By far, the jade market is one of my favorite places to buy gifts in Kaohsiung. The indoor market is full of all sorts of jade products, both real and fake, as well as other traditional goods, such as tea, sculptures, antique money, and paintings.
One gift that I particularly enjoy giving are zodiac charms. The charms, which you can purchase at many of the stalls, look like the animals of the Chinese zodiac. These usually are not made of real jade, but look good enough to be anyways. Once you have purchased the charm, you must take it to the back corner of the market. There you can choose one of the elaborate and colorful ties which turn the charm into either a necklace or key chain.
Of course, more expensive gifts are also available. I simply enjoy “windowless shopping” for the many green and red necklaces and bracelets.
However fun browsing and gift giving may be, if you are looking to make a serious purchase, it would be helpful to know what characteristics real jade possesses or to take along someone who does. I have heard a few theories on how to determine real jade versus fake. For example, someone once told me real jade is scratchy on the skin whereas fake is not. I have also heard that real jade warms to the touch while fake jade stays cool. If you have any other tried and true ways of determining the worth of a jade piece, please share your knowledge in the comments below.
To reach the market by scooter or car, turn west onto Shiquan Road from Bo Ai Road. The jade market will be on your right on the corner of Zili Road and Shiquan Road.
There is not currently an MRT station within walking distance. However, you can take the MRT to R12 Houyi Station and then hop in a taxi.
Hours: Wed, Thu, Sun: 9AM-4:30PM
Address: Zili Road and Shiquan Road Intersection, Sanmin District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
GPS: 22.646003, 120.296482