Even if you don't think you are the kind of person who buys things in convenience stores (I would rarely go into one in my home country), you have to check them out in Taiwan! These compact shops manage to cram a whole lot of convenience into one shop. What's more, they make a great highly-air conditioned escape from the heat or rain, and many have sitting areas with WiFi options.
Here are some things you can buy at 7-11 (or competing Family Mart, Simple Mart, High Life, and more):
- cold beer, wine, and spirits (more export and craft beers are added in summer!)
- quick meals like instant noodles, light sandwiches, and "rice triangles"
- all the drinks, snacks and junky foods you'd expect
- healthy options like fresh fruit, salads, and roasted sweet potatoes
- americanos and other coffee and tea drinks made on the spot
- ice cubes, disposable cups, plates, etc. for picnics
- white/red envelopes needed to give cash at weddings, funerals, or new year
- disposable underwear (i'm not joking), sandals, umbrellas, stationery, and more
Besides products, they offer all kinds of services, including:
- reservations and ticket purchases for airlines, train, high speed rails, and events
- buying phone cards, paying electricity and other bills
- loading or paying with MRT card
- photocopying, fax, printing
- pickup for items ordered online
- I've heard, but can't confirm, you can even get the divorce papers you need at some convenience stores!
- Battery and bottle return for recycling