What you need to know
In one part of Taipei, there are 72 7-Elevens within a 10 minute walk.
In Taipei, if you need to buy an instant dinner, stationary and some fresh underwear at 4:30 in the morning, you have plenty of options.
While they might lack the individuality of New York’s bodegas, Taiwan’s convenience stores have expanded to encompass a mind-boggling array of functions, providing services from movie tickets to dry cleaning.
With some of the longest (and strangest, in this author’s experience) work hours in the world, the need for a few after-work conveniences has created a growing market for corner shops to feed the city’s steadily growing population.
7-Eleven has 5,107 locations in Taiwan, with 751 listed just in the city of Taipei. This isn’t even counting other brands – FamilyMart has more than 3000 outlets across the country, and HILife, OKMart and Simple Mart also light up street corners through the wee hours of the morning.
The area around Taipei Main Station is the most densely packed – 72 are open within a one-kilometer radius of the station, and passengers stumbling off a train would hardly have to go 100 meters without being able to buy a boiled egg and a juice box.
Yangmingshan is the biggest barrier to convenience stores in the city. Within the greater Taipei metro area, the peak of this volcano is the farthest you can get from a cup of coffee and a copy machine.
But the loneliest 7-Eleven in the Taipei area is the one in Shimen on the far north end of the island - a whopping 9 kilometers from the next branch.
Data: 7-Eleven, OpenStreetmap, Google Maps API.
Editor: Edward White