The best overall souvenirs in Taiwan are baked goods like pineapple and sun cakes. Taiwan has many non-edible things you should buy as a gift, which I’ll cover throughout this piece.
Throughout my several years in Taiwan, I’ve learned some of what makes this country special. To help share a bit of Taiwan with family, friends, and acquaintances, I’ve gathered a list of the best things to buy.
You’ll need to travel throughout the island nation to find the best gifts. Many are edible gifts you can only get in specific cities. Meanwhile, you can find worthwhile trinkets at typical souvenir shops.
Visit Tax Refund counters or computers at any shopping center (or the airport). Must make purchases of at least NT$2,000 at each store to qualify for the VAT refund. And you must shop at a store that participates in it.
Keep your passport on you at all times; you’ll need it for the refund. And ask stores whether they participate in tax refunds.
Learn more about Taiwan’s tourist tax refunds in a dedicated guide I crafted.
- Computer parts: more expensive than many countries
- Action figures
- Designer clothing & accessories
Best Gifts To Buy While Traveling to Taiwan
Here are many souvenirs you can get from Taiwan:
|Rice Wine||Plum Wine||Mountain Oolong Tea|
|Kavalan Whiskey||Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor||3D Smart Cards|
|Chili Sauce||Beer||Soda Crackers|
|Pineapple Cakes||Sun Cakes||Snacks|
|Jade||Meat-Shaped Stones||Tiny Sky Lanterns|
|Green Tea||Ceramics||Sheet Masks|
|Stickers||P.Seven Perfume||Taiwanese Nougat Candies|
I’m not going to provide details for everything in the table above. The information I will offer will include a brief description of each item, where to get it, and possibly a price.
Some of these are items you can only get in Taiwan. So pay attention.
Best for Folks who Love Textured Candy
1. Taiwanese Nougat Candy
- Avg. Price: NT$150 per box
- Texture: Soft, chewy, sticky, with crunchy inclusions like nuts or seeds.
- Most popular flavor: Peanut Milk Nougat Candy (original flavor)
- Tips: Based on my experience, Salico (牛軋糖) had the best-tasting nougats
These traditional Taiwanese candies are soft and chewy, yet have a crunchy texture depending on the flavor. Peanut nougats are a prime candidate to fix this example. And I love them. Ate a whole bag in a night.
You’ll find many of these throughout Taiwan. For instance, you could try 73 Candy in Hualien City. If they’re still around.
But Salico Foods’ nougats are great. And many Taiwanese have told me it’s their nougat of choice. As it’s one of the most recognizable nougat companies in Taiwan.
If you decide to try their candies, here are some flavors they offer:
- Nougat Cake
- Date & Walnut
- Peanut Crisp
- King Garden (Nantou): No. 219, Section 4, Zhongshan Rd, Puli Township, Nantou County, 545
- Taipei Main Station: 100, Taipei City, Zhongzheng District, Beiping W Rd, 3號北車高鐵售票旁B1
- New Taipei City: No. 344號, Huacheng Rd, Xinzhuang District, New Taipei City, 242
- Flagship store (Taipei): 99 Bo’ai Rd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei Taiwan
I decided to taste test some of Salico’s treats to help you decide the right flavor:
- Date Almond: Very soft & squishy; notice more date than almond.
- Original: Kinda creamy & the peanut taste isn’t too strong.
- Chocolate: Light chocolate taste with a texture on the softer side.
- Green tea: Strong matcha flavor a bit more on the crunchy side; hard to differentiate from the original (color-wise).
- Peanut crisp: Light peanut flavor that isn’t too crunchy or soft.
- Bubble tea: Brown sugar bubble tea, more taste on the tapioca pearl side.
- Soda cracker: Green onion soda crackers sandwiched around a nougat. I was scared it would taste bad, but I noticed more of a scallion taste.
