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    • Breeze Center

      FuXing S. Rd., Sec. 1, No. 39

      Taipei

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      Markets & Neighborhoods

      Posh mall stocked with international designer boutiques, a cinema, and Dean & Deluca.

    • DiHua Street

      DiHua St.

      Taipei

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      Markets & Neighborhoods

      Historic street famous for its traditional Chinese herbs and spice shops and colonial architecture.

    • Eslite

      SongGao Rd., No. 11

      Taipei

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      Boutiques & Design Shops

      • Eslite
      • Bookstore
      • XinYi District
      • $$

      Massive bookstore carrying a mind-boggling range of books, stationary, music, and films.

    • GuangHua Market

      XinSheng Rd. and Civic Blvd.

      Taipei

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      Markets & Neighborhoods

      Sleek six-story electronics market selling every gizmo imaginable.

    • HuaXi Street (Snake Alley) Night Market

      HuaXi St.

      Taipei

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      Markets & Neighborhoods

      Hopping night market specializing in snake delicacies and traditional Taiwanese reflexology.

    • Jianguo Holiday Jade Market

      XinYi Rd., Sec. 3 and JianGuo S. Rd.

      Taipei

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      Markets & Neighborhoods

      true

      Bustling weekend market where you can score everything from jade carvings to kitsch souvenirs.

    • Jianguo Holiday Flower Market

      XinYi Rd., Sec. 3 and JianGuo S. Rd.

      Taipei

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      Markets & Neighborhoods

      Bustling weekend flower market where you can snap up everything from potted plants to fresh produce.

    • Regent Galleria

      Regent Taipei, ZhongShan N. Rd., Sec. 2, No. 41

      Taipei

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      Markets & Neighborhoods

      true

      Sleek shopping arcade located in The Regent Taipei hotel.

    • SOGO

      ZhongXiao E. Rd., Sec. 4, No. 45

      Taipei

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      Department Stores

      • SOGO
      • Department Store
      • Da'An District
      • $$$

      Posh department store with boutiques by major international designers and cool Asian labels.

    • Taipei 101

      Shifu Rd., No. 45

      Taipei

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      Markets & Neighborhoods

      true

      Elegant high-end mall on the lower levels of one of the world’s tallest buildings.

    • TongHua Street Night Market

      Xinyi Rd., Sec. 4 and Jilong Rd. Sec. 2

      Taipei

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      Markets & Neighborhoods

      Crowded night market specializing in traditional Taiwanese snacks like shaved ice and stinky tofu.

    • XinYi District

      Xinyi Rd., Sec. 4 and 5

      Taipei

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      Markets & Neighborhoods

      Fashionable district around the Taipei 101 tower packed with shops, restaurants, and nightlife.

    • YongKang Street

      Yong Kang St.

      Taiwan

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      Markets & Neighborhoods

      Relaxed neighborhood packed with coffee shops, cafés, and funky boutiques.

    • ZhongXiao East Road

      ZhongXiao E. Rd.

      Taipei

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      Markets & Neighborhoods

      Fashionable stretch of road lined with international retailers and restaurants.

    Along DiHua Street in Taipei's historic old town, you can get an authentic feel for the city's past. Amid the touristy market stalls that have recently popped up selling candy and handicrafts, you can still find wizened shopkeepers peddling traditional Chinese medicines and healing herbs and spices like they did back in the day. Call it the earliest pairing of "retail" and "therapy" in Taipei.

    Today, Taipei is a "retail therapy" mecca, with many of its traditional markets still going strong and its high-fashion malls doing a brisk business in international and Asian labels. Unique finds abound, even from familiar designers (selections here often differ from stateside collections), luring tourists and locals alike for both shopping and window shopping–merely browsing the beautiful goods appears to have "therapeutic" value.

    Our favorite shrines of retail will cure any fashion craving you may have, from couture to casual. At the Breeze Center, a gorgeous 10-story shopping mall, you'll find luxury boutiques like Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, and Prada alongside more laidback offerings like Tory Burch and Club Monaco, plus stylish yet affordable Japanese stores Muji and UNIQLO. The Regent Galleria, a shopping arcade in the posh Regent Taipei hotel, on the other hand, has a more high-end bent with a special emphasis on jewelry and watches (Mikimoto, Bulgari, Harry Winston) and some Parisian favorites like Anne Fontaine and Zadig & Voltaire too (don't miss the Jean-Paul Hevin boutique for Parisian chocolates).

    If you need some serious therapy for your vertigo after visiting the observation deck at the towering Taipei 101 skyscraper, head to the luxury mall on the lower levels to ease your anxiety. The spread of designers in this XinYi District center (think Gucci, Fendi, and Christian Louboutin) is bound to distract you from your troubles, as is the upscale food court and restaurant selection (S.T.A.Y, Shin Yeh, and DinTaiFung are among the options). There's also a small branch of the SOGO department store here, but for the full SOGO experience (complete with white-gloved elevator girls and cool Asian labels), check out the main location in the Da'An District.

    But if these ultra-polished marvels leave you a bit overwrought, the city's diverse markets offer retail rehab with a more traditional twist. Aside from DiHua Street, you can also get that old school flavor at Jianguo Holiday Jade Market and Jianguo Holiday Flower Market, two open-air weekend bazaars fit for browsing and bargaining. The retail at these really can be therapeutic: jade is thought to have healing properties, while teas, herbs, and bonsai trees available at the flower market are sure to promote inner harmony. Even at the city's many Night Markets (our favorites include TongHua Street Night Market and HuaXi Street (Snake Alley) Night Market), where the emphasis is on street snacks and souvenir trinkets, there's a therapeutic element–you'll find reflexology stalls at the ready for a rejuvenating foot massage.

    On the other hand, no one's arguing that electronics parts and gadgets are especially therapeutic, but at GuangHua Market, a six-story electronics market that's attracted hardcore techies for decades, there are still retail rewards to be had. Just think how amazing you'll feel when you score discounted prices on flash drives and computer hardware (at least for non-Apple products...iPads and the like still go for close to full price).

    But sometimes interacting with people (not things) is what makes the shopping experience so fulfilling. When we want a good dose of people-watching along with our label-hunting, we head to some of Taipei's most shopping-friendly streets. Taipei locals of all ages flock to ZhongXiao East Road, a fashionable stretch of pavement lined with international luxury retailers, for new duds. On chic, unique YongKang Street, you'll find funky boutiques catering to savvy young Taipei professionals, sometimes with families in tow, who come out at night after work to enjoy the cute restaurants too.

    Speaking of nighttime shopping...if you need a salve for your jetlag-induced insomnia, look no further than Eslite, a massive, 24-hour bookstore where you can troll the well-stocked shelves side by side with Taipei's bookish night owls. The selection of Chinese and foreign-language books as well as cool stationery, music, and films should be more than enough retail for your therapeutic needs...but if not, there's always the self-help section.

    Photo of HuaXi Street (Snake Alley) Night Market courtesy of lwy on Flickr Creative Commons