Actually if u wan to buy made in taiwan 3rd party stuff shld be cheaper there... taiwan quite noted to cheong a lot of stuff... maybe can get some cheap buys. Heh...but den quality wise not so sure... the street tat sells a lot of camera stuff quite near xi men ding... near taipei main station... remember it's ard some street behind the shingkong tower (tallest tower in taipei) called kaifeng st or something. Hope this helps.. anyway, film and developing there i think cheaper than singapore.
Kiafeng street right..went there last year but really, nothing much to offer and you have to really be smart to not be cheated by the shopkeepers there... then again... I may look like a ABC to them so...... only speaka englands....
Wai: erm... 2 weeks from now leaving on te 25th -morning flight)... how? heh heh heh....
Me.. exercise??? hahaha.. ORD-ing loh!!! Go there play play with my MF!! Will try a photo esssay this time round
If you are just transiting there, no need to go look for camera stuffs lah. Just use time walk around for shooting. Seems like you will be spending most of your time in Xi Men Ding, actually, you can go to the area called "dong qu" or the east zone. And also Nanking East Rd to tour around. If you have extra time instead of going through the town, take the mrt ride to various spots such as "pei tou", "tan shui", chiang kai shiak memorial hall, city hall (where the cinema city, to-be tallest building place).. These are places within mrt reachable places. Oh ya, you might as well go to Taipei train station (one of the mrt station) and go to the current Taiwan tallest building called "xing guan san yue" and climb to the top for bird view of its surrounding...
There are quite a few mountains, valleys, hotsprings for enjoyment and shooting. But quite far and it's weekend, definitely crowded for the countryside.
I am from Xin Dian town (direct translate as new shop town), outskirt of Taipei city. "Wu lai" is just another 40minutes drive into the hills from my place.
Actually, photographic equipments in Taiwan can be priced more reasonably than those you can find in SG.
First rule of thumb, AVOID buying from Xi Men Ding, this is one place you will not want to go for equipment shopping, especially if you are a tourist.
In Taipei city, the place to go for such equipments are the shops along Bo Ai Road (next to the General Post Office and a short walk from the Taipei Train Station). It is lined with shops selling all sorts of photographic related equipment. These place stock a wider ranges of products than what we can find in SG. Things like Tamrac bags, Velbon tripods, hard-to-come-by professional films/slides, MF stuffs etc can be found there if you take your time to look around.
Here's a map that I done up, hope it is clear enough for you to get a rough idea :
I normally drive around the city but from what I see, you should be able to reach this place by taking the MRT service from Xi Men Ding station to the Taipei Train Station stop and take a stroll. Do ask around for the proper direction when you are near.
Price wise, and to quote a couple of examples, a Sigma 15-30 can be had for about S$820 (or about NT 15,500 with a little bargaining), complete with international warranty card. Velbon tripods, especially carbon fiber ones, are generally cheaper there too. The 6x0 CF models selling there are approximately S$70 cheaper as compared to SG prices (by what Alley photo used to charge).
The favourable exchange rates in recent months is a boon to such purchases (ie. S$1 to approx NT$19.3) so you may wanna be prepared when you take the plunge cuz they do charge a sizeable "service charge" (about 3-6% depending on shop) if you decide to pay by credit card.
Shops like Jiu Hua (Chilian Co. Ltd), Yong Sheng, and the ones nearer the former are my regular ones, they are quite honest with their trade and have good service attitude. One word of caution though, be mindful of what you are asking for and be prepared of what is a fair price to pay. Try to speak Chinese with them if you are fluent with it, normally, this will help in getting you a better bargain, no kidding
Oh ya, Take a bus ride... the bus network is really simple in taiwan. Look at the bus stand or bus stop and look up the sign, they show you where the bus will stop at. And the fare is like this: the journey is divided into two section, each section is NT15 for adult. So if you dun know how far it will go, just ask the driver and he will tell you how much or many section.
One more thing, in XI men Ding, there are girls who come to you and then ....... and then there's a chance to go for "happy time". BUt some are those where guys following and nabbed you in the room for money.
MA la huo guo is just a common thing around, even at street stalls. But huo guo in Taipei has too many types, either shabu-shabu, ma la, yueng yang, tie ban shao with huo guo ( same as seoul garden), .... Autum is a good time to eat hot and cold stuffs!!!!!
Electronics goods there are expensive. I was initially interested to buy the Sony NiMH charger (with refresh function plus 4X 2100maH AA batt) from Guang Hua Shang Chang but did not do so as I need to keep some cash for other stuff. Later saw the same charger at Narita Airport Duty free shop which was US$5 cheaper than the lowest price I saw in Guang Hua.
My colleague bought a Panasonic headphone and also found it to be cheaper in Narita airport.
If you will be there over the weekend, check out the weekend jade and flower market. Could not remember the street name but the 2 markets are on opposite sides of the street and are under a overhead bridge.
For night markets try the one at Hua Xi Jie. First go to Long Shan Shi, a temple that is just next to the night market, around dusk. Should be able to take some interesting shots there. The night market crowd warms up around 8PM.
By the way the CKS Memorial is under renovation, so the main tower is covered with scaffold. The main hall with the huge statue of Chang Kai Shiek is still accessible to public. Find out the timing for the change of guards before you go.