When we were in Taiwan for Jeff’s work last week, my friend Jossy, who was back in Taipei for winter break, asked if I wanted to go to the flower market and fabric district with her. Since Jeff worked late most days and I was usually left alone at the hotel, this was a welcome change from my usual routine of getting a green tea donut at Mister Donut, going to the hotel gym to work off said donut and then getting a massive 700 calorie boba drink to quench my thirst which pretty much negated any exercise that I did all week. A whole day of flower and fabric shopping? YES, please!!
We started the day early with a trip to the wholesale Niehu flower market in Taipei, which is located just a few blocks from Gangqian Station, off the Wenhu (brown) MRT subway line. We met up with Jossy’s friend Maggie and we were looking for flowers to make arrangements for Maggie’s birthday dinner the next night. I’ve been to the wholesale flower markets in LA and in Boston before and the wholesale market in Taiwan is really similar, except MUCH more dense and busy. Also, because we went a few days before Chinese New Year, the market was bustling with activity. Unlike other flower markets which normally die down and close by 11am, this market was open 24 hours for the New Year! Because of the holiday, there were tons of “lucky” plants like pineapple and orange trees available. There were also all sorts of red New Years decor, too!
I love going to flower markets, being around all the fresh flowers make me so happy! I was surprised that the flowers were so cheap, too! A bunch of 15 long stem pink roses were only $70NT, that is just $2.30 in the States!! I love how things in Taiwan are so cheap!
After we bought all the flowers we needed, we went over to a friend’s nearby flower shop and made 10 of these flower arrangements for Maggie’s birthday dinner:
So fun!! There is something about flower arranging that is so relaxing, you get lost in your own little world. If you are ever in Taiwan and want to go to the flower market, here is an article Jossy sent me with the address of the flower market.
After refueling on stewed pork and boba, Jossy took me to the fabric district in Taipei, which is near the Zongshan station (off the “Tamsui” or red subway line”). You need to take a taxi from the subway to stop to get there, but the ride should only cost about $100NT or $3 US dollars. Similar to the LA Fabric District, there are lots of little shops in the area that sell all sorts of fabric and trimming which are fun to browse through. But if you are short on time, go straight to this huge warehouse of fabric called Yongle Market (永樂市場) on Dihua Street (迪化街):
The 2nd floor Yongle Market is a wonderland of fabric. Stalls of fabric stores are all crammed into 6 aisles and fabric and trimmings were overflowing into all of them. I was in fabric heaven!!
There were so many stalls of fabric, its easy to get lost and wander in circles. Or get overwhelmed and curl up in a ball in the corner. Or go crazy and start buying up everything you see — which is what I did!! There was so many cute options and the sheer variety was amazing!! Take a look at all this Hello Kitty fabric:
Check out all this fun velcro colors! I’ve never seen so many colors available!
Earlier in the week, my quest for fabric in Tokyo ended in disappointment because of the high cost there so I was pleasantly surprised to find LOTS of Japanese printed fabric at low prices here. I don’t know why, but Japanese fabric was cheaper in Taiwan than in Japan! Check out these cute prints I got!
The 2 rolls of vinyl fabric at the top of the photo were only $3 each. I bought up a bunch of 55×55 cm squares of fabric stacked below for only $1.60 each. Such cute prints for so cheap!! I actually went back to the store again the NEXT day to buy more fabric because I thought it was such a steal! I had to bring an extra duffle bag home full of fabric!
They sell fabric in meters, which is roughly the length of one yard, so it was easy to convert. I got these Japanese fabrics which ranged from $3/meter to $10/ meter:
I also found these cute Japanese printed twill tape for $1/meter:
I also got these pre-quilted fabrics for $6/half meter:
Because we were in Asia, home of cheap knock-offs, I got a couple meters of knock-off Burberry fabric for $6/meter and $10/meter:
If you are ever in Taiwan and want to go on a huge fabric shopping spree, make sure to hit up Yongle Market. Here is an article with its address and info. I was so proud of myself for navigating to the market by myself without Jossy the next day. All I had to do was show the taxi driver this business card of one of the stalls, the address of the market is at the bottom in Chinese:
Oh and the 3rd floor of the building is full of stalls of tailors. You can get clothes made from scratch or altered there cheaply. Jossy’s sister got one of her wedding dresses custom made there!
Yongle Market and the fabric stores surrounding it was truly a dream for this sewer and fabric fanatic! It was one of the highlights of our trip to Taiwan! Thanks for the fun day, Jossy!