1. A-Po Iron Eggs
This popular specialty egg-based dish from Taiwan originated in the Tamsui (or Danshui) District of New Taipei City.
The hard-boiled eggs have gone through braising and drying processes to make the eggs chewy, small and full of flavour.
A-Po iron eggs are considered to be one of the most delicious ones in the market, although some would say that the delicacy is an acquired taste.
2. Ali Mountain (Ali shan) tea
Tea is one of the most popular items to buy in Taiwan, but the tea leaves grown in the high Ali Mountain in Chiayi are the most sought-after and recommended by tea enthusiasts all over the world.
It's a type of premium oolong tea that is highly regarded for its floral and creamy character.
Tourists are advised to get their tea leaves from the teahouses located in Maokong while getting a full first-hand experience there by making their own tea.
3. Branded footwear
Taiwan is considered to be one of the best destinations to shop in Asia as tourists flock the country for cheap, fashionable goods.
Many would consider visiting the country just to get the latest model of their favourite branded footwear in particular, from popular sportswear such as adidas to the classic sandals like Birkenstock.
However, shoppers should beware of fake goods in the market.
4. Chia Te Pineapple Cakes
Chia Te is an award-winning bakery that is known for making one of, if not the best pineapple cakes.
It is not unusual to see people lining up at the Chia Te Bakery in order to buy the popular pastry home in bulk.
5. Chun Cui He drinks
Chun Cui He is one of the most popular bottled beverage brands from Taiwan. The drinks are a common sight in convenience stores with plenty of flavours available, ranging from milk tea to Sumiyaki (roasted coffee).
People go ga-ga over these drinks and they are highly popular among tourists from Hong Kong, Singapore, and even South Korea.
6. Crispy bak kwa (Chinese salty-sweet dried meat product similar to jerky)
If you love bak kwa, then you're going to be a fan of these paper-thin crispy bak kwa from Taiwan.
A blend of pork and almonds in a cruncy paper-thin cracker, this is an addictive snack loved by many.
The Taiwanese manufacturers have put much thought into the packaging as the snack usually comes in a box packaged with a resealable plastic on the top.
7. Dried fruits
When in Taiwan, visitors must indulge in the fruits available in the 'fruity island' as they are extremely tasty and fresh. It may be challenging to bring back those delicious produce, so most people would get the next best thing - dried fruits.
Besides the standard dried mango and guava, there's a wide range of dried fruits in all sorts of colours. Also, check out the dried vegetables available such as dried okra or dried sweet potato.
8. Instant noodles
There is no doubt that Taiwan is a heaven for instant noodles lovers. Taiwanese instant noodles are considered to be among the bests in the international market as they're constantly innovating and producing new styles and flavours.
People would come here to buy back their favourite instant noodles ranging from seafood laksa to tomato ala pasta sauce.
9. KA'FEN shampoo
KA'FEN is a pretty popular hair care brand in Taiwan and the surrounding region, despite the short time it has been part of this highly saturated market.
Established in 2010, the brand is well-known for producing hair care products that are free from dimethicone, a type of silicone widely used in hair care, cosmetics, and skin care products.
Mochi or muah chee is particularly famous in the Hualien city of Taiwan.
People can't seem to get enough of the fresh rice ball dessert that can be easily found almost anywhere in Taiwan, that they even buy them back for their own or to give to relatives and friends.
Tourists love it for the different flavours and variations, and how they can be frozen as ice cream as they're made of glutinous rice.
11. Sheet Masks
A staple in Asian skin care, many visitors would not miss out the opportunity to stock up on sheet masks (or face masks) in Taiwan.
My Beauty Diary, Kissui, and L'Herboflore, are some of the most highly-rated Taiwanese brands that offer a comprehensive list of sheet mask options.
12. Skin care products with mandelic acid
Tourists are definitely spoilt for choice when it comes to skin care products in Taiwan, but it's a trend now to get skin care products with mandelic acid.
In recent years, mandelic acid, which is derived from almonds, is being used in skin care products as it is believed to be a powerful agent that helps improve skin texture but with very little negatives.
These products are usually available at a cheap price and can be found at drugstore chain Cosmed, or health care and beauty care chain store such as Watson and Sa Sa. Many people would opt to buy from trusted Taiwanese skin care brands like For Beloved One, Dr. Wu, and Naruko (by Niu-Er).
13. Sugar & Spice nougats
When we talk about nougats, Australia is probably the first thing that comes to mind. However, in recent times, Taiwan's Sugar & Spice has emerged as a new favourite among nougat-loving people.
It's no longer unheard of for tourists to buy these sweet treats back which are perfect as gifts, ever since Sugar & Spice established their flagship store in Taichung back in 1996.
14. Sun biscuit
Sun biscuit, also known as 'tai yang bing', is a popular Taiwanese pastry with sweet fillings originating from Taichung.
Traditionally, a good sun biscuit is one with good condensed malt sugar filling and a soft, flaky crust. Nowadays, they're available in a wide variety of flavours including green tea, sesame, and pork floss.
Sun biscuit is one of the most common things people buy as souvenirs for their family and friends.
15. Taiwanese jelly pudding
Taiwanese jelly pudding is usually wrapped in individual packages, so travellers love to buy these back because it's fairly easy to pack and bring them home.
It's available in many fruity flavours such as mango and lychee. An extremely addictive snack, you'll never stop at one.