We do not usually buying souvenir during vacation. Most of the souvenir are made of cheap materials and wasn't environmental friendly. However, this Taiwan trip has triggered us to spend instead. In fact, we have to say that buying things we really like to use or eat is a true enjoyment process. That is how money should be managed, i.e. money should make us happy!
Okay, let's take a look at the whole collection of what we purchased, or should we put it as our recommendation what to buy in Taiwan.
1. My Scheming Blackhead Removal 黑头终结粉刺拔模组
There are too many cosmetics products selling at affordable price from various shop in Taiwan - Little Three, Etude House, 86 shop and many more. It has really tempted Shirleen to purchase a lot of products there but she cancelled her thought, knowing the results will only be reflected provided continuing usage of the products.
台北有好多化妆保养品，都卖得价格平民- 小三美日，86小舖， Etude House 等等。弄得Shirleen都心痒痒要买，但还是取消念头，因为这些产品得持续用才见效，回到马来西亚后得从小三美日网站网购才买到了。
However, My Scheming Blackhead Removal has been on our must buy list in Taiwan. This is because we are sick of the rough surfaces on the nose and the pain from manual pressing the blackhead is unbearable! Just need 3 steps: deep pores demineralized, apply activated carbon mask, skin clarifying pore treatment. We each got a box of My Scheming Blackhead Removal from Little Three for 199 NTD, and so far the results have been satisfactory. Strongly recommended!
2. Sugar & Spice Nougat
Nougat from Taiwan, what? I thought the best nougats come from Australia? If you have the same thinking as I had, then it is time to correct your perception.
Sugar & Spice is bakery spreading across Taiwan which sells various cakes, pineapple tarts and serve as a good place to buy souvenirs. On top of that, their nougats is one of the best! I was never an avid lover of nougat because I hate sweets and its stickiness on teeth. However, Sugar & Spice nougats are totally changes my thought on nougats. The sweetness level is moderate, it is not sticky and most importantly, it has decent taste. We bought a pack of original nougat for 180 NTD.
Visit http://www.sugar.com.tw/ for more info and location of their branches
3. Eslite Bookstore 诚品书店
If you enjoy reading, then Eslite Bookstore is a definitely must visit place in Taiwan. There are plenty Eslite Bookstore in Taipei but please bear in mind there is only one 24 hours Eslite Bookstore, which is located at Dunnan district and accessible via MRT Zhongxiao dunhua station (take exit 6).
You will be amazed by the collection of books offered here and we wish we could spend a whole day here.
On top of that, foreigners can enjoy 5% off when purchase over 1000 NTD worth of goods and will directly get tax refund when purchasing over 3000 NTD. You just need to flash your passport.
|The exterior of Eslite bookstore at Dunnan branch, nearby to Zhongxiao dunhua MRT station|
4. Jiu Fen Peanut Cakes 九份郭金山的花生
This high calories peanut cakes at Jiu Fen old street might seem ordinary but the taste would leave you astonished. It is akin an explosion of peanut scent in your mouth upon consuming it, leaving us no choice but to take another piece peanut cake!
The expiry date is not long thus remember to finish them fast after buying it for your friends and family.
5. Ginger Tea 姜母茶
Ginger Tea is considered one of the must buy in Taiwan for us, as the ginger tea sold there has an unique and strong taste of ginger. Most of the ginger tea here has been premixed with brown sugar.
It is believed ginger tea gives multiple health benefits, including improve blood circulation, digestive system, lower blood pressure and for ladies, it reduces menstrual pain. Various shops in Taiwan actually sells ginger tea, and do pick the one that you like the most after trying it.
The ginger tea is available in many flavour, and each of them deliver their distinctive health benefits. Do check out with the shop to derive into a decision that suit you the best.
7. Cream Pie 奶油酥条
We never paid attention to the shop selling cream pies in Hualien as we thought, how different or great a cream pie would be? However, we were proven to be wrong later.
While waiting for train at Hualien station, we had some free time to spare so we walked to the shop - Hualien 99 Gold Food for a window shopping, and ended up spending some cash there as we simply could not resist the temptation of the cream pies here!
Walking into the shop was like walking into a cookie house, with assortment of cookies displayed and samples ready for you to try. Apart from cream pies, they have eggs and honey cakes and some other products.
We stick to the most basic cream pie for 100 NTD each pack. It was one of the best cream pie we ever had and the price was affordable too! A pack comes with 20 sticks crisp cream pies with aromatic garlic scent. Best eaten originally without dipping into coffee as coffee will destroy the smell.
Address: No. 69, Fu'an Rd, Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan 970
Phone:+886 3 856 8090
Operation hour: 9am-8pm (Daily)
Web link here：http://www.hl-top.info/go88/
8. Hualien Muaji 花莲麻糬饼
Hualien Muaji reputation has well spread across the region. Origin from the Amis tribe, it was called "Dulun" which means ferry in Chinese. It used to be a delicacy available only in ceremonies or on special holidays by the aboriginal tribes but now it is commercially available.
It is made from glutinous rice ball or millet which give arise the chewy skin texture, and enclosed within are fillings with different flavours. In fact, new flavours are being invented from time to time.
Hualien renowned Muaji shop will be Zeng Ji or Ah Mei, as their shops are located at every street of the Golden Triangle and it is impossible to miss it. We are fated to shop at Ah Mei Muaji shop only.
The shop is never stingy to provide the samples for us to try. In fact, samples were provided for almost all flavours to the extent we were embarrassed to try anymore. Then we came into a serious problem, there were too many flavours to pick so how can we pick all as all of them were delicious?
Thus, we settled for a mix flavour package with 4 flavours available for 120 NTD each. Well, I believe the muaji best taken fresh as the taste was slightly different when we tried them after we back in Malaysia. The texture of the skin remains chewy but the filling taste has receded. Nevertheless, it still look good as a souvenirs for family and friends!
There are 7 Ah Mei Muaji in Hualien alone as of 2015! Most of them are located within the golden triangle and it is not hard to locate the shops. Do visit their website for more info.
Website here: http://www.amis-mochi.com.tw/
Operation hours: 8:00 am - 10:00pm (depending on shop, some closes at 6pm）
9. Pineapple cakes 凤梨酥
We saved the best for the last. Having come across and tested a few pineapple cakes in Taipei, we ended up buying at Sin Ruei Mai. We regard the pineapple cakes here are one of the best we have tried, and have no regret buying them despite the higher price.
Sin Ruei Mai has 4 shops across Taipei as of 2015, namely at Chang Ji Street, Yan Ping Street, Chong Qing Street and Roosevelt Street. Since 1991, Sin Ruei Mai has won award for 5 times and its quality has never been compromised despite gaining fame. Insistence of using imported New Zealand butter is one of their strong point.
They have two types of pineapple cakes - normal pineapple cakes and local Taiwan pineapples cakes. What are the differences between these two?
Pineapple cakes are made from pineapples and the taste is slightly sweet, and the pineapple texture is smoother. The pineapple cakes here have compact and intact fillings, leaving no space for air to go through in between the pineapple. Every bites of it leave a strong and moderate sweet pineapple taste lingering in the mouth. The greed for more pineapple cakes grow after testing a piece of it, rendering the calories concern thought obsolete.
Local Taiwan pineapple cakes are actually pineapples cakes made from local taiwan pineapple, thus the taste is slanted toward sourish and more fibres are present. Despite being an individual who dislike sourish, the sour taste in this pineapple cakes are surprisingly nice. Moreover, the fibre gave it a natural feeling, and perhaps it is good for digestive system as well. The taste is a perfect balance of sweet and sour taste.
A packet of 12 pieces of pineapple cakes cost 336 NTD while local Taiwan pineapple cakes cost 420 NTD. Despite the fact we manage to find other pineapple cakes selling ranging from 250 - 350 NTD, we still come back here, bleeding our wallet to purchase here. Reason being simply they are the best and worth the pennies spent.
新瑞唛凤梨酥 Sin Ruei Mai Pineapple Cake
Address: No. 100, Changji St, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan 103
Phone: +886 2 2597 8188
Operation hour: 9am-10pm (Daily)
Address: No. 199, Section 3, Roosevelt Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10647
Phone: +886 2 2365 2779
Operation hour: 9am-10pm (Daily)
Address: No. 138, Section 2, Yanping N Rd, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan 103
Phone: +886 2 2553 3469
Operation hour: 9am-10pm (Daily)
No. 1, Section 1, Chongqing S Rd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
电话：02 - 2371 1173