Taipei: Wander and Getting Lost at Ximendeng (西門町)

Ximendeng 西門町 Ximen District, Taipei, Taiwan

Ximendeng 西門町 Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan

A popular pedestrian shopping zone in historic Wanhua District of Taipei. Ximendeng (西門町) is the center of fashion, subculture and Japanese culture in Taipei. It is often compared to Harajuku and Shibuya, two of the most energetic and vibrant districts of Tokyo.

Ximendeng 西門町 Ximen District, Taipei, Taiwan

Sea of people | Ximendeng 西門町 Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan

Since it’s only a couple of blocks away from our lodging, it became our nightly destinations before going home. While walking and exploring the place, you may not avoid yourself getting lost. But it’s okay as it is enjoyable to watch the sea of people full of life in the evening.

Ximendeng 西門町 Ximen District, Taipei, Taiwan

Alive at night | Ximendeng 西門町 Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan

This place is located at the northeastern part of Wanhua District in Taipei, and the most important consumer district in Western District of Taipei. It is the first pedestrian area developed in the city, and also the country’s largest. It was established during the Japanese colonization as a recreation district. Eventually, it became a cultural icon inspired with its Japanese roots.

Ximendeng 西門町 Ximen District, Taipei, Taiwan

Ximendeng 西門町 Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan

It is said that up to three million shoppers visit here every month. The place is a hodgepodge of shoppers from different races. Also called the Harajuku of Taipei, as it is common for local bookstores to sell Japanese magazines, books, manga, music, and clothing. This has made it a favorite destination for fans of Japanese culture or “Harizu”.

Ximendeng 西門町 Ximen District, Taipei, Taiwan

Street exhibition | Ximendeng 西門町 Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan

The place is also home to weird and eclectic shops – like the infamous Modern Toilet (where you eat toilet-themed foods, like ice cream poo served in a miniature toilet while sitting on a toilet bowl); Snow King, which sells ice cream in weird flavors (pork floss, wasabi, beer); Penis-themed cake store; or have a massage with an ancient knife or meat cleaver.

Ximendeng 西門町 Ximen District, Taipei, Taiwan

Harajuku vibe | Ximendeng 西門町 Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan

The place is also called Ximendeng Youth Shopping District (西門町) for a large number of Taipei youths and tourists visiting here. Aside from shopping, bars, and restaurants, its streets are also venues for street performers and exhibitions.

Ximendeng 西門町 Ximen District, Taipei, Taiwan

Ximendeng 西門町 Ximen District, Taipei, Taiwan


SIDENOTE

  • The words Ximen (西門) stand for the west gate, as the district is located by the historic western gate of the old Taipei City.
  • The historic Red House Theater is the main LGBT district in Taipei, with the outdoor area surrounding the theatre home to a large array of bars, shops, and meeting places. The area’s bars have a reputation for serving excellent drinks and welcome all patrons.
  • The names Ximen and Ximending both refer to the same location, as the final 町 dīng is a Japanese character referring to the word district, while Ximen means west gate.
Ximendeng 西門町 Ximen District, Taipei, Taiwan

Hand-made crafts | Ximendeng 西門町 Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan

Ximendeng 西門町 Ximen District, Taipei, Taiwan

Ximendeng 西門町 Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan


Ximendeng 西門町 Ximen District, Taipei, Taiwan

Long line at Ay Chung’s famous flour-rice noodle | Ximendeng 西門町 Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan

MUST TRY

  • Rice flour noodles from Ay Chung Rice Noodles (阿宗麵線), NT$50 (Regular serving)
  • Flaky Scallion Pancake, NT$50-80 (We love the roast beef with corn!)
Ximendeng 西門町 Ximen District, Taipei, Taiwan

Preparing a scallion pancake | Ximendeng 西門町 Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan


DIRECTION

  • By MRT Take Blue Line 5 or Green Line 3 to Ximen (西門).
Ximendeng 西門町 Ximen District, Taipei, Taiwan

Busy road junction | Ximendeng 西門町 Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan


DON’T MISS

  • The Red House – Ximen’s Historic Market/Theater located across the intersection
The Red House (紅樓劇場), Ximendeng Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan

The Red House (紅樓劇場), Ximendeng, Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan


STREET VIEW


MAP


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Comments


  1. May 5, 2019

    […] Ximendeng – Ximen’s pedestrian shopping haven and one of the Taipei’s cultural centers, hosting a massive variety of fashion clothing shops, eclectic restaurants, clubs, and bars. Located just across the intersection. […]

  2. May 6, 2019

    […] TAIPEI: Ximendeng | Taipei 101 | Maokong Gondola | Elephant Mountain | Taipei Peace Park | Taipei Zoo | Chiang Kai Shek Memorial | Shilin Night Market | The Red House […]

  3. May 7, 2019

    […] TAIPEI: Ximendeng | Taipei 101 | Maokong Gondola | Elephant Mountain | Taipei Peace Park | Taipei Zoo | Chiang Kai Shek Memorial | Shilin Night Market | The Red House […]

  4. May 8, 2019

    […] TAIPEI: Ximendeng | Taipei 101 | Maokong Gondola | Elephant Mountain | Taipei Peace Park | Taipei Zoo | Chiang Kai Shek Memorial | Shilin Night Market | The Red House […]

  5. May 8, 2019

    […] TAIPEI: Ximendeng | Taipei 101 | Maokong Gondola | Elephant Mountain | Taipei Peace Park | Taipei Zoo | Chiang Kai Shek Memorial | Shilin Night Market | The Red House […]

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