So when I found out I was going to Taipei for a trip, I knew I had to stop by Syntrend Creative Park. And boy, I didn’t just stop by. I pretty much spent most of my free time there.
Syntrend is a tech mall located at the heart of the tech district of Taipei. Google, where is Syntrend? Oh, right there.
I call it a tech mall merely for ease of communication as most people would refer to it as that. But as we will see later on, it’s more than just a place to browse for the latest tech. I definitely would call this mall and this district the Akihabara of Taipei. The mall has seven accessible floors while the remaining six floors are still closed to prepare for the stores to come. So we’re going to go over all the open floors one by one, from top to bottom, checking out what’s featured in each of the floors.
So we’ll start with the basement floor, aptly titled “Taste”. This floor is the, you guessed it, food court. This is where you take a break from all your browsing and nerding out. The restaurants here can satisfy all your needs. Maybe you stopped by at around dinner or lunch and want to eat a full meal, they have restaurants that serve rice meals to fill your stomach. Or maybe you’re just taking a quick snack break they have places that serve ice cream, burgers, sandwiches, and the like. And if you’re just thirsty, they also serve bubble tea or milk tea, whatever you wanna call it. The space in the food court is quite limited. So if you’re going at rush hour or on a weekend, expect a wait.
The first floor, “Look,” is mostly comprised of mobile gadget stores. So we have here the Samsung, Apple, HTC, and a few others. Here they showcase the latest smart phones, and accessories to your smart phone like smartphone VR headsets and smart watches. Aside from the phone stores, this floor also holds events.
When I paid a visit, there was an idol group performing on this floor, drawing a huge crowd. They also had a display of some merch and figures of this MMORPG. There’s also a bakery on this floor and it just spreads this pleasing, mouth-watering fragrance of buttery, fresh baked bready goodness. Oh, and a Starbucks right next to Apple. Hmmm, I wonder why?
Now, this is the most interesting floor for most PC gamers, and that goes for me as well. The second floor, named “Touch,” is where the big PC companies have their stores and display their wares. The notable companies are Razer, Acer, Asus, and MSI. Razer’s shop, other than selling and displaying Razer wares, let’s you test out their top of the line peripherals and laptops in a sort of internet cafe style.
And even better, they have amateur matches from time to time. Luckily, when I visited, they were holding some kind of amateaur Overwatch match.
MSI on the other hand has this sick three-monitor racing simulator on display, along with their top of the line laptops and PC builds. Asus has got the Republic of Gamers line on display with a really nice water cool and fan showcase.
Acer has got their top of the line gaming Predator line with the sick curved ultra wide Predator monitor and Predator rig on display.
For all the non-gamers, you might also find something interesting on this floor. Drones from DJI are also showcased here, including the latest in their Phantom line: the Phantom 4. Go Pro and Go Pro related items can also be found. Some handy phone accessories such as cases, USB cords, wireless speakers are also available; as do stores that put custom skins on your gadgets like phones, consoles, and what have you. For the artists out there, Wacom has their tablets on display attached to some pretty dope looking workstations.
The third floor is where the camera geeks can go and, well, geek out. To be honest, I have little knowledge on this, so bear with me.
Named “Click,” this floor has a lot of stores for cameras, camera accessories and components. The cool thing about the stores here that I haven’t seen anywhere else, is that you can test the cameras on display there as they have figures and dioramas. They have lenses from the somewhat casual to professional grade stuff costing about as much as one PC. They also display and sell some storage options from all these big storage companies like Kingston, Sandisk, etc, and their SD/MicroSD cards.
Now the fourth floor is for our sports/shoe geeks. The “Move” floor features sports apparel with big companies like Nike, Adidas, etc, selling their wares. They have a wide array of sports stuff on sale and when I was there, they were also showcasing this HTC Vive basketball VR game. It was basically an arcade shoot around… BUT IN VR! Nothing too interesting here as it looks pretty much like what you’d expect from most sports stores or sports sections in department stores.
On to the fifth floor, “Listen.” Now for a music geek like me, this floor also caught my eye. Or you could say my ear, AHA! Here we have mostly audio companies showing off and selling speaker set ups, earphones, headphones, and all that jazz. Also jazz as in literally because this floor also has a vinyl store for all my audiophiles out there. Stores on this floor include Audio Technica, Bose, Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, and the list goes on.
They have earphones and headphones suited to both casual users and professional studio technicians. You can test the headphones and earphones out by plugging your music player of choice and just jam out. Just being able to test out these high-end headphones (that I will never be able to afford) and experiencing their amazing sound quality was such a treat. And as previously mentioned, there is a huge collection of vinyls out there from the jazz, to the pop, to the rock, and what have you.
Sixth floor, “Game,” is more in line with “traditional” geeky stuff, namely video games and figures. Remember when I said that this place is the Akihabara of Taiwan? This pretty much cements that. Majority of this area sells and showcases figures and other merch relating to comics, manga, anime, and western cartoons.
Stuff from recognizable brands such as Good Smile Company and Revoltech are on display and on sale. Some good quality stuff can be found for as low as 300 NT or around P450. There are also stores that target more western sensibilities with two stores focusing on Marvel and DC characters on their figures and shirts and other merch.
For those that like to build the things they display on their desks, there is one store dedicated to model military ships, planes, and tanks and another dedicated to Gunpla. They also have little gacha machines if you’re not planning to spend big on a waifu figure or warship model.
Moving on to the gaming section, you can find PlayStation, XBOX, and WII games, accessories, and t-shirts. When I was there, they were showing off Dark Souls 3 on the PS4, the new King Of Fighters on the PS4, the new Dragon Quest on the Vita, and Kinect games for the XBOXOne, all playable on the respective consoles displayed in the stores.
On the PC gaming side, a little game cafe in the corner lined with Acer Predator set ups for days. Also this huge screen made up of 9 big monitors at the corner of this room displaying some game that I couldn’t identify.
Oh, and this floor also has a small stall that sells ice cream. Good stuff.
The last open floor is “Play.” Here we have a little something for the little ones. Lined up here are toys and educational picture books for toddlers. Parents and kids can spend their time here shopping or playing around with all the toys or reading.
All in all, Syntrend is an awesome place to be for those who want to browse, play, and shop. Although I might have to put a little footnote to that shop part. While it’s true that the prices for some quality figures there might be pretty cheap, for the electronics and tech, you can find better deals in the tech mall adjacent to it. The tech items in Syntrend is at MSRP and if you’re looking to save a couple bucks this is not the place for it. Syntrend is more of a showroom where you can see the things you wanna check out in person. For more on that idea, you can watch LinusTechTips’ video on this. Check it out, it’s where I first heard of Syntrend.
So that’s it, Syntrend’s an amazing place for geeks and if ever you’re in Taiwan, check it out. No doubt, you’ll feel like a little kid in a candy store.