Shopping the Dream Mall

Hold on

Hold on

Becky Husky

I’ve never been one for shopping, but then I visited Dream Mall.

While visiting Kaohsiung last weekend, I spotted a large building with what looked like a Ferris wheel on its roof. Since I don’t often see Ferris wheels on top of buildings, I decided to investigate. I soon learned that the 11-story building was the famous Dream Mall and is Taiwan’s biggest shopping mall. Sometimes referred to as “shopping paradise,” it’s number five on the list of the world’s largest shopping malls.

The mall was built with four themes in mind, nature, flowers, water and the universe. The light fixtures and architecture on each floor add to this themed atmosphere. In fact, one of the two buildings is shaped like a fish and the entryway has a small stream running through it.

I shopped my way from floor to floor, and encountered everything from 2-story bookstores to pet stores and convenience stores. But I was especially surprised to find a TGI Friday’s, a TOYS’R’US and a World Gym. In addition to numerous clothing shops, each floor was also dotted with cafes, ice cream shops and jewelry vendors.

While trekking between floors, I quickly learned that escalators were to be preferred over elevators. In America, everyone has personal elevator space – not at Dream Mall. After waiting nearly five minutes for an elevator, I got on only to find that riding the elevator meant riding on people’s toes. Then, despite the crammed quarters, a woman pushing a stroller and toting a mountain of shopping bags somehow managed to squeeze on. Needless to say, that was the end of my elevator travels.

After visiting all of the floors, I made my way to the roof – though not by elevator. Aside from the large Hello Kitty Ferris wheel, there was a small amusement park as well. Since the sun had set by that time, I was able to see all of Kaohsiung lit up for miles.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to visit every store the Dream Mall offered. But that’s not surprising, considering it has 2,300 of them. I’ll just have to visit the rest next time.