Taipei’s Nanxi District owes its tourist appeal to its fusion of old and new, artsy air

It is emerging as another shopping hub in Taipei

A clothing store in the alleys of Nanxi district (Photo/Taipei City Government)

A clothing store in the alleys of Nanxi district (Photo/Taipei City Government)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Characterized by its fusion of fashion vibes and elements evoking nostalgic memories and humanistic traits, Taipei's Nanxi (南西) Commercial District is poised to become the next tourist magnet of the capital of Taiwan.

With the rise of budget airlines and individual travel, plus the government's effort to revitalize the west region of Taipei over the past years, the city is seeing a shift of the pop culture center from the east to the west, reported CNA.

Located between MRT Zhongshan and Shuanglian stations, Nanxi district is joining Taipei Railway Station, Dadaocheng, and Ximending to become the most popular spots among foreign tourists.

The charisma of Nanxi lies partly in its clusters of coffee shops, patisseries, unique clothing and hair boutiques, as well as shops selling creative merchandise that celebrates design and crafts, the report said.

One of the unique beverage shops in Nanxi district (Photo/Taipei City Government)

Owner of a coffee shop on Chifeng Street (赤峰街), Chiu Kuan-lin (邱冠霖), who is in his early thirties, told CNA that the rents in Nanxi district are cheaper than those in the east district. About 30 percent of visitors at Nanxi district are foreign tourists from countries like Japan and South Korea, who are drawn to the place for its idiosyncratic character that has an arty air, he added.

According to Huang Chao-jen (黃兆仁), Director General of Commerce Development and Policy Research Division at Commerce Development Research Institute (商業發展研究院商業發展與政策研究所), Nanxi district is comparable with Japan's Asakusa (淺草), which also boasts vitality and new ideas from the youth blended into an environment teeming with old buildings.

The fact that Taiwan's iconic Eslite Bookstore is reportedly scheduled to open a 24-hour operating branch in one of the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Nanxi Stores next month is adding to the district's appeal as a cultural and shopping hub, the report wrote.

Nanxi district boasts a great variety of cafes (Photo/Taipei City Government)