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.
Get your wallet ready to buy Taiwanese souvenirs.
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|
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.
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$1,850 ($59). 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.
A Bottle of Kavalan 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. So if you’re a whiskey lover and haven’t exceeded the maximum amount of alcoholic beverages you can bring, get one of these bottles.
Or you can try this liquor.
Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor
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:
Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor’s website lists everywhere you can find their drinks for sale.
3D icash or EasyCard
You can find EasyCards, ipass, or icash cards in various shapes and sizes. Depending on who they collaborate with.
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’s 1 icash card that doubled as a scratch ticket. But it’s not for sale anymore.
Most of these cards are limited-time purchases. And when trying to find them, they’re usually sold out. Either because of popularity or people wanting to flip them.
Whether you’re visiting or living in Taiwan, check every convenience store you see for these unique smart cards. Costs will vary.
Mine cost NT$450 ($14). You could buy older limited-time icash or EasyCards on Taiwanese shopping sites, but I recommend against doing that. Because they’re smart cards that use NFC.
That means someone COULD tamper with their functionality.
Nougat Candy From Hualien City
While in Hualien, go to 73 Candy and pick up some handmade nougat candy.
If the place is still around. They have an active Facebook page. But when I visited their website, a blank white page appeared.
The person who runs their Facebook also hasn’t posted anything since 2018. Though it says the store’s still open.
73 Candy address: No. 2, Xuanyuan Road, Hualien City, Hualien County
You can 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.
Kuai Kuai Snacks
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. That’s because 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.
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.
You can find Taiwanese soda crackers at any supermarket (and possibly convenience store). These usually cost less than NT$73 ($2.30).
What are they?
They’re thin crackers made from:
- Baking soda
- White flour
- Sprinkled sea salt
- Varied flavoring
The last point leads me to my recommendation. 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.
Chia Te Pineapple Cakes From Chia Te Bakery in Taipei
The Chia Te traditional pastry bakery in Taipei City bakes the most popular preservative-free pineapple cakes in Taiwan.
You can find them in varying flavors like egg yolk, cranberry, cherry, and plum. Their cakes have a crumbly crust and a buttery yet fruity taste.
Expect to pay at least NT$38 ($1.21) per pineapple cake. Pricing will vary based on the flavor you get. They sell other pastries (like mooncakes) but we’re talking about pineapple pastries.
For pineapple cake with a firm texture and a chewy filling, you’ll want to try Taipei Leechi.
I recommend getting the original flavor. For a box of 12 pineapple cakes, you’ll need to fork over NT$372 ($13) or NT$620 ($21) for a box of 20.
You could order these from Amazon, but they’re significantly more expensive.
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
Sun Cakes from Sun Bakery in Taichung
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.
They taste a bit like honey mixed with maltose.
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). So, you can try the original pearl milk tea while you’re at it.
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.
If you’re buying these for someone at home, buy a gift box. They’re around NT$270 ($9.50) for a box of 10.
Show this address to a taxi driver, plug it into your Uber app, or click the link and follow it on a map app: 40343台中市西區三民路一段191號
You can also ask around to see what the locals recommend. They’ll likely have better insight on where you should buy sun cakes.
Taiwanese Snacks Specific to a City
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.
Taiwan Jade: Some of the World’s Best
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 .
You’ll want to ensure you take a class on how to identify real jade. I’m not saying the vendors have fake stuff, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Meat-Shaped Stone from the National Palace Museum
You’ll often find meat-shaped stones on display at Taipei’s National Palace Museum. But you can sometimes find them at the museum’s gift shop for at least NT$200 ($7.00) each.
Since they’re stones, they’ll add more weight to your luggage or package than other Taiwanese souvenirs.
What are they?
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.
While at the museum’s gift shop, you could find jade shaped like cabbage. But you’ll have to set your wallet on fire and hand the store clerk NT$22,000 ($776).
National Palace Museum in Taipei address: No. 221, Sec 2, Zhi Shan Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111
Miniature Sky Lanterns
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 a 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.
Taiwanese Glove Puppets: Budaixi
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.
Here’s a scene from a PILI TV puppet drama series on the network provider’s YouTube channel:
Chang Yi Fang Puppet Creations address: No. 27號, Lane 47, Yongkang St, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Local Taiwanese Tea
You can get local loose-leaf tea in vacuum-sealed containers, tea bags, or inside canisters.
And here are the different types of tea from Taiwan I recommend:
- Oolong: wūlóng (烏龍) has a floral, fruity, and sometimes grassy flavor
- Black tea
- Green tea
- White tea
I have a separate post where I cover the details of each tea.
Taiwan produces over 20,000 tons of tea yearly, 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.
You’ll also want to 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. .
Check with your airline safety government entity to ensure they’re as lenient.
Keychains Shaped Like Taiwan
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.
Postcards of Taiwan’s Scenery
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.
Taiwan’s various cultures offer different souvenirs you may like. For instance, the Hakka people have oil-paper umbrellas. Meanwhile, their indigenous tribes have handcrafted items like jewelry and knives.
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.
Moreover, why not pair it with a tea set when getting Taiwanese tea?
Merchandise From Taipei 101
Some Taipei 101 souvenirs include:
- 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: make sure to 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.
Book a visit:
FAQs: Things To Buy in Taiwan
Here are some frequently asked questions about popular things to buy in Taiwan.
What Product Is Taiwan Famous For?
Taiwan is famous for pineapple cakes, bubble tea, loose leaf tea, electronics, sun cakes, and more.
Everyone’s definition of a “best souvenir from Taiwan” will differ. For instance, you won’t want to get a caffeine-sensitive person tea. Or someone who doesn’t drink beer.
Figure out what the person you’re shopping for likes. From there, determine the best Taiwanese souvenir to pick up.
If you’re looking for other Taiwan travel guides, you’ll find everything you need in my other guides.
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