We’ve got the lowdown on where to go shopping in TC, whether you’re looking for dresses, books, a tent, or ginger.
Whether you are in Taichung for a day or two as a traveler, or a long-term expat who’s made TC your second home, you’ll appreciate the following list of places to shop in Taichung. This guide is not exhaustive, but it will show you the places you REALLY need to know, the top places I’ve discovered since moving here in 2000.
Bookstores / Stationary
Tsutaya Bookstore 蔦屋書店 台中店
Tsutaya Bookstore is my new favorite place to shop for books, as you can grab a few, and bring them over to the cafe to browse them quietly at your own pace. The selection is not huge, but the place is so nice that it’s worth a visit even if you don’t find anything to buy. Great spot to take pictures, as the design and architecture is top.
Address: 18, Shizheng North 2nd Road, Xitun District
Hours: Every day, 11AM–10PM
Caves Books 敦煌書局
Located near the Science Museum, Caves Books is one of the only two places in Taichung where you can find a wide selection of English books, magazines, and newspapers. Caves also has a large collection of English teaching material (ESL) of all levels for teachers, as well as a proper supply of Mandarin Chinese material.
Address: 12, Guanqian Rd, West District
Hours: 10am to 9pm
Eslite Bookstore 誠品書店
2 locations are worth a visit: the one in Chung-Yo department store, and the one at Park Lane Mall along the Green Belt. My personal favorite is the one at Park Lane, on the 3rd floor. It’s got lots of English titles and the largest selection of travel guidebooks of any bookstores in the city.
Address: (Park Lane) 68 Gongyi Road
Hours: 11am to 10pm
Camera & Equipment
Nova is better known for selling computers, laptops, and electronic parts, but it’s also home to half a dozen camera shops, downstairs. The nice thing about shopping for a camera at Nova is that you’ll find brands such as Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Ricoh, and Panasonic, all under the same roof. Also available here are camera bags, lenses, tripods, and other photography gadgets.
Address: 508 Yingcai Rd, West District
Hours: 11am to 10pm
French chain store FNAC sells all the main brands of cameras and lenses in a very modern setting. Knowledgeable salespeople can inform you in English – sometimes.
Address: located on the 9F of Mitsukoshi department store
Hours: 11am to 10pm
There’s a billion places in Taichung where you can buy men and women’s clothes such as department stores and night markets, so I won’t list all of them here. The one place which I believe offers the best bang for your buck is Uniqlo. The most central location is at Park Lane Department Store, downstairs, and another location is at Mitsukoshi.
Computers / Electronics
Apple computers, laptops, iPhones, iPads, and other parts, PCs, Asus, Acer, and all the other brands are sold here at highly competitive prices. If you’re looking for computer parts or electronic gadgets and gizmos such as speakers, USB cords, keyboards, cords, adapters or more specialized parts, try the big electronic stores downstairs.
Tiger City – small mall, movie theater, Oakley store
Sogo – shoes, using the bathroom, central
Chung-Yo – bookstore, Starbucks, clothes, shoes
Top City – City Super supermarket, Din Tai Fung restaurant
Mitsukoshi – movie theater, FNAC, nice food court, grocery store
Park Lane – Eslite Bookstore, Uniqlo, Apple store
For any kind of shoes (casual, sports, outdoor, formal, leather), Sogo and Mitsukoshi shopping malls are your best options.
Housewares & Home Furnishing
No need to introduce this world-famous Swedish mega-store which sells ready-to-assemble furniture, appliances and home accessories. What is worth mentioning is the size: the store covers a massive 36,000 square meter area! The cafeteria / food court can accommodate 700 people! Weekends can be absolute madness here.
Address: 168, XiangShang Rd, Sec 2, Nantun Dist.
Hours: 10am to 9pm
Fengchia Night Market 逢甲夜市
This mean night beast can devour you alive if you come at the right time. The crowds can get uncomfortably oppressing if you’re claustrophobic, but for others, its the very reason why you’d want to visit this Taiwan-famous night market. Street food, cheap gadgets, clothes, tea, games, people, weird smells, those are all things waiting for you at Fengchia!
Yizhong Street 一中街
This is one of Taichung’s most popular night markets. It’s very popular with university students. You’ll find lots of teashops, cheap (very cheap) street food and restaurants that serve everything from Sushi to Kimchi and from burgers to dumplings. This “Night Market” starts being crowded around noon.
Looking for fresh, organic vegetables? Need some healthy cooking ingredients like quinoa, miso, flax-seed oil, or tempeh? Locate an organic food store in Taichung right here from this map.
Outdoor / Camping / Sport
Paradise Outdoor Store 桃源戶外
Good selection of affordable camping and hiking gear. This outdoor shop sells both Taiwanese and International brands of clothing, hiking shoes & boots, Gore-Tex rain gear, sleeping bags, tents, backpacks, and other camping / backpacking equipment such as cooking stoves, sleeping mats, and headlamps. The camping department is on the second floor.
Address: 690, Dadun Rd, Nantun District
Hours: 11am to 10pm
I’ve included Jiguang Street in this shopping guide only because it’s the oldest shopping street in Taichung and it’s listed in every single travel guidebook and blog about the city. Nowadays, Jiguang is a sad place! It’s old, dirty, and depressing to the max. The entire area is in a miserable state if you want my opinion, and it’s been like that for almost a decade, since the construction has started around the train station. Skip Jiguang is my advice. The street’s old glory is officially dead.
Supermarkets / Imported Food
City Super Supermarket
City Super is the nicest grocery store / supermarket in Taichung in my opinion. It’s got the biggest selection of imported goods in the city. Stuff is expensive, but quality is unbeatable, especially for the veggies and deli items. Large selection of imported beers, everything you need for baking, Asian / European cooking ingredients, all the beans you’ll ever need, quinoa, all types of flour, and lots of cooking equipment and tools.
ASEAN Square (東協廣場 dōng xié guǎng cháng)
Formerly known as 1st Square, ASEAN Square is the best (only?) place in Taichung where you can buy stuff from South East Asia. The building is located 2 minutes walking distance from the train station in old Taichung.
There’s quite a lot of action here, especially on weekends, when Southeast Asian workers are off and congregate here to eat, meet friends, sing KTV and shop. I go there mostly to buy ingredients to cook Thai dishes. There’s a supermarket /grocery store on the 2nd floor that’s got products from Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand.
Address: No. 135號, Luchuan West Street, Central District
Second Market 第二市場
Taichung’s Second Market is a super old-school, traditional neighbourhood that is packed with old shops, old people, old wares, and most importantly, delicious, cheap Chinese street-food, snacks, and drinks. It is worth a quick stop if you’re in the train station / old Taichung area.
Xiangshang Market – 向上市場
Xiangshang Traditional Market has fresh veggies, fruit, meat, fish, eggs, and lots of other things to cook like dried beans, fresh herbs, hand-made noodle, rice, soy milk, almond milk, ginger roots, preserved / fermented items. Don’t wear sandals, the ground can be wet and dirty in the meat / seafood section.
If you’re looking for high-quality jade, which is one of the most popular item to buy as a gift in Taiwan, head to the new Jade Market, in Nantun District.
Address: 957, Section 2, Wuquan West Road, Nantun
Hours: 9:30am to 8:00 (closed on Tue, Wed)