A Muslim’s Guide to Shopping in Taiwan

By Salmah Shahnawaz | 21, Nov, 2017
A Muslim’s Guide to Shopping in Taiwan
Taiwan is a tropical island that neighbours China, Japan and Philippines. This populous country is amongst the most highly educated in the world, supports a stable economy, and rich natural produce, which makes it a popular tourist destination.  Not only is Taiwan known for its technology and great food, but it is also a major shopping destination. Even though the Muslim population is represented by a small percentage of the country, there are multiple mosques spread out through the island, and several Halal restaurants as well, which makes a Muslim tourist's guide to Taiwan fairly easy to navigate. Most visitors are overwhelmed by the choices they face when it comes to shopping, so before you book your trip to Taiwan, go through our guide to shopping spots in Taiwan so that you are better prepared.

What To Buy

Taiwan has so many options that you might want to empty your wallet and purchase everything, so if you are wondering what to buy in Taiwan, it is good to know what the country is best known for so that you can plan what to buy in Taiwan. Famous things to buy in Taiwan are:

1) Candied fruits

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The rich and fertile soil means that there is plenty of fresh beautiful ingredients available, but since you can hardly take fresh fruits back and expect them to last, candied fruits is a better option. This way, you get to take home a piece of the island as well as enjoy it for a while. They also make great gifts. You can find mangoes, plums, dates, pineapples and more in an array of colours and tastes, salty and sweet, at any store, night market or mall.

2) Dried seafood 

Picture Credit- eatingclubvancouver.com
Similar to the candied fruits is the dried seafood available that allows you to prolong your holiday experience and cook up a local favourite back at home. Sea cucumber, fish, and shrimp are amongst those that are dried and packed and sold almost everywhere, from malls and shops to roadside stalls.

3) Jade 

Picture credit- EnglishinTaiwan.com
Taiwan is known for this precious stone and has plenty of trinkets that you can buy as souvenirs or presents. Beware of being cheated by a fake though, so it is always best to shop in reputed stores and check for authenticity. The Jianguo Jade Market is the best place to buy jade at a range of prices, in a wide selection of items.

4) Glass 

Picture Credit - Titot.com
This seems a bit of an odd item but glass art is very popular in Taiwan and the exquisite items make for beautiful – if slightly expensive – gifts. If you are looking for an item to splurge on, check Tittot Glass Art Museum for glass-blowing demonstrations and world-class quality standards.

5) Local handicrafts 

Picture Credit - www.rtaiwanr.com
There are many things that the Taiwanese do in exquisite beauty. There are affordable items like hand-painted paper fans, umbrellas and lanterns. You can select from tea sets, hand puppets, wood carvings, and beautiful and simple pottery and porcelain items as they all make great Taipei souvenirs. You can even buy beautifully carved inkstones and a personalised name stamp as a special gift. You can find most of these items at Chinese Handicraft Mart at No.1, Xuzhou Rd., Zhongzheng District, Taipei City; Hakka town of Meinong and Lugang Town; ceramic shops in Yingge; and wood carving stores at Sanyi Town in Miaoli County

6) Technology 

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If you are looking for any kind of electronic item, chances are you’ll find it in Taiwan. Note that prices are not that much different from other countries though, so don’t expect them to come cheap.

7) Tea 

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There are plenty of teahouses to be found in Taiwan, for it is the preferred beverage. Bring home different flavours or a classic brew, in tea bags or loose.

Night Markets

You can’t go to Taiwan and not visit a night market as it is such a big part of the culture. Most people go for the food, but items are incredibly cheap as well. Night markets open late in the afternoon and go on well into the night, but are most populated after the sun goes down as it is cooler then. Be prepared to move extremely slowly through the crowds and spend several hours there. If you are claustrophobic, you might want to give it a skip.

