Welcome to the Dream Mall

Kaohsiung isn’t just Taiwan’s second-largest city: it’s also home to the Dream Mall, which isn’t just the biggest shopping mall in Taiwan — it’s the largest shopping mall in East Asia.

But the size isn’t what distinguishes this 12-story, super-cute shopping paradise (which, rumor has it, cost around a billion American dollars to build). Designed by Baltimore-based international architecture firm RTKL, the Dream Mall opened in 2007, and features all kinds of odd shops you won’t find in your average occidental shopping mall.

For instance, there’s a franchise of Taiwan’s largest bookstore chain, Eslite Bookstore, along with PILI International Multimedia — an entire shop dedicated to po-te-hi — a form of Southern Chinese hand-puppet theater that literally means “cloth-sack theater.” Then there’s Sophisca, a candy store billed as “a sweet place for sweethearts,” which sells things like marshmallow boobs and giant candy dispensers in the shape of hypodermic syringes.

The Dream Mall isn’t just about the stores, either — there’s also an adorable outdoor amphitheater, a fascinating food court, and a rooftop amusement park that features a Hello Kitty Ferris Wheel.

More on the Hello Kitty Ferris Wheel soon, we promise. In the meantime, let’s all just dream on with a selection of images from our new favorite Dream Mall.

Exterior of the Dream Mall at twilight in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan (Photo courtesy Dream Mall)


Dream Mall mascots welcome visitors to the Open! Plaza boutique (Photo courtesy Dream Mall)


Not to be confused with the Open! Plaza boutique, this adorable amphitheater is outside the Dream Mall in Kaohsiung (Photo: Tanja M. Laden)


Another view of the amphitheater outside the Dream Mall (Photo: Tanja M. Laden)


This lovely lady (next to the mascot) showed us around the Dream Mall (Photo: Tanja M. Laden)


Quack on up to this booth at the Dream Mall, which is shaped like a duck. Of course. (Photo: Tanja M. Laden)


The Dream Mall is nine stories and three basement levels worth of dreams (Photo courtesy Dream Mall)


PILI International Multimedia is the result of four generations of master puppeteers, with three stores across Taiwan, including the flagship store at the Dream Mall. (Photo courtesy Dream Mall and PILI International Multimedia)


The welcome committee at the Dream Mall (Photo courtesy Dream Mall)


Entrance of the food court at the Dream Mall (Photo: Tanja M. Laden)


Gettin’ busy at the Dream Mall (Photo courtesy Dream Mall)


We hear the Dream Mall is best at night (Photo courtesy Dream Mall)


We applaud the Dream Mall, day or night (Photo courtesy Dream Mall)

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