Honesty is the best policy, or so they say, and in Taichung is a unique shop that really puts that to policy into effect. Not far from New Wuri train station, (Nr. Taichung High Speed Rail Station) lies Taichung’s only honesty shop (楓樹社區 誠實商店). Customers to the shop will see no check out or till, only a box and sign asking you to deposit the money for anything you buy. In fact there are no staff there at all.
The main attraction of the store is definitely the store itself. Framed by flowers and plants, inside the shop is a unique collection of time-worn implements, an ancient piano, and even an old school desk. For sale are various traditional candies and souvenirs labeled with the store name. Many products made by the local community include locally raised eggs, snacks and associated jute products. There’s even a coffee maker to have an espresso. At the back of the store, the shop’s accounts show profits and losses made the place from month to month.
However, it’s the atmosphere of the place that is the main reason to go. On visiting the store, you really get the feeling of being part of a local community effort. If you’d like to leave a memory, the store owner provides cork drink mats for visitors to write on creating a kind of cork collage on the table in the center of the store.
The area around the store is worthwhile checking out too. Life is slows down in this part of Taichung. Qing dynasty houses, narrow lanes and rice paddies create the impression of village life. A short walk along Le Tian Lane, lies a unique little restaurant tucked away inside a converted traditional wooden house. Inside customers eat around a small pond surrounded by implements and items depicting how life used to be in that area. A well-worth side trip if you’re hungry while at the honesty shop.
Check out the Tree Top Milk Honesty Fridge (樹梢上的奶瓶之誠實冰箱), a large refrigerated store that donates space to vendors to sell home-made goods. Like Maple Honesty Store, there is no manager hanging around, but the stores goals to “inject some positivity into society” are admirable. (Facebook Link given)
Buying Tea in Taiwan
Check out Taipei’s oldest honesty store, the 131 year old Lin Hua Tai Tea Co. The owner Lin Mao Sen sells their own unique brand of traditional Taiwanese teas that isn’t to be missed if you’re in Taipei. Great for a souvenir or lovers of tea.
7am to 7pm
How to Get there:
While it’s a little lost down back alleys, use a map to find your way. It’s about 40 mins walk from Taichung HSR station or 10 mins by taxi (2.5kms). You should ask the taxi driver to wait for you while you visit unless you plan to stay a while.
0918 253 717