Best for Sweets Lovers
2. Chia Te Pineapple Cakes From Chia Te Bakery in Taipei
- Avg. Price:
- NT$38 ($1.21) per pineapple cake (price varies by flavor)
- NT$372 ($13) or NT$620 ($21) for a box of 20
- Taste: Buttery, sweet, tart pineapple filling, crumbly pastry, fragrant with tropical notes.
- Notes: You could order from Amazon, though more expensive.
The Chia Te traditional pastry bakery in Taipei City bakes the most popular preservative-free pineapple cakes in Taiwan. Find them in varying flavors like egg yolk, cranberry, cherry, and plum. Their cakes have a crumbly crust and a buttery yet fruity taste.
For pineapple cake with a firm texture and a chewy filling, you’ll want to try Taipei Leechi.
- Chia Te Bakery address: No. 88, Section 5, Nanjing E Rd, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 105
- Taipei Leechi address: No. 67號, Section 2, Chang’an E Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 104
Best for Rock Collectors
3. Meat-Shaped Stone
- Best place to buy: National Palace Museum
- Avg. Price: NT$200 each
- Notes: Get jade shaped like cabbage for NT$22,000
You’ll often find meat-shaped stones on display at Taipei’s National Palace Museum. These rocks are banded jasper with layers of white crystals and translucent flesh pink. Due to their designs, these stones typically resemble marbled steak or a hunk of pork belly.
National Palace Museum in Taipei address: No. 221, Sec 2, Zhi Shan Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111
4. Tea-scented Perfume: P.Seven Perfume
The P.Seven perfume uses tea leaves aged for 10 years to create a refined scent. It also won the 2022 Art and Olfaction Independent Award .
You can find this perfume on Taiwanese e-Commerce websites like Pinkoi for NT$2,250 ($73). But if you were to ship it to the U.S., you’d have to pay AT LEAST NT$1,970 ($62) for shipping.
I recommend buying them while in Taiwan. You’ll find it for less. P.Seven lists everywhere you can see their perfume on their ‘locations’ page.
This perfume’s an excellent way to carry the scent of Taiwan and remember the country’s delicious tea.
5. Merchandise From Taipei 101
Merch. to get includes:
- Glass water bottles shaped like Taipei 101
- Building blocks that look like LEGOs—but shaped like the skyscraper
- Starbucks merchandise from the 35th floor Starbucks
- Postcards; stamp it with a souvenir stamp from the 89th floor
You can find souvenir shops throughout the skyscraper. Whether on the basement floors or the 89th-floor observatory.
If you need to justify visiting Taipei 101, I can help. Here’s a guide I wrote on all the tower’s secrets.
Taipei 101: 110, Taipei City, Xinyi District, Section 5, Xinyi Rd, 7號89樓
Best for Tea Lovers
6. Local Taiwanese Tea
Teas to try include:
- Oolong: wūlóng (烏龍): Has a floral, fruity, and sometimes grassy flavor.
- Black tea (紅茶): Earthy, malty, floral, with hints of sweet & bitter notes.
- Green tea (綠茶): Grassy, vegetal, floral, with sweet undertones & slight bitterness.
- White tea (白茶): Subtle, delicate, floral, with sweet undertones and light fruitiness.
Get local loose-leaf tea in vacuum-sealed containers, tea bags, or inside canisters. I have a separate post where I cover the details of each tea.
Taiwan produces over 20,000 tons of tea annually, for a good reason .
I recommend trying tea at various tea houses or sample drinks from tea merchants before deciding what you want to bring home.
Also check whether you can actually mail or bring the tea on a plane. America’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says you CAN bring loose-leaf tea leaves and bags to the U.S. .
- Ensure your airline allows loose-leaf tea
- Get tea bags from tourist destinations (e.g., Juifen) and from traditional markets
- 茶 (Chá) means tea in Mandarin; may help when asking for it
Best for Whiskey Connoisseurs
7. A Bottle of Kavalan Whiskey
- Avg. Price: NT$1,399 per bottle
- Chinese name: 噶瑪蘭單
- Taste: Lively, tropical fruits, chocolate, caramel, with woody notes
- Hard to find outside Taiwan
- Award-winning malt whiskey
Many supermarkets, Simple Marts, and some convenience stores sell Taiwan’s award-winning Kavalan malt whiskey for at least NT$1,399 ($44.50) a bottle .
