Tainan’s Jade Market
Tainan’s Jade Market (Táinán Yùshì 台南玉市)
(EDIT – The jade market has moved. I will update this post as soon as I figure out where is has moved to.)
Taipei’s Jade Market is a well-known shopping experience that is highlighted in a lot of travel literature. Tainan’s Jade Market is not. In fact, I’ve found that many people who have lived here all their lives didn’t even know it existed. While it may not be as large and impressive as the capital city’s, it is definitely worth checking out.
I will start by saying that jade isn’t the only thing for sale here. Many people are selling antiques, paintings, pottery, woodwork, and jewelry that isn’t made of jade. You can find old perfume bottles, ornate wooden boxes, hand-painted ceramics, antique incense burners, as well as many other treasures. In addition to antiques, there’s some new and interesting crafts for sale as well.
First and foremost, however, it is a jade market. Many people who come here are serious jade buyers and you can see customers heavily scrutinizing the pieces. Some of the vendors are very friendly and informative. There’s at least one man who speaks some English and can teach you a little about how to judge the quality of the jade. Like buying other precious stones, this can be a serious business, so it would be helpful to know a little about it if you’re buying more than a simple piece of jewelry.
Although it’s held in a dingy warehouse-type space, this is not a place to buy cheap souvenirs. There’s little for sale for under NT$1000, and many of the antique pieces are upwards of NT$5000. Still, it is a good place to find some nicer stuff, and prices may be better than some permanent antique stores.
The problem with this place is the hours. It is only open on Monday, Tuesday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: No. 68 – 70 Lin An Road, Section 1, Tainan City, Taiwan