Things to Buy in Taipei for Souvenirs

This is a list of all souvenirs, gifts, and pasalubong you should consider buying while traveling to Taipei, Taiwan. Read on to learn what to blow your money on.

I’ve lived in Taiwan for over 5 years now and have learned what’s difficult to get outside the country. That inspired me to write this guide.

What to Buy in Taiwan Supermarkets

The following are excellent “souvenirs” find(able) in Taiwanese supermarkets like PX Mart, Carrefour, and A-Mart:

Taiwan beerTaiwan-based spirits
Cheap pineapple & sun cakesChili sauce
Affordable mochiMr. Brown instant coffee
Crispy pork paperInstant noodles
Taiwanese nougat candiesKuai Kuai Corn Puff Snacks
Dried shredded squidI-Mei Mini Puffs
Cheap loose-leaf teaUnique Coca Cola flavors
Taiwanese fruit jellyCastella cakes
Yakult Gummy Candies

There’s too much to cover here. I’ll go more in-depth in a separate guide at a later date.


Best Things to Buy for Souvenirs

StickersP.Seven PerfumeTaiwanese Snacks
Rice WinePlum WineMountain Oolong Tea
Pineapple CakesSun CakesSnacks
Name StampsPhotosMochi
Kavalan WhiskeyKinmen Kaoliang Liquor3D Smart Cards
JadeMeat-Shaped StonesTiny Sky Lanterns
Green TeaCeramicsSheet Masks
Chili SauceBeer

I won’t cover most souvenirs in the table above in depth. Because I did so in a separate guide on general souvenirs to get in Taiwan. Souvenirs you’d want in every city will remain the same—for the most part.

This guide will focus specifically on souvenirs you’d want to snatch while you’re in Taipei City. You’ll need this guide whether you’re staying only in Taipei, or traveling around the entire country and stopping by.

All my content separates New Taipei and Taipei Cities. Thus, I won’t provide any souvenir recommendations for the former.

Let’s get to it.


1. Taiwan-style Postcards

taiwanese postcards, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
  • Avg. Price: NT$50–100

Postcards are the lightest souvenir you could pack and take home for your family, friends, and colleagues. Though, they’re a bit of a pain to prevent from crinkling in luggage. Counter this by stuffing them in a book and placing the book in your luggage.

Or send them to folks you care about from Taiwan. It cost me NT$50 to get a stamp to mail a postcard from the post office and mail it to the US. I also didn’t need to speak to the post office staff.

I handed them the post card and NT$100—assuming the postage would cost less than that amount.

Where to get Taiwan-style Postcards

Find Taiwan-style postcards at the following places:

  • Tourist hotspots: e.g., Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall & Taipei 101
  • Handmade gift shops or stalls: Generally more expensive.
  • Souvenir shops: Cheap & generic (generally).
  • Supermarkets/hypermarkets: Rare to find here.

2. Crispy Pork Paper

  • Avg. Price: NT$100+
  • Chinese Name: 猪肉纸
  • Includes: Pork, dried apples, & almonds.
  • Texture: Crispy & chewy.

Crispy pork paper—also pork jerky or pork paper—is a snack made of almond and other fruit pieces combined with dried pork. It’s a popular snack in Taiwan.

It typically includes the ingredients mentioned a second ago, along with apple, soy sauce, and sugar. Included ingredients will vary by manufacturer. And if you have any allergies; good luck. You’ll need a local to translate the packaging’s ingredients for you.

And if you’re buying it from a stall, cross your fingers that the staff knows everything included in their pork paper. You’ll also likely need a translator to speak to them.

This isn’t a Halal souvenir or a kosher food. Thus, I wouldn’t recommend gifting it to anyone who has dietary restrictions because of their religion.

Where to get Crispy Pork Paper in Taipei

Here’s where to find pork paper in Taipei:

  • Supermarket/hypermarket: Cheapest
  • Kuai Che (快车)
  • Shilin Night Market
  • Raohe Night Market
  • Wet markets
  • Chiang Ji Hua Long (江記華隆肉紙), Dihua Street

3. Taiwan Jade: Must-buy in Taipei

  • Avg. Price: NT$100–30,000

Taiwan’s jade is some of the best in the world due to the variety of colors, texture, and transparency. And due to Taiwan having many jade deposits.

Bangles and beads will cost on the lower end. Meanwhile, statues and more robust jewelry will cost much more.

Where to get Jade in Taipei

The best place that you’ll find the most diverse place for jade in Taipei is the Taipei Weekend Jade Market—or Jianguo Jade Market.

