So you’re finally in Taipei. You’ve been drinking all the bubble tea you can, and hoarding all the must-try local snacks. The next step is looking for the must-buy souvenirs in Taipei for all your family and friends!
Anyone that travels knows that one of the best parts is choosing out something that you know your loved ones would also love. Whether it’s a local delicacy or piece of jewelry, these little pieces of local culture will allow you to share your travel experiences. Check out these must-buy souvenirs in Taipei!
1. Pineapple cakes
One of the most popular pastries available throughout Taiwan is the humble pineapple cake. A buttery pastry with a deliciously sweet pineapple paste at its center, much akin to the Singaporean pineapple tarts. You can find them in practically every food souvenir shop in Taipei! They also usually come individually packaged, so bringing them home on the plane is no trouble at all.
2. Taiwanese tea
Taiwan has a distinct tea culture and Taiwanese teas are among the most popular teas in the world. So even if you’re not a big tea lover, you have to bring home a box of leaves for the tea connoisseur in your life. Oolong tea is the most popular and with good reason. We suggest checking out the rural district of Pinglin, which is known for its tea plantations, shops, and even a tea museum! If it’s not on your itinerary, you can also find loose-leaf oolong tea all over Taipei.
3. Taiwanese nougats
Taiwanese nougats range from soft and chewy to crunchy, and each store boasts their own secret recipe. Unlike Western nougats, in Taiwan you will also find some unique flavours like matcha and sesame. Nougat is a hot favourite in Taiwan so expect to find boxes of it everywhere, especially during festivals.
Japan might be known for mochi, but so is Taiwan! You’ll find boxes of the chewy delicacy all over food souvenir shops in Taipei, especially in Ximending, Jiufen, and Shifen. Compared to its Japanese counterpart which is sweeter, Taiwanese mochi is more about the chewy flour exterior, making it ideal for folks who don’t like overly sweet stuff. Make sure to also buy a few mochi to snack on while you shop for other souvenirs!
5. Sheet masks
A staple in Asian skin care, make sure not to miss out the opportunity to stock up on sheet masks in Taiwan. My Beauty Diary, Kissui, and L’Herboflore are some of the most highly-rated Taiwanese brands that offer a comprehensive list of sheet mask options. They’re must-buy souvenirs in Taipei, especially for your loved ones who are into beauty and skincare!
6. Jade jewelry
Along with Hong Kong, Taiwan remains the center for the international jade trade. Here, you will find some of the finest jade on the planet in all shapes and sizes! Prices are very competitive but will vary depending on size and quality. Do note that the market is also flooded with imitation jade being passed off as genuine. So before you go jade-hunting, make sure to do your research on how to tell what’s real and what’s not!
7. Sun biscuits
Sun biscuits, or tai yang bing, are one of the most common things people buy as souvenirs for their family and friends. It is a popular Taiwanese pastry with a flaky crust and sweet fillings originating from Taichung. Traditionally, they’re made with a malt sugar filling but these days you can also find more modern flavours such as matcha, sesame, and even pork floss.
8. Mini sky lanterns
You probably know that Shifen is where to go to release your own sky lantern. Why not buy a mini sky lantern to mark the occasion? They’re made by hand and set within see-through containers, each with their own auspicious wishes written on them. We can’t think of a better ornamental gift for someone’s desk or mantelpiece!
9. Instant noodles
If it’s from anywhere else in the world, bringing home instant noodles for your family and friends might be something of a social faux pas. But Taiwanese instant noodles are not just any instant noodles. They’re some of the most innovative when it comes to styles and flavours! Bring home some noodles in yummy flavours like Hua Diao Wine, Bak Kut Teh and Sesame Oil Chicken.
Pottery is a famous art form in Taiwan. With such a colourful tea culture, it’s not hard to see why. There are lots of pottery museums and workshops in Taiwan, mostly in the city outskirts and in the countryside. Why not go for something functional, like classic earthen pottery or a simple, ceramic mug? For some great ceramic products, you should head towards the Yingge district of Taipei.