There are convenience stores everywhere in the world, but the ones that have our hearts are the ones in Taiwan. They are nothing but convenient. Sounds silly, but if you’ve stepped in to one at Taiwan, you would realize how much it eases your life!
You can find them everywhere – city or countryside – and the sheer array of services is why the Taiwanese love their convenience stores so much. Apart from the usual routines like picking up a snack or a drink, you can pay your utility bills, buy movie tickets, use the ATM, have your blood pressure measured, print documents and so much more – all within one convenience store.
The vast demographics that you can find in a convenience store speaks volume of the one-stop solution – suited executives seated with a cup of coffee each for a casual meeting, students eating a simple and cheap lunch, housewives running their errands and paying their bills, tourists stopping by to tap on the free wifi…
Here, we share 12 things that make Taiwan’s Convenience Stores So Awesome:
#1 DINE-IN AREA
How convenient! Grab whatever food and drinks you need from the convenience store, and dine in there and then! No need to fumble around with so many things on hand; just take your time and enjoy your snack.
Need to take a leak urgently? Sure, the convenient stores in Taiwan offer toilets for you to answer Nature’s calls. And you don’t have to feel pressurized about buying something “in exchange” for using the toilet. The Taiwanese are so nice, they won’t judge you.
#3 FREE WI-FI
No such things as free lunch in the world? Not necessarily so if we can get free wi-fi at the convenience stores in Taiwan! This is also perfect for visitors and tourists who might not have data connection all the time, so convenience stores should be a pit stop.
#4 ATM TO WITHDRAW MONEY
All convenience stores should do this. Look – the availability of an ATM truly defines ‘convenience’, yes? So anyway, yes, you need not worry about running out of cash when in Taiwan because convenience stores are everywhere and you can easily locate an ATM machine.
#5 TEA-LEAF EGGS
Why, don’t you love Taiwanese-style tea-leaf eggs? They are so fragrant and healthy, and they make affordable snacks that is great for any time of the day!
#6 ALL KINDS OF INSTANT NOODLES
And then, we have the Taiwanese instant noodles too. Now if you haven’t tried, they are as fascinating as the Japanese ones, and the choices available at convenience stores will be enough to keep you going back.
#7 PAY YOUR BILLS AND BUY CONCERT TICKETS
We hate spending our lives in queues – waiting for pay our bills, to buy concert tickets or movie tickets, to book train tickets… but you can get all of these settled at the convenience stores in Taiwan because they are just so thoughtful to put those machines there to ease your life!
#8 PRINTERS AND PHOTOCOPYING MACHINES
Because not every household has printers and photocopying machines, and there will be some point in time when we just need to get some documents zapped. The convenience stores will save your life.
#9 GUAN DONG ZHU (ODEN)
The Japanese love their oden, and the Taiwanese have their version that they call “Guan Dong Zhu”. Take your pick from the wide range of ingredients and pay accordingly!
#10 MEASURE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE
Yes, you can even have your blood pressure measured at the convenience stores. Say whaaaat…?
#11 FACIAL MASKS
Bored at night and can’t get to sleep? Sure, swing by the convenience stores and pick up a box of Taiwanese facial masks for some simple pampering. They are extremely pampering, and made available conveniently since departmental stores are not open all day.
#12 PACKED MEALS
So if you crave for the quintessential Taiwanese food like braised meat rice (lu rou fan), you can get them too in convenient packs that takes less than a minute to heat up.