Here’s the address: Jianguo Elevated Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106

How to Identify Real Jade

I’m not a jade expert, but here’s a video on identifying real jade:

Here’s a summary of how to differentiate fake from real jade:

  • Must have bright, intense colors.
  • Must feel cold to the touch.
  • Should have SOME imperfections.

Unless you can bring a jeweler with you, I can’t help you in any other way. Practice caution when buying expensive jade.

However, not many scandals have surfaced on fake jade brackets going on in the Weekend Market. It’s a pretty reputable place.

It’s only open on weekends from 9 AM to 6 PM.


4. Pineapple Cake from Chia Te

Chia Te Pineapple Pastry from Chia Te Bakery in Taipei City, Taiwan
  • Avg. Price:
    • NT$38 ($1.21) per pineapple cake (price varies by flavor)
    • NT$372 ($13) or NT$620 ($21) for a box of 20
  • Texture: Crumbly
  • Taste: Buttery, sweet, tart pineapple filling, fragrant with tropical notes.

Chia Te is a bakery in Taipei City that produces the most popular pineapple cakes in the nation. Hence, why it’s on this list. These pineapple cakes also don’t taste too sweet like cheap one’s you’d find at supermarkets.

Hence, why they cost more.

The list above describes the pineapple cake’s texture and taste. If you, or whoever you’re getting these for, doesn’t like the taste and texture, don’t buy them.

Go to the Chia Te bakery on a weekday morning or later afternoon. Otherwise, you might have to wait in a line outside the restaurant. It’s common for long lines of people to queue for these delicious cakes before/after work or during a lunch break.

Then it’s even worse on weekends.

Their bakery also has other baked goods like:

  • Mung bean cakes
  • Chocolate cake
  • Cantonese Moon Cakes
  • Cakes for weddings
  • Suncakes
  • Egg yolk cakes
  • Green onion nougat cookies

Where to get Chia Te Pineapple Cakes

Address for Chia Te Bakery:

  • No. 88, Section 5, Nanjing E Rd, Songshan District, Taipei City, 105

Take the Taipei MRT Green Line to Nanjing Sanmin and leave the station from Exit 2. Then travel east on Section 5, Nanjing E Rd and you’ll reach the shop within a couple of minutes.

Chia Te Pineapple Cake Flavors

Flavors you’ll find for their pineapple cakes include:

  • Walnut
  • Cranberry
  • Pineapple & egg yolk: Original & most popular flavor.
  • Strawberry
  • Cherry
  • Hami Melon
  • Prune
  • Longan

They’ll sell boxes with multiple flavors if that’s what you’re after.


5. Taiwanese Loose-leaf Tea

  • Avg. Price: NT$60 (cheapest)–NT$4,000 (highest-quality) for 600 g

Taiwan’s known for producing some of the world’s finest-tasting tea due to having the highest altitudes in the world for growing tea. And Taiwan’s known for their oolong tea.

Where to get Loose-leaf Tea in Taipei

Here’s where you’ll find tea in Taipei:

  • Any tea shop lining the streets: You’ll find hundreds of these.
  • Supermarkets: Often lower-quality tea, but cheaper.
  • Tourist attractions: Often higher-priced.
  • Night markets or wet markets: Rare, but possible.

Tea Varieties Sold in Taiwan

You’ll find these tea varieties in Taipei:

  • Oolong: wūlóng (烏龍): Has a floral, fruity, and sometimes grassy flavor.
  • Black tea (紅茶): Earthy, malty, floral, with hints of sweet & bitter notes.
  • Green tea (綠茶): Grassy, vegetal, floral, with sweet undertones & slight bitterness.
  • White tea (白茶): Subtle, delicate, floral, with sweet undertones and light fruitiness.

6. Taipei 101 Souvenirs

Taipei 101 merchandise.
Avg. Souvenir PriceNT$100+
Address (English)No. 7, Section 5, Xinyi Rd, Xinyi District, Taipei City, 110
HoursSun–Thur: 11 AM–9:30 PM
Fri & Sat: 11 AM–10 PM
Chinese Name臺北101
89th Floor Observatory Ticket PriceNT$600
Skyline 460 Ticket PriceNT$1,000–3,000

Taipei 101 is the country’s tallest skyscraper and the 10th tallest building on Earth [1]. It’s also an excellent tourist attraction that houses the second-highest Starbucks in the world—it’s a “secret” location.

While here, enjoy the shopping center and food court free of charge. Or pay to visit the Observatory (85th floor) and Skyline 460 (101st floor). Both are experiences I highly recommend trying in Taipei.

Worth every penny.

You’ll probably want to commemorate your experience or share it with someone. Consider one of the souvenirs while you’re here. And don’t worry, they’re not too ridiculously priced. Unless you buy from one of the boutique shops.

Taipei 101 also has a tourist tax refund counter. Spend NT$2,000, and you’ll get a 5% VAT refund of your purchase—so long as your goods are unopened. You’ll need a passport to complete this transaction and to pay a 14% handling fee.

What to buy in Taipei 101

Find these souvenirs in Taipei 101:

SouvenirNotes
PostcardsCheapest.
Liquor bottles shaped like the skyscraperKeep customs alcohol restrictions in mind.
MagnetsCheap, but bad for electronics in luggage.
ShirtsEasy to pack.
Snow globesA pain to pack.
Shot glassesDifficult to pack.
KeychainsEasiest to pack.
Taipei 101 modelsCoolest, but most difficult to pack.
BookmarkMeh.
FU WAN ChocolateBest craft chocolate maker in Taiwan.
TenRen TeaExpensive, but high-quality loose-leaf tea.
NougatsFrom the Sugar & Spice store.

Find all souvenirs at various gift stands throughout the Taipei 101 shopping center. Or in the Taipei 101 85th-floor Observatory. The shop inside the Observatory seems to have more variety than the rest of the shopping mall, but costs more.

Then you’d need to pay the NT$600 entry fee for the Observatory.


7. Taiwanese Snacks

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  • Avg. Price: NT$30–1,000

By Taiwanese snacks, I’m referring to a bunch of stuff you can stuff your bags with from supermarkets. Refer to the accordion in the beginning of this post titled “What to Buy in Taiwan Supermarkets.”

It tells you all the snacks I recommend trying.

Lower-priced snacks from supermarkets won’t taste as good as their more expensive counterparts from specific stores. But they’re an excellent means to have snacks for your plane ride; family, friends, and colleagues; and to hide in your snack stash.

Where to get Taiwanese Snacks in Taipei

Supermarkets like PX Mart and Carrefour are the best places in Taipei to find cheap snacks. Snacks found here often have a more sugary taste, but those found in separate stores (e.g., I-Mei) often have more diverse flavors.


8. Art Made by the Locals

  • Avg. Price: Varies

Check out various stands and stalls where artists are hawking their handmade goods. Support a local and bring something cool home for your loved ones.

Where to get Art in Taipei

Find handmade art at any stall spread throughout the city. Or head to the Artist Alley on weekends and check out what the artists there have.


9. Taipei Sun Biscuits

  • Avg. Price: NT$270 for a box of 10
  • Chinese name: 太陽餅
  • Taste: Honey mixed with maltose.
  • Texture: Flaky & messy to eat

Where to get Taiwan Sun Cakes

If you’re going to Taichung City, get these cakes there instead. Because that’s the birthplace of this delicious maltose wonder.

Otherwise, get sun biscuits from these places in Taipei:

  • Supermarkets: Lowest prices.
  • Sugar and Spice (糖村): Higher-cost, but best-tasting.
  • Chia Te Bakery (佳德糕餅): 2 birds w/ 1 stone deal; buy pineapple & sun cakes here.
  • Taipei Leechi (台北犁記): Another noteworthy bakery.
  • Tai Yang Tang Lao Dian (太陽堂老店): Not familiar w/ this place, but it’s an option.

10. Meat-Shaped Stone

  • Avg. Price: NT$200 each
  • Notes: Get jade shaped like cabbage for NT$22,000

Meat-shaped stones are chunks of jasper carves into the shape of Dongpo pork. Dongpo pork is a popular way of cooking pork belly in Taiwan and China. You’ll find these stones on display at the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

Their gift shop also sells these stones.

Where to buy it: National Palace Museum, Taipei Branch: No. 221, Sec 2, Zhi Shan Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, 111


Where to Buy Cheap Souvenirs in Taipei

Most souvenir stores in Taipei have souvenirs priced NT$50–300. As a majority of these shops have similar pricing. Stores that sell handmade goods are the most expensive souvenirs you’ll find.

It’s a different store if you’re after Taiwanese snacks. Convenience stores and shops for specific brands (e.g., I-Mei) will cost more than purchasing consumables from supermarkets like Carrefour.

Many night markets, along with shops in underground malls, will have affordable Taiwan-themed clothing.


FAQs

Are Shoes Cheaper in Taiwan?

No, only knock-off shoes are cheaper in Taiwan. Most other shoes are priced similarly to those in the United States.