December 12 marked the highly-anticipated grand opening of Mitsui Outlet Park Taichung Port. After two years of construction the outlet mall is finally open to the public, complete with dozens of dining options, a seemingly endless selection of shops, and a Ferris wheel. With approximately 170 stores, including about 19 making their Taiwan debut, the complex is the largest outlet mall in central Taiwan.
The mall is owned by the Tokyo-based Mitsui Fudosan Group, a global real estate company with similar projects in Japan and Malaysia. Taichung Port is the second Mitsui Outlet Park in Taiwan, after a successful Linkou location in New Taipei City. Located just eight kilometers from Gaomei Wetlands, it is the first commercial space in the Taichung Port area, creating expectations of potential future development. The project’s concept slogan, “Enjoy the Voyage of Style,” is evident in the numerous ways it makes good use of its waterfront location. –By Juliette Rihl Translated by Anna Yang
The mall’s main attraction is arguably Taichung Star, a 60-meter-high Ferris wheel with a panoramic view of the port. Rides are NT$150 to NT$200 for adults, with discounted prices for children and seniors. For those who would rather watch than ride, the wheel’s lights, which constantly change color, is entertainment in itself. To complete the carnival-like feel, the ride is surrounded by food stalls serving treats like cotton candy, caramel popcorn and ice cream.
Next to Taichung Star is Asobi Square, an indoor amusement park filled with virtual reality games (NT$100 per person, NT$150 for two), Transformer-like vehicle rides, inflatable bounce houses, claw machines and more. Set to open in June is Snow Town, an attraction featuring artificial snow for family fun all year round.
The most bustling area of the indoor mall is the food court, which overlooks the port and has over 15 eateries, ranging from pastries at DONQ Boulangerie Francaise to Hawaiian-style poke at Iki-zushi. In the center is Fujin Tree Cafe, a coffee joint by Berg Wu, winner of the 2016 World Cup Barista Competition. Also notable is Echika fit, a Michelin-starred ramen restaurant from Tokyo. Also situated among the tables is Beachside Kids Park, a mat-covered play area for small children to enjoy.
The second floor of the indoor area houses an array of sit-down restaurants serving international cuisine, from American to Malaysian, with a focus on Japanese options. Newcomers to Taiwan include Nara Thai Cuisine, Kintan Buffet, Tokyo Sundubu, Kanazawa Seimenjo, and BULLS. One can satisfy their sweet tooth at Haagen-Dazs or Beard Papa’s, the Japanese bakery famous for their beloved cream puffs.
Outside, shoppers stroll under a canopy of stringed-up holiday lights (up until Jan. 6, 2019) as they meander between stores. Athletic wear options are in abundance, with Adidas, Nike, New Balance, Reebok, Asics Factory Outlet, Puma, Under Armour, and Champion stores. For cold-weather gear, choices include Hilltop, Eider, Columbia, and The North Face. Surf and beach wear is also well-represented, with brands like Billabong, Havaianas, Hurley, Quiksilver, and Sanuk. Designer brand stores include Coach, Lacoste, Just Cavalli, and Polo Ralph Lauren (coming soon).
While a majority of the stores are clothing retailers, there is a variety of other merchandise for sale as well. Pick up charming bedding at Peter Rabbit, or kitchenware at Zwilling J.A. Henckels. Mamas & Papas sells all manner of baby products while the Lego Store appeals to kids of all ages (including the young at heart). For luggage, check out Samsonite Factory Outlet or Herschel.
The indoor mall area also includes a two-floor Eslite Spectrum with a bounty of shopping opportunities in itself. Peruse gifts like brand-name sunglasses, S’aime Tokyo handbags, and Godiva chocolate on the first floor. On the second floor, browse the books or savor some souffle pancakes–and a view of the port–at the Rose House Cafe.
Useful information: On-site amenities include storage lockers, ATMs, free Wifi (MitsuiOutletPark_Taichungport), and free car and scooter parking.
Getting there via public transit
From Taichung Station: Take (BRT) bus 308 or 310 from Taichung Station and get off at Taichung Harbor Tourist Center* (approx. 60 min. ride) or take bus 306 or 307 and get off at Wuqi Elementary School stop* (approx. 70 min. ride).
From Taichung HSR Station: Take bus 617 and get off at the Wuqi Elementary School stop* (approx. 70 min. ride).
From Taichung Airport: Take bus 128 or 238 (40-60 min. ride) or bus 239 (60 min. ride) and get off at Wuqi Elementary School stop*.
*From Wuqi Elementary School and Taichung Harbor Tourist Center, it is approximately a 12-minute walk to the mall.
Mitsui Outlet Park Taichung Port
梧棲區台灣大道十段168號 (04) 2521-8999
168, Taiwan Blvd, Sec 10, Wuqi District
週一~日/Mon-Sun 11 am-9:30 pm