I’ve heard this liquor’s hard to find outside Taiwan. If you’re a whiskey lover and haven’t exceeded the maximum amount of alcoholic beverages you can bring, get one of these bottles.
Great for Liquor Lovers
8. Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor
- Avg. Price: NT$1,199 per bottle (varies by shop & bottle)
- Chinese name: 高粱酒
- Taste: Acidic, candy-sweet nose; light, natural red berry palate; grassy, clean finish
It’s a liquor famous to Taiwan’s Kinmen, but you can find the Hundred Dragon and 38% alcohol by volume (ABV) in most convenience stores, supermarkets, and liquor stores.
If you want a more attractive bottle, you can find one like this:
- Taipei showroom: No.3, Section 1, Rosvelt Road, Taiwan City 100, Taiwan
- Shin Shin department store counter: B1, No.247, Linsen N. Rd., Zhongshan Dist., Taipei City 104, Taiwan
- Taichung showroom: No.23, Section 3, Liouchuan W. Road, Taichung City 400, Taiwan
- Convenience stores
- Supermarkets & hypermarkets
- Kaoliang shops
Most Practical Souvenir
9. 3D icash or EasyCard
- Avg. Price: NT$450; doesn’t include adding balance
- Best place to buy: 7-Eleven or Family Mart
- Chinese name (EasyCard): 悠遊卡
- IC cards are for paying for goods & services throughout TW
- Specialized IC cards are limited edition
EasyCard, ipass, and icash 2.0 are integrated circuit (IC) cards used for public transportation and cashless purchases around Taiwan. You’ll often find themed or “cute” IC cards at convenience stores. EasyCard once sold 1 of their cards shaped like a Poké Ball. Meanwhile, I bought myself an icash card shaped like a 7-Eleven coffee cup.
Almost all of these cards don’t offer any special features. There was icash card that doubled as a scratch ticket. But it’s not for sale anymore.
The biggest issue is they’re usually sold out. Because of popularity or people wanting to flip them. I often find more of them in the middle of the night (around midnight). Since fewer people shop around this time.
- Convenience stores: mostly at 7-Eleven & Family Mart
- Carrefour (seldom)
- Taipei Metro station: from gift shops & occasionally service counters
- Shopee; I recommend against doing that. Because they’re smart cards that use NFC.
- That means someone COULD tamper with their functionality.
Best Souvenir for Yourself
10. Taiwan Beer
- Avg. Price: NT$35 per can
- Taste: Clean, refreshing, & smooth
- Japanese Rice Lager style
- Incorporates ponlai rice in its recipe
Find cans of Taiwan beer anywhere throughout Taiwan. If you get the cheapest version, I’ve seen cans for around NT$35 ($1.11) at 7-Eleven.
I’m not a beer enthusiast. So I can’t specify the notes this beer has. But if you’re bringing this beer home for yourself or someone you know, I recommend bringing Taiwan’s most popular beer.
But there’s something you’ll need to consider when transporting beer.
You don’t want an accident after bringing the beer home from a plane ride.
Here’s a trick you can try that I found on YouTube:
Every time I drink carbonated drinks, I twist the can clockwise several times. It’s something I saw on Better Call Saul, but don’t know whether it’s reliable. It appears people have had mixed results.
- Any convenience store
- Few street food stalls
- Any supermarket & hypermarket
- Restaurants & bars
11. Kuai Kuai Corn Puff Snacks
- Avg. Price: NT$28 per bag
- Best place to buy: Convenience store
- Chinese name: 乖乖
- Taste: Creamy coconut
- Superstition: Believed to make electronics behave
Kuai Kuai (乖乖 or Guai Guai) snacks are puff corn snacks that cost NT$28 ($0.89). You can find these at any convenience store or supermarket.
When perusing Taiwan, you’ll often see these bags adjacent to electronics. 乖乖 means “well-behaved;” and it’s believed that these snacks will make electronics behave and not have errors.
You’ll find these bags in multiple colors, but green is the color I see most adjacent to electronics. My research has shown me that Taiwanese people choose green because usually green lights indicate an active electronic device.
For instance, green lights on modems or routers indicate the device is functioning correctly.
The bag’s dotted line indicates that you can write your name on the bag. It doesn’t provide any additional benefits by writing anything here. I’ve never seen Taiwanese people write on these bags.
I can’t find anything specifying whether you can put an empty bag of Kuai Kuai by electronics for its magic to work. But I always see full bags.
- Any convenience store
- Supermarkets & hypermarkets
- Random snack shops
Best for an Affordable Snack
12. Taiwanese Scallion Soda Crackers
- Avg. Price: Less than NT$73
- Best Place to get them: Super- or hypermarkets
- Taste: Savory, mild onion flavor, crisp texture, with a light saltiness.
- Recommended flavor: Green onion flavor
Taiwanese scallion soda crackers are thin saltine made from:
- Baking soda
- White flour
- Sprinkled sea salt
- Varied flavoring
If you like green onions, I recommend the green onion flavor.
I hate crackers because I prefer soft textures. But these are one crunchy(ish) snack I can eat every day.
- Convenience stores
- Supermarkets & hypermarkets
Best for Flaky Snack Lovers
13. Taiwanese Sun Cakes
- Avg. Price: NT$270 ($9.50) for a box of 10
- Best place to get them: Taichung
- Chinese name: 太陽餅
- Taste: Honey mixed with maltose.
- Texture: Flaky & messy to eat
Taiwanese sun cakes, or Tai Yang Bing (太陽餅), are pastries from Taichung, Taiwan. They’re soft, flaky, and rolled into a shape that looks like the sun, hence the name.
While you can find these cakes anywhere in Taiwan, I recommend getting them from Taichung. Specifically, from the 23 Sun Bakery (23 太陽餅店). It’s close to the original Chun Shui Tang restaurant (the birthplace of bubble tea). You can try the original pearl milk tea while you’re in the area.
They charge a bit for their pastries, but not enough to shatter your wallet. 23 Sun Bakery’s cakes are worth it, though. They’ve been baking these things for over 40 years.
Ask around to see what the locals recommend. They’ll likely have better insight on where you should buy sun cakes.
If you’re in Taichung, I found a class that’ll teach you how to make sun cakes and pineapple cakes.
And here’s an example of how flaky sun cakes are:
- 23 Sun Bakery: 40343台中市西區三民路一段191號
Best for Trying Different Specialties
14. Taiwanese Snacks Specific to a City
- Examples include Tamsui’s A-Po iron eggs & fish crackers
Like sun cakes, most cities and towns throughout Taiwan will have popular snacks. For instance, there are A-Po iron eggs (淡水阿婆鐵蛋), which are a specialty that originated from Tamsui. You can find these eggs all over the place when wandering around Tamsui.
Otherwise, observe your surroundings when you’re in different places throughout Taiwan. What places seem different from others? What’s the primary theme of the area?
Here’s an example. The flying fish is a cultural symbol for Taiwan’s Orchid Island. Thus, you’ll likely find flying fish-related snacks throughout the island.
Best for Those with Lots of Money
15. Taiwan Jade
- Avg. Price: $30 (USD) per KG
- Reason to buy: Taiwan has a lot of high-quality jade
Wealthy families often adorn deceased relatives with jade jewelry because they believe it’ll absorb the dead person’s blood. Due to this blood absorption, the deceased has a higher chance of banishing evil.
Taiwan produces around 1,000 metric tons of this stuff each year. And most of it comes from Hualien County.
But it isn’t ordinary jade.
Taiwan has a lot of high-quality jade. Thus, designers can slice into 2-millimeter-thick pieces. It’s also greener than other jade mined from other countries because of its higher chromium content.
Across from the Jianguo Weekend Flower Market in Taipei City, you’ll find the Jianguo Jade Market. They have thousands of stalls with jade sellers hawking their wares.
You’ll find high-quality jade in different shapes, sizes, and designs. But you’ll want to make sure you have money set aside. Good jade will cost at least $30 per kilogram .
And don’t forget to learn how to identify real jade. I’m not saying the vendors have fake stuff, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Jianguo Jade Market: Jianguo Elevated Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106
Best Small Trinkets
16. Miniature Sky Lanterns
- Avg. Price: NT$90 each
- Best place to buy: Shifen
You can find miniature sky lanterns at most Taiwanese souvenir shops for NT$90 ($3) each. You can get these at any time throughout the year. I recommend getting them from any souvenir shop in Taiwan’s Shifen. It’s in New Taipei City’s outskirts and hosts the annual Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival.
It’s the time of the year when the Taiwanese write wishes on paper lanterns and release them into the sky to the deities.
- Most souvenir shops
Best for Puppet Collectors
17. Taiwanese Glove Puppets: Budaixi
- Avg. Price: NT$200+
- Best place to buy: Taipei
You may find Taiwanese glove puppets for sale at the Puppetry Art Center of Taipei or Chang Yi Fang Puppet Creations.
I don’t know the costs.
What is budaixi, though?
It’s one of Taiwan’s older and most famous pastimes. Designers craft these puppets with intricate details. Later, puppeteers will use them to tell stories through puppet operas about topics relating to popular folklore.
Some stories will have magical beings duke it out. In contrast, others involve ancient warriors fighting each other.
If you’re staying somewhere with cable TV, you could watch PILI TV and see these dolls in action.
- Chang Yi Fang Puppet Creations address: No. 27號, Lane 47, Yongkang St, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
18. Keychains Shaped Like Taiwan
- Avg. Price: NT$50
These wooden (or plastic) keychains are the most common souvenirs in Taiwan. Just check any gift or souvenir shop in Taiwan.
They start at NT$50 ($1.75) and are lightweight, meaning you could buy these in bulk and give some to all your friends and family back home. Or, you could snap them all to your bag.
Easiest to Transport
19. Postcards of Taiwan’s Landmarks
- Avg. Price: NT$6–12; NT$100+ for high-quality postcards
- Best place to buy: Houtong Cat Village
Taiwan has some beautiful postcards with portraits of the country’s various landmarks.
Often, you’ll find them made of wood and etches with images of local landscapes. They’re affordable, support local artists, and give you the means to carry a memory of everywhere you’ve visited.
Without having to stuff too much weight in your luggage.
If you don’t intend on mailing these postcards, you can stamp your postcard with a souvenir stamp that correlates with where you brought your mailing card. For instance, if you buy a postcard at Houtong, you can stamp it with one of the many Houtong souvenir stamps.
You can find Taiwan postcards at most souvenir or stationery shops throughout Taiwan.
Or, you can get them from bookstores. When getting letter cards from book shops, they’ll likely just have photos of some landmark.
Why did I say Houtong Cat Village as the “best place to buy”? Because they have the most unique (and cute) postcards I’ve seen. A bit expensive, but worth it.
Best for Tea Lovers
20. Taiwanese Pottery
- Avg. Price: NT$100–2,700 (varies by shop)
- Best place to buy: Jiufen Old Street
You can get it from any pottery shop in Taiwan. Prices will vary depending on where you visit. If you want to take your gift-giving to the next level, consider taking pottery classes and making your own tea set.
I recommend getting pottery from Jiufen Old Street because they have the best teapots and cups I’ve seen.
Here are some frequently asked questions about popular things to buy in Taiwan.
Find more frequently asked questions about Taiwan here.
What Product Is Taiwan Famous For?
Taiwan is famous for pineapple cakes, bubble tea, loose leaf tea, electronics, sun cakes, and more.
Other Useful Taiwan Travel Guides
12 Top Things To Do in Taichung