Dream Mall is the largest shopping mall in Taiwan and the rest of East India, and it bears a name that is appropriate for its features. Shaped like a giant whale, with a fully functioning amusement park and a huge Ferris wheel on its rooftop, visitors to this mall would indeed feel as though they are dreaming.
Found in the city of Kaohsiung, the second most industrialized city in Taiwan, Dream Mall is Kaohsiung’s first world-class department store and leisure center. Completed and opened on May 12, 2007, it is strategically located within the Kaohsiung Multifunctional Commerce and Trade Park along Chonggong and Zhonhua Roads, which makes it very accessible from the Kaohsiung International Airport, Sun Yat-sen Expressway, Kaohsiung Harbor and a number of train stations.
The mall is made up of the 7-storey Blue Whale Hall and the 9-storey main mall building. It has an underground parking area that can accommodate more than 3,500 cars and 2,000 scooters. This 400,000-square-meter mall houses about 600 retail shops, which include Marks and Spencer, Uni-Hankyu Department Store, and Hokkaido Ice and Snow, to name a few. It also contains a fully equipped gym, state-of-the-art movie theaters, restaurants, entertainment centers, a basement supermarket and food court. But what really sets this mall apart is the Hello Kitty Ferris wheel within its rooftop amusement park.
The Sanrio-inspired Ferris Wheel, called “Kaohsiung Eye”, is 50 meters in diameter. Its changing colors and bright patterns light the night sky like fireworks. Riders get a panoramic view of the city and the nearby South China Sea, since the mall is near the harbor.
The city of Kaohsiung is known as the Harbor Capital of Taiwan. It is host to millions of cargo deliveries every year. Taiwan has one of the most vibrant economies in Asia today, thanks largely to Kaohsiung port. Although known primarily for its harbor-based trade and commerce, Kaohsiung is fast becoming an important tourist destination in Asia as well. Its leading attractions are the Love River, Tuntex Sky Tower, World Games Stadium, Lotus Lake, and Chai Mountain, among others, while the most appealing activities for tourists are sightseeing, swimming, dining, cycling, trekking and shopping.
Kaohsiung shopping is very tempting for its many modern malls, aside from Dream Mall, and traditional open-air markets. The most popular market is the Liuhe Night Market near the Central Post Office and Kaohsiung Railway Station. Liuhe is never without a horde of local and international shoppers battling to get the best buy and sampling the most delicious local dishes. There are plenty of authentic foods to choose from and the most exotic of all is the eel spaghetti, cooked with real eels mixed with pasta. Also popular are seafood dishes, rice congee, shaved ice and dumplings. Not much haggling is done here, compared with other Asian markets.
There are also a number of malls to go shopping, but clearly the largest and most innovative is Dream Mall. Its one-of-a-kind design puts together maritime and natural motifs, highlighting Water, Flower, Nature and Universe themes. When in Kaohsiung, a visit to Dream Mall is a must.