When I ask most young Tainan residents where they buy clothes, they almost always say Zhongzheng Road. Perhaps this street doesn’t look any more shop-infested than other streets in the city, but the stores here do seem a lot busier - especially at night.
Perhaps history drives people to this street. Zhongzheng was the first modern boulevard constructed by the Japanese in Tainan, and back in the 1930s it was one of the most prominent fashion districts in the country. Old Lin’s Department Store and the Old West Market are relics of this time. Today, the shopping area doesn’t seem so upscale, but it is still popular.
While Zhongzheng is mostly filled with mid-ranged chain stores like Net, EasyShop and Hang Ten, it intersects a smaller street that is active with little boutiques. This part of Guohua street reminds me of the little shop-lined alleys in Taipei. People crowd through the street and squeeze around the cues for the little food stalls. Many of the shops here are more independent, and range from very cheap to a bit expensive. All of this area seems much better-priced than the department stores. Undoubtedly this is the reason people shop here.
Zhongzheng is also a good street if shopping for jewelry. Some of the classier jewelry shops still bring life to some of the few remaining Japanese-era shops.
In addition to the shopping, the Jin Ri Theater and the restaurants and beer gardens of Haian Road also feed the frenzy.