Through time, Hsinchu City emerged as not only the forefront of semiconductor manufacturing but also a leading shopping destination, with the extensive modern shopping facilities in the city center. Shopping in Hsinchu is one of the best travel activities to do, with the huge and dense shopping complexes selling various international brands. In fact, Windance Shopping Center is one of the most impressive, if not the biggest, shopping outlets in Taiwan found in Hsinchu.
Perhaps Hsinchu City’s biggest claim to fame is its giant computer technology industry, with the huge number of the world’s motherboards coming from here. In fact, over 50% of the world’s notebooks are manufactured in Hsinchu. As such, high-end electronics such as MP3 players, external hard drives, and the like can be bought here at very competitive prices. While being known as the ‘Silicon Valley’ of Taiwan, electronic sellers in Hsinchu are not likely to give discounts on higher-end electronics and computers. The regional competition from Japan and Korea is tight; hence, travelers may see similar price ranges for computer parts in Hsinchu just as they would at home.
Besides electronics and gadgets, other popular souvenirs found in Hsinchu are the traditional kites and flying lanterns. These capitalize on the area’s windy weather and are very fun inexpensive items for entertainment as well as excellent gifts for loved ones back home. You can also find various handicrafts for sale in the downtown area. Several indigenous tribes residing in the Hsinchu County and other countryside make traditional wares that they bring into the Hsinchu market to sell to tourists.
Some of the popular malls for shopping in Hsinchu include RT Mart, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store, SOGO Department Store and Windance Shopping Mall. Located in Zhong Xiao Road, RT Mart is quite a good supermarket chain that houses daily necessities such as groceries, snacks and other fresh produce. Next to Ambassador Hotel is the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Store, which is a vast department store frequented by tourists and foreigners. Expect to see a plethora of international restaurants and cafes as well as massive department store for shopping.
Beside Mitsukoshi Store, another Japanese department store chain is the SOGO Department Store, which is more popular for its huge Cineplex, enhanced by comfy plush seats and a wide range of snack stands. For hardcore shoppers, the Windance Shopping mall is perhaps the best place for you. This 17-storey shopping center covers over 360,000 sq.m, and is home to more than 150 branded stores, 15 restaurants, extensive food court and a massive ‘Toys R Us’ store for kids.
Shopping in Hsinchu won’t be complete without visiting the night markets. The Garden Street Night Market in No. 120 Zhongzheng Road is one of the most loved places in Hsinchu. You can see plenty of market stalls selling local Hsinchu and Taiwanese handicrafts, snacks and delicacies. The Holiday Market was first known as a huge flower market but later on expanded to many market stalls selling herbs, organic food, local delicacies and fresh produce. Popular buys include sausages, sesame oil fried chicken cutlets and noodles. There is also the Hsinchu Flower Market if you are looking for flowers. This is a lively and colorful place with boisterous vendors eager to sell their wares. They are also famous for gamely haggling with tourists and negotiating prices. You can see flowers, fruits, snacks and even kittens sold here.