Taipei, perfect destination for shopping

Shaped roughly like a sweet potato, Taiwan is home to more than 23 million people and is one of the most densely populated places in the world.

Besides its crowded cities, Taiwan is also known for steep mountains and lush forest. Despite Taiwan being an island nation no bigger than 36,000 sq km, it boasts some very impressive scenic sites, and Taipei is a vibrant centre of culture and entertainment.

The island is also a centre of Chinese pop culture with a huge and vibrant entertainment industry. Taiwanese cuisine is also highly regarded.

Last July, I had the opportunity to cruise (via Star Cruises Superstar Aquarius) from Taiwan to two islands at the southern part of Japan - Naha and Ishigaki. It was fully sponsored by Genting Hong Kong, as a familiarization trip before the ship to homeport in Kota Kinabalu. I spent two nights and three days at Taipei. I describe Taipei as Taiwan's top shopping district.

Shopping venues in Taipei include department stores, malls, underground transit malls, night markets and shopping districts. Shopping malls in Taipei are mainly concentrated in the Daan and Xinyi districts, though they can be found all over the city. Most malls are located along Zongxiao East Road or in the newly-developed Xinyi District (Taipei City Hall Station).

Hoteliers and restauranteurs in Taiwan are even making their accommodations and dining to be Muslim-friendly. Taiwan can be very convenient when it comes to finding good food and daily activities without hassle.

Let's talk about shopping in Taipei!

At the first day we arrived Taipei, it was around 10am. We took chartered bus from the airport to Westgate Hotel, located at Zhonghua Road of Wanhua District. I did a bit of research on shopping spots so I know a few place. Four of us took train to Wufenpu. Many reviews on this place saying it is a shopping heaven where they sell wholesale clothes, accessories, bags, shoes at very cheap prices. Guess what? I only bought two pairs of pants for my husband because they don't have my 'curvy' size. LOL.

Westgate Hotel has comfortable and cozy room. I stayed alone but their queen bed rooms were full. So I had the opportunity to change bed anytime I like. The best part is the free Wifi and super fast connection. Loving it!

I must say that Westgate Hotel is a convenient location for shoppers like me. Shops, malls, restaurants and food stalls are everywhere. I regret spending money at Wufenpu because I can find everything here from around 6pm to 12 midnight.

Both pictures (above) I took at Wufenpu, where they just started operating their shops. I personally think nothing interesting here, unless you have super slim size. Its your heaven.

After about two hours here, we took taxi (fare about RM25) back to the hotel and continue shopping around Zhonghua Road. More choices and fun. I saw a group of people protesting Taiwanese government peacefully at the roadside, I also saw a group of teenagers doing their K-Pop dance... everything were happening in one place. Crowded but I felt safe.

I bought six pairs of very good quality of sandals (price around RM25-RM35 per pair) for the girls at home, one pair boots and one pair shoes for me. I also bought two leather wallets for bother and my dad, t-shirt for my sister and handbags for me and cousins.
 Peaceful demonstration on the roadside.

 Department stores...

 Sandals, shoes at cheap price...

 K-Pop dance performed by teenagers...

Me, with my first bag.

If I have a second chance to come back here, I definitely will stay at the same area and shop in this place.

The second day in Taipei we headed to Keelung Port to start our Star Cruises journey to Japan, and came back to Taipei for another round of shopping but I did not buy many things because I spent more on food. At the final night, we stayed at Novotel Taipei near the airport to ensure we won't miss our flight on the next morning.

Novotel Taipei id a good place for transit, but not a suitable place to stay if you want to enjoy the real feel of Taipei. This hotel has daily shuttle bus services, so you can go to the city centre if you have extra time before your next flight.

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