1) Shi Lin Night Market 

Picture Credit -guidetotaipei.com
 Probably the most popular night market in Taipei, Shi Lin has everything from everyday items like clothes and shoes to the incredibly bizarre like snake blood in a bottle. Make sure you have your walking shoes on and be prepared for a long night, but rejoice in the fact that goods are so cheap and you can find great bargains and souvenirs, and there is plenty of food to fill your tummy while you are there.
Address: No. 101, Jīhé Rd, Shilin District

2) Shi Da Night Market

Picture Credit - rtaiwanr.com
The coolest night market, Shi Da caters to the youth and you can find hip clothes and local handmade items. There are some unique items at bargain prices, so visit Shi Da if that’s what you’re looking for.
Address: Shi Da Rd. Daan District, Taipei

3) Tong Hua Street Night Market 

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Another popular night market, Tong Hua is most famous for the Taiwanese snacks and dishes up for grabs. You can find various other items too, but you can sample some of the best food in the country here for a steal.
Address: XinYi Rd., Sec. 4 and JiLong Rd. Sec. 2, Da’an District, Taipei


Shopping Malls

You will not be at a loss for good shopping places in Taipei as it has a busy shopping hub. Malls are crowded but convenient places to shop for many items in one location. Be prepared to wait in queues and keep an eye on your belongings because there have been cases of mugging.

1) Guang Hua Market 

Picture Credit - computershopper.com
More of a mall than a market, Guang Hua has six floors of tech items just waiting to be explored. If you have any electronic items on your list, this is the best place to get it. The mall is open during the day and night, but note that you cannot obtain too great a discount on items, so come prepared to pay the price.
Address: No. 8, Section 3, Shimin Blvd, Taipei

2) Taipei 101 

Rising half a kilometre to the sky, Taipei 101 is one of the most popular malls located in the East District, which is home to plenty of other Taipei shopping malls. A great place to purchase fashion, gadgets, books, accessories, shoes and more, Taipei 101 is world-famous for a reason.
Address: No. 45, Shifu Rd, Taipei


There are Halal places in Taiwan where you can grab something to eat if you look for the Halal-certification sign or opt for seafood. A guide to Muslim Travel in Taiwan to stick to vegetarian and seafood options as most meat is cooked in lard. It is better to clarify if the vendors use vegetable oil for their vegetarian dishes. 

1) Taipei Fish Market 

Picture Credit - 1000milesjourney.com
Also known as Shang Yin Addiction Aquatic, the fish market has fresh seafood daily that you can request to be cooked there to eat or take away.
Address: No. 18, Minzu East Road, Lane 410, Alley 2, Taipei

2) Pin Tea Tea Shop

Picture Credit- englishintaiwan.com 
A great place to take a break from all that shopping, Pin Tea Teahouse is located in the centre of Zhong Xia East Road Shopping District. You can see for yourself what Taiwanese tea tastes like before heading back out and deciding what kind of tea brew you would like to take home with you.
3) Zong Cheng Hao Stinky Tofu 
Picture Credit - spotthefood.blogspot.sg
Did you know that stinky tofu was a thing? Apparently the stinkier the better! If you don’t mind durian, chances are you won’t mind this. You can find some in the Shi Lin Night Market. Just make sure all the elements are vegetarian, including the oil used for frying.
One of the shopping tips in Taipei is that if you are looking for a specific item, note that the stores in Taipei cluster together so follow their lead. While there isn’t a great variety between the stores, it does allow you some choice before you make your purchase. Two mosques in Taipei alone – Taipei Grand Mosque and Taipei Cultural Mosque – allows for Muslim-friendly travel in Taiwan as you are assured of a place to pray.
We hope you found this Muslim's guide to shopping in Taiwan useful in directing you where to go in Taiwan and where to shop in Taipei. There are many travel guides for Muslim travellers especially when it comes to Halal food, but if you travel to Taiwan, be sure to help out your fellow Muslim visitors through the Halal Trip App with a guide to Taipei, shopping in Taipei, and Taiwan shopping and food in general.

Salmah Shahnawaz is an avid reader, travel enthusiast, and a busy body in general. Mostly you will find her daydreaming about her next getaway, nursing a mug of coffee; or with her nose in a book when she can spare the chance.

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