Thursday, March 22, 2012

Taiwanese Traditional Cakes and Pastries Store, Vigor Kobo

yummy Taiwanese souvenirs

One of my dislikes about guided tours is that the tour guides like to bring their clients shopping. On a recent trip to Taiwan, I was rushing to the airport for my flight back, but the tour guide insisted on making a detour to visit this 'great' store to buy some souvenirs for my kids and friends back home.

I was brought to a 'tourist store' named Vigor Kobo which sells Taiwanese traditional cakes and pastries.
visitors get to taste the snacks before they make their purchase

All walk-in visitors are offered samples of their products to try. The crew were attentive and kept introducing their products to us.

the company's products on display

Among Vigor Kobo’s products, the traditional Taiwanese-style pineapple cakes are its all-time best seller. I was told the one-day sales record for its pineapple cakes stands at 100,000 pieces. If you stack up the NT$400 million (S$20 million) worth of pineapple cakes that the store sells in a year, the tower would rise five times as high as Taipei 101 building. WOW!

I like the buttery crust of Vigor Kobo's original pineapple cake but the pineapple filling is too sweet for my taste. 12 pieces for NT$300 (S$15) is quite expensive.

Every