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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Taipei Day 3: Xinyi District (Eslite 誠品書店, Taipei 101, Shinkong Mitsukoshi 新光三越)

This is the better of the two Eslite stores we visited whilst in Taipei. Located near the Taipei City Hall subway station, the store has a total of 6 levels. Magazines, craft books and new arrivals are on the 2nd floor. Everything else from Japanese books, cookery, art and design to manga, literature and language is on the 3rd floor.

You can find the stationery section on the 4th floor. If I'm not wrong, there's also a Cath Kidston store and an Aesop on the 2nd floor.

Taiwanese and Japanese magazines are slighly cheaper than in Singapore. Mooks are priced about the same. In fact, there seems to be more Taiwanese craft books in Kinokuniya Orchard than in Eslite Taipei. There is also a bargain bin on the 2nd floor, from which I got the Tsumori Chisato Cats mook for a delicious NT249. I also got myself a Naruko Marjoram and Lavender Brightening Peeling Gel as GWP from a certain Taiwanese magazine.

There is a Shinkong Mitsukoshi building just beside Eslite, and a little further away from the station, across the road, are the remaining three.

Resting area with benches between the buildings.

There was a sale going on and it was crowded!

Besides a 5% tax rebate for tourists who spend at least NT3000 in a single receipt, they were also giving out an NT500 voucher with a minimum spend of NT5000, which you can use at any of the 4 Shinkong Mitsukoshi malls in the area.

Here's the opening and closing hours of the malls as well as what you'd be able to find there.

There's also ATT-Fun, a mall with young and trendy brands, as well as a Muji store. Here's what it looks like from the bridge linking the various buildings.

A little further away is Taipei 101. This is what the building looks like from the outside.

Night view of Taipei 101.

View of Taipei 101 from the linkbridge.

The observatory or sky tower is located on the 89th floor, and is open from 9am to 10pm. Tickets can be bought at the counter on the 5th floor, and the last entry is at 9:15pm.

Damper baby, their mascot, showing the way.

There was a rather long queue to get into the lift which will bring you all the way up to the observatory on the 89th floor. Admission fee is NT400 per adult, which we felt was too expensive. If I'm not wrong, it'd be something like the view from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, which by the way, is free.

In case it is of any interest, there is a small PageOne bookstore in the mall, as well as a number of luxury brands.

I thought I'd be excited to see Taipei 101, given that I had missed seeing the Tokyo Tower on numerous occasions. Yet, what interested me the most was Eslite, the Shinking Mitsukoshis and Hankyu! In other words, shopping.


Getting from the Airport to the Town Centre
Airport Bus

A review of the reasonably priced City Inn Hotel

Great Yakiniku Dinner Wine and Dine
Best Fruit Smoothie at Agnes B Cafe
Dining Cute @ Hello Kitty Cafe
Best Breakfast @ New York Bagels
Best Spaghetti and Fruits Tea @ Afternoon Tea Cafe
Ice Cream Toast @ Dazzling Cafe, opened by a socialite
Best Mala Hotpot Supper @ Ximending

Night Markets
Shida Night Market
Shilin Night Market
Raohe Night Market
Jianguo Flower and Jade Market

Shopping Malls & Bookstores
Eslite, Shinkong Mitsukoshi

Main Attractions - Places that you can't miss
Danshuei Old Street: Eat while you walk
Jiufen: Traditional Alley
Shifen: Lighting A Wish Lantern
Beitou Hot Springs: Soak your troubles away
Yehliu Geopark: Amazing Rock Formations by the Sea

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