Best Known Gifts & Souvenirs from Taiwan
Because of the cultural influences from Japan, China and the West, souvenirs from Taiwan are undeniably different in nature and because of persistence in making everything as traditional as possible, these Taiwan souvenirs have not changed much from hundreds of years, especially teas, cookies and candied sweets. Here are some of the best gifts from Taiwan and Taipei City you can bring to your home country.
Taiwanese Pineapple Cakes
One of the most famous products of Taiwan is pineapple. And as a result, Taiwanese pineapple cakes are among the most authentic souvenirs from Taiwan. These cakes generally come in rectangular shapes and are filled with genuine pineapple paste and sometimes nuts. These cakes are sold at many confectionary shops and come packed in pristine boxes at very reasonable prices. One of the best places to buy Taiwanese pineapple cakes in Taipei City is the “Chia Te Bakery,” located in the Songshan District at No.88 on East Nanjing East Road.
Gemstones and Jade Jewelry
Another one of the famous Taiwan souvenirs is the Jade Stone, which used to be abundant and sourced from Fengtien in Hualien County. Many of these jade stones come in green, but there are also rare, colorful ones. Many Jade stones are produced from the same area, but genuine jade is still available in Taipei. You need to be very familiar with gemstones and can distinguish the real from the fake. The Jianguo Holiday Jade Market on Jianguo Elevated Road in the Da’an District is the best area to search for authentic jades in Taipei.
High-Quality Taiwanese Oolong Tea
The most well-known tea brand of oolong is the Alishan High Mountain Oolong Tea. These high-quality teas are some of the finest souvenirs from Taiwan. The most prized of them all is the Champagne of oolong tea, which is rare and exquisite. Since the tea culture is engrained into the local Taiwanese culture, other than finer teas like oolong, you can get yourself black tea, green tea and white tea leaves packed in pristine boxes and bring them back home. There are many tea shops across Taipei, but the cheapest spot to buy quality tea would be the Lin Hua Tai Tea shop located on North Chongqing Road in the Datong District near the Dadaocheng Cisheng Temple.
Ink Stones for Calligraphy
The art of calligraphy has a long story in Southeast Asia and Taiwan is no exception because of its Chinese Lettering Calligraphy. Similar to Japan and South Korea, many masters use Ink Stones to control the intensity of the ink while using brushes. These ink stones are unique souvenirs from Taiwan that are made with quality material and are sometimes on par with the ones you will find in Japan. The Hui Feng Tang shop at East Heping Road in Da’an District is one of the places that specializes in selling Chinese calligraphy Inkstones in Taiwan.
Suncakes or Tai Yang Bing
Originally from the Taichung area and from the Qing dynasty era, these suncakes are simple, flaky pastry souvenirs from Taiwan made from flour and sugar and filled with condensed malt sugar, which is the less sweet version of honey. These cakes are called Tai Yang Bing and they are called suncakes because of their round shape and yellow texture. If you want to buy these suncakes in Taipei, the Lee Chi Brand has been selling these cakes for many years and their shop, Taipei Leechi. This store is located in the Zhongshan District at No. 67 ChangAn East Rd Section 2. The Songjiang Nanjing subway station is the closest station to this confectionery store.
Taiwanese Pottery and Ceramics
Ceramics and pottery bowls are among the most sought-after Taiwan souvenirs you can think of. These ceramics are artisan made and they still use old-style furnaces to produce them. These artisans have continued the tradition of Chinese-style pottery, mixed with Japanese and Western methods to create art pieces. The best spot to find these ceramics is at the Yingge Old Street, accessible via Yingge Station.