When one visits Taipei they usually only see 2 sides when it comes to shopping. You’ll either stick to all the luxury brands or the night market nonsense that’s pretty much found all over the city. Most times you’ll do both, given the lack of options available.
Sure there are mid-range departmental stores too, but they offer mostly the same brands you can find back in Singapore. In other words, don’t bother.
So when I stumbled onto an enclave of local independent labels just across the road from where I’m staying you could say I struck gold.
One of them is called Wam, a stark all-white duplex boutique along Zhongshan North Road. I don’t know what was nicer, the décor and all its quirky touches (you can say it’s almost ‘Margielic’), or that apparel was clean, minimalist and surprisingly affordable. Best deal I’ve got all trip so far in Taipei? A full-length wool trench coat from Wam for just SGD60. It was on special clearance and I grabbed it in a heartbeat telling myself I could definitely wear it when I head to Paris later in the year.
We ended spending just under SGD500 for 7 pieces, including my other steal of the day, an olive bomber jacket with a fleece collar for just SGD99. Boo got the other 5 (yes, he is in Taipei with me, having flown up to join me on Friday).
And speaking of Boo, a few streets down we found a homely and eclectic lifestyle store/eatery called Booday. We ended up having the best meal we had in Taiwan so far; made up of simple and delicious home-cooked fare.
Another notable mention is ‘0416, an adorable tee/stationery shop just down the road from Wam. We spent a good half hour going through everything and ended up getting illustrated notebooks as gifts and souvenirs. Tomorrow after a morning tour of the National Palace Museum we’re planning to head on back to the area again and have another thorough look, but at the rate it’s going, it’s very likely we’ll be coming back to Taipei very very soon.