Denny Lee

Travel Tuesday: Top reasons to go to Costco in Taiwan (from a US ex-pat) (updated)

Published January 17, 2012, updated August 17, 2023

What are the top reasons to go to Costco in Taiwan (from a US ex-pat)?  The background is that my family and I are hanging out in Taiwan for the next few months – so lots of weird tips and foodie tips from Taiwan over the next few months, eh?!

A side profile of a woman in a russet-colored turtleneck and white bag. She looks up with her eyes closed.

“I love Pittsburgh, they put fries on nachos here.”

— Pete Lattimer, Warehouse 13

For those un-familiar with the reference, Warehouse 13 is a fantastic Syfy show … and Costco is a warehouse store – yeah, there is weak connection here.

Yet another themed blog series: Travel Tuesday

Starting with the recent foodie blog post (Foodie Friday: Taiwanese dessert 芋圓), I figured I should add another non-geek-themed blog post series – Travel Tuesday – probably every week or two, eh?!

5) Well, it’s Costco, after all!

Where else can I buy enough toilet paper to survive the next ice age? 

I wrote this back in 2012, long before the long lines for toilet paper in 2019-2020.

Or have such easy returns?  Or have good customer service?  But what’s great is that this is the same here in Taiwan too!

It’s still a huge warehouse with tonnes of the stuff that we ex-pats recognize but also plenty of stuff that’s made for the local market, such as great Korean pears, Japanese quality fruit, etc.

4) OMG – Spacious Parking!!

If you drive around in Taiwan – almost anywhere in Taiwan that isn’t a highway – you are surrounded by a million scooters.  And if you don’t get a migraine from avoiding running over any of the scooters, parking in Taiwan is not fun.  Small parking spaces, vehicles parking in the road blocking a one-lane street, and so forth.

The Costco parking spots are a relaxing reprieve from parking armagaddon. Spacious spots so cars can actually fit comfortably and (relatively) plenty of spots. Here, I can get out of the car and not worry that another will trap me from getting in.

3) Reminds me of Seattle

Fellow Seattle-ites have a particular affinity to Costco as their home office is in Issaquah (a suburb of Seattle). Costco’s Kirkland brand name is in homage to their original headquarters in Kirkland, WA (another suburb of Seattle).

So whenever we’re missing home – we just head off to Costco and we’re good to go!  Sort of reminiscent of Garbage’s Only Happy When It Rains or Dave Matthews Band (Dave Matthews lives in Seattle).

Dave Matthews, fellow Seattle-ite, rocks!

2) Local (Taiwanese) food selection

Like most Costcos, they have food and items that are distinctly local. No exception here in Taiwan, there are very distinctly Taiwanese and regional delicacies on display. The food court has seafood, garlic, and cheese pizza and Taiwanese fried chicken. Outstanding price and value just like these mini fruit cheese tarts.

Mini fruit cheese tarts from Costco in Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Mini fruit cheese tarts from Costco in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Originally I wrote, “the ability to bulk order scotch” but this was back in 2012. Since them, one has been able to order alcohol from Costco with relative ease.

There’s actually no #1 on this list

Back in 2012, I wrote that the top reason for going to Costco was the convenient purchase of toilet seat covers. At that time, the vast majority of the toilets were squat toilets (which is better for your digestive system btw). There were sit-down toilets but many lacked toilet seat covers.

In major cities and towns, there are a lot more sit-down toilets (squat toilets are still around, just check the signs on the door) and many of them have covers. Heck, many of the emalls have the Japanese toilets with bidets and warm seats.

Times have changed and so does this blog!

One response to “Travel Tuesday: Top reasons to go to Costco in Taiwan (from a US ex-pat) (updated)”

  1. I was excited about the prospects of buying brownies and chocolate bars first time i went to Costco in Taiwan.

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