Markets are also a big part of the shopping in Taipei, as with any Asian center, and they lie side by side with the modern malls. The Shilin Night Market is very popular and is an attraction in its own right.
Clothing, jewelry and cosmetics are the best buys in Taipei, plus it is also big into handicrafts and pottery. The street markets often have the best choice of handicrafts items, with hand-painted lanterns, lacquer-ware and handmade shoes being particularly popular.
A popular area of town for both shopping and sightseeing, Xinyi is home to New York Shopping Mall and the Mitsukoshi shopping center, along with landmarks like Taipei 101 and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial. The area is both cosmopolitan and modern and tends to get busy in the afternoon.
Best known for the Shilin Night Market, Shilin is a fun place to shop for souvenirs and cheap tack any time of day. It is best to get here around 20:00, or perhaps a bit earlier if you are not into crowds. You can also eat here and some shops and eateries even stay open past midnight.
This area in downtown Taipei is near Taipei Railway Station and is especially of interest to computer geeks and bookworms. There are many bookstores and computer hardware and software outlets here where items can be bargained for.
Popular with students, Ximending, in western Taipei, is fairly hip and is a nice place to wander even if you're not buying. It is one of traffic-free streets and modern stores and is best seen at night when the billboards are all lit up. The MRT Blue Line runs here.
Zhongshan North Road is a fairly upscale boulevard, featuring the likes of Louis Vuitton and Gucci items along with suave local brands. The second section (Section 2) is particularly popular and has many boutiques.
East Taipei is one of tree-lined boulevards and large shopping malls and is consequently the busiest area to shop. Those not into crowds and preferring smaller outlets should head for the historic, western part of town. Bargain hard at the markets and be prepared for the heat March through October.
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