Taiwan is a veritable paradise for food lovers. From spacious shopping malls to narrow alleyways, fabulous food and tasty treats abound everywhere. In addition to the haute cuisine of restaurants, the discerning connoisseur can also sample mouthwatering night market foods, delicious confections, food gifts, and of course, Taiwanese beverages.

Taiwanese tea, for one, has an established global reputation. The “Dongding” (凍頂) oolong tea and the Oriental Beauty are among the favorite varieties. Also well-known is pearl milk tea, which brings together chewy tapioca spheres with all the fragrant aromas of Taiwanese tea to deliver superb taste and texture. As for desserts, shaved ice is a must-have when in Taiwan, where subtropical temperatures and extended summers have given rise to an innovative array of tempting ice desserts. Lastly, one must not leave Taiwan without acquiring a few local specialties as a perfect ending to the trip.

In Chinese culture, a gift is a sincere expression of fondness and affection for a fellow being. When returning to their hometowns or visiting friends and family, the Taiwanese always bear small gifts for the host. The gift may be simple, but it carries great sentimental value that will touch people’s hearts. Taiwan values such etiquette, so it is no wonder the place offers a plethora of gift choices, the most popular of which include pineapple cake, jerky, mullet roe, tea leaves and liquor. These local specialties are a must-buy for visitors before departing Taiwan.