It is not too difficult to scout for the latest fashion trends in Asia in the district of Ximending. The Taiwanese are serial shoppers and this makes the city a shopper’s dream for many. Located just outside of the Ximen subway station, Ximending is a compilation of streets, alleys and buildings that makes up a busy and contemporary outdoor market. Ximending is the first to implement the “pedestrian zone”. No motorbikes, bicylces or cars are allowed into the area which is an uncommon sight if you have lived in Taiwan for some time. Ximending is blasting full of hip and fashionable styles ranging from shoes, accessories, clothes, bags, hair saloons, tattoo parlors, hats and so much more. If you want to go hip hop, hipster, vintage or Western, there is almost any style that will fit your taste and likings.
Ximending is especially notable at night, where the big square radiate with bright neon lights on massive LCD screens highling the city’s various brands and stores that are represented there. When you step your foot outside of Exit 6, the first emblematic thing you’ll likely to see is the four-storey Watsons and Eslite 116 shopping mall. Eslite is a popular chain of bookstores and retail shops in Taiwan and there are three branches of Eslite in Ximending alone. However, only one is an actual bookstore and the rest are just commerical spaces that carry it’s name.
If you are female or have sisters who are into beauty care, the Watsons here will be a haven as most of the cosmetics are probably going to be cheaper from your own home country as they are made in Taiwan. Think Za cosmetics. And Shisheido. Those beauty masks are often cheap and on promotions, usually known for leaving a shining and gleaming effect on the face. Watsons in Ximending is open 24 hours so if you are wide awake past midnight, you have a place to go. They also have mobile charging stations to keep your mobile juices flowing.
A well known local Bboy shop named “Cultureshock” must not be missed. Located down a side street, it is an in-shop devoted to the Bboy fashion. Shoes, caps, shirts, pants are available and carries the latest fashion trends all over while developing their own soulful brand. There are branded shops like Adidas and the latest and most limited versions of sneakers from Taiwanese factories are released here. Accessories for gadgets such as stickers, covers, mobile phone adornments are a thing of paradise here, with a lot of long hours creativity put into making gadgets look cute, artsy and hip.
If you have a love for art and history, take a walk to the Red House at Ximen Station Exit 11. There are 16 creative shops inside the Red House. It is learnt that the Red House renews their suppliers every quarter of the year, so the art produces are often updated if you visit Taiwan more than once a year. During the weekends, there are art stalls and markets outside the Red House where you can browse and shop the local handmade scene and even meet the artists in person at work or request for your personal designs to be made on the spot.
Other popular stores such as Daiso and Uniqlo are located at the heart of Ximending where prices may be lower. There is also a Carrefour which can be reached by foot within 10 minutes from Ximen Station Exit 1 which is open 24 hours.