to travel & shop / taipei, taiwan

Similar to Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Seoul, you can find all the Western brands in Taipei with crazy markups (in comparison with the US), so it’s best to stick to Asian brands. I hang out mostly in the Eastern side of Taipei so this is my point of view. Some places I mention are chains and have locations throughout the city. I shop mostly for beauty and housewares in Taipei and don’t go near the cutesy little things I used to find at the nightmarket that were since thrown out.

  • Tax Refund: With a foreign passport, you can apply for a sales tax refund if you spend over 3000 NTD (~$93) at an authorized retailer (details). Often the refund isn’t worth the trouble of remembering your passport.
  • Pay in local currency: All the places I mention are credit card friendly. If you’re not paying with an Amex or Discover and using Visa or Mastercard, you may be asked if you want to pay in USD or local currency. Always chose local currency and I hope you have a foreign fee free card. More reading: What is dynamic currency conversion, which card to use

Locations

The yellow road running East/West is Zhongxiao E Road. There are many boutiques, cafes, and restaurants in the alleys around this road. I’m using the MRT stations for reference but if you’re pressed for time, take a taxi.

  • Starting with the Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station, you can find Japanese department store, Sogo, at the SW and NE corners. The NE corner is the original Sogo and I like to browse/meet people there beyond the It’s a Small World clock. There is also a large Watsons next to it and more boutique shopping and eating in the alleys behind it. The SW corner is the high-end luxury Sogo — with a Din Tai Fung in the basement.
  • Walking East, you get to the Dunhua S Road intersection which has the Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT Station. Look two blocks SE and there is an office building with an Eslite bookstore at the lower and basement levels. This houses the 24/7 bookstore. I also like Eslite for their boutique/stationary — which isn’t 24/7 but still open pretty late. On either side of Zhongxiao E Rd east of Dunhua, you’ll find local Taiwanese department stores and lots of retail stores like Daiso, Zara, Uniqlo, etc. I normally come here for the Innisfree, a Korean skincare brand (more on this below). There is also a Mos burger and Cosmed in the alley.
  • If you go further east on Zhongxiao E Rd, you enter the new Xinyi district (Taipei City Hall MRT Station) which has Taipei 101 and many standalone department stores — Breeze, multiple Mitsukoshis, Uni-Hankyu (check out their food court – Tim Ho Wan, ramen, bakeries, etc.), 101 Mall, Bellavita, and ATT 4 Fun (Totoro). There are walkways that connect these buildings either under or overground, which is helpful if it’s raining outside.

On to the shopping.

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to travel & shop / portland anthropologie and future glory rockwell bags review

This post is a review of the Anthropologie store in Portland, Oregon and a few Future Glory Rockwell styles that I found there.

I visited Portland, Oregon a few weeks ago for vacation (after visiting numerous times for work). Portland is known for great food and the day trip radius has wine country and scenic views. It just happened that there are two stores that I really wanted to check out. This new Anthropologie store was one of them.

This store reopened in March 2016 as the first of their supersized destination stores. The Newport Beach store has since opened, King of Prussia, Palo Alto, and Walnut Creek are on schedule for later this year. These new stores are great news if you want to check out their home goods (which is so much harder to shop for online and at Anthropologie’s price points). This store is over 25,000 square feet and has two floors. The first floor has most of the ‘showrooms’, design center, beauty area, and sale sections (at least when I visited during the tag sale). The second floor has the fitting rooms, shoe/accessories area, lingerie, activewear, more clothes, more furniture, and a small sale section. The shoe/accessories area has a dedicated salesperson similar to department stores and inventory is kept in the back.

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to travel & shop / {november 2011} paris – petit bateau

Continuation of this Petit Bateau post.

Petit Bateau is all over Paris. I have no idea how their sales are like in Paris, but I can’t afford to wait. They were having a small promotion when I was there – 20% off two or more items, excluding anything black or blue {stripes were eligible for the promotion} – and in true Parisian fashion, it was very subtly advertised in the store. I happened to catch a glimpse of the store window on the way in and it was written on the very bottom left. I don’t know much French, but I know enough to know soldes = sale :)

Here are some snapshots of their tiny lookbook. Their baby/kid line is so adorable. I wish they had everything in adult sizes! {Oh wait, they do.}

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to travel & shop / {november 2011} paris – repetto stock

Update: This Repetto outlet closed. As far as I know, you can find another outlet outside of Paris at the La Vallée Village. Details here

If you look beneath the surface of Paris, you’ll find catacombs and stock stores, which are known more affectionately to us as outlets. These stock stores have leftover and discontinued inventory from the retail stores, not merchandise produced at an sub-par quality specific for the outlets like J.Crew, Banana Republic, etc. Since I have a Repetto obsession, I had to check out the Repetto one. If you have more time, you can find stock shops here for Maje, Cacharel, Sandro, etc. There was also one blog that outlined when the Maje and Sandra shops restock, but I can’t find the link now.

The Repetto stock store is above their ballet store, which does not have Repetto signage, so pay attention to the address. It is also conveniently close to a metro line and not too far of a walk from the Opera area.

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