realize this, but umbrellas are one of the specialties of Taiwan. The umbrellas from Taiwan not only make a fashion statement, but they can be innovative as well. Think along the lines of a USB-charged fan installed in a UV proof umbrella. Some of these are imported from Japan (another maker of great quality umbrellas) but the prices of Japanese umbrellas are definitely way cheaper in Taiwan than in Singapore.
Where to Buy Umbrellas in Taiwan
I personally like this store called Beautiful Sun. They have a few outlets, one of which is at Yongkang Street in Taipei. There are also umbrella shops at Taipei Main Station, Ximenting and at the commercial districts around night markets.
13. Bags (RITE and Uma Hana)
Just like clothes, the bags in Taiwan are great fashion pieces. My favourite brand is RITE which specializes in haversacks. They are light-weight, water resistant and anti-theft, which makes it great for daily use or for travel. Another highly recommended Taiwan brand is Uma Hana. Although both brands are available in other countries, the range and prices in Taiwan is still the best.
Where to Buy Bags in Taiwan
RITE stores are available at major departmental stores. UMA Hana stores are usually located within or around the periphery of major commercial districts.
14. Shoes (Fu Fa)
Some of the best and most comfortable shoes and slippers come from Taiwan. The brand I like most is Fu Fa. They have a very good range of cheap and comfortable canvas shoes that comes in great designs. In addition, try buying a pair customized wooden Japanese clogs. They not only look great, but remain odour-free permanently as the wooden base remains impermeable to sweat. Try the plastic slippers as well – they are cheap, light-weight and anti-slip.
Where to Buy Shoes in Taiwan:
Fu Fa stores are available at some night markets and at Jiufen Old Street. You can also buy your customized Japanese clogs at Jiufen Old Street.
15. Cuddly Soft Toys
Although UFO catchers have regained their popularity recently, we say buying them off the shelves may be less time-consuming and cheaper. In Taiwan, you get a huge selection of plush toys to choose from.
Where to Buy Plush Toys in Taiwan
Try the streets of Ximenting, and the night markets. We found a really good store at Fengjia Night Market.
16. Cup Holders
If there’s one thing that I urge you to buy, it will be this. These cup holders are a life-saver when navigating the night markets. They hold your drink securely in place so you can hang them off your wrists and free up your hand to tuck into the delectable snacks at the night markets. They are also light-weight, water-resistant and comes in great designs. Best of all, they are extremely cheap, washable and re-usable!
Where to Buy Cup Holders in Taiwan
They are definitely available at the night markets.
Best Souvenirs to Buy from Taiwan
17. Wooderful Life
Wooderful Life is a Taiwan brand that specializes in wooden music boxes and lifestyle accessories. Their products are so creative and well-crafted that its difficult not to fall in love with them. We’ve written a comprehensive article on Wooderful Life’s full range of products and you can read it here.
Where to Buy Wooderful Life Products in Taiwan
The full range of Wooderful Life Products are available at their own stores. A limited range is available at departmental stores, selected bookstores and souvenir shops.
18. Miniature Sky Lanterns
Those who have been to Shifen or Pingxi in Taipei, will likely have released a sky lantern or two. One of the best and most unique souvenirs to bring home are the miniatures of the sky lanterns. Each and every one of them are hand-crafted with words of blessings hand written on them. Some of them even comes with light and music. It makes the perfect gift for yourself or your family.
Where to Buy miniature sky lanterns in Taiwan
Most souvenir shops sell them, but the best range are to be found at the old streets of Jiufen, Shifen and Pingxi.
Read More: Releasing Sky Lanterns (天燈) at Ping Xi (平溪)
19. Cute and Pretty Stationery
Taiwan has some of the cutest and prettiest stationery around in the world. Don’t forget to buy back a few of these creative stationery pieces as a remembrance of your trip.
Where to Buy beautiful stationery in Taiwan
Try looking at POYA – a budget chain store in Taiwan. They have quite the range of pretty stationery around. The accessory shops at the night markets sometimes carry a good range as well.
Read More: Top 10 Skincare Products to buy in Taiwan
20. Local Aborigine-Made Products
The aboriginal tribes are an important heritage of Taiwan. Pick out a few pieces of the aboriginal made crafts as a remembrance of your trip!
Best Beauty and Skincare Products to Buy from Taiwan
Do you know that besides Korea and Japan, Taiwan offers some of the most amazing skincare products in Asia. Read through our completely updated article on the best beauty and skincare products to buy in Taiwan.
We hope you find this article useful in your trip planning. We love to hear from you. Please drop us your comments in the comments box below.
PIN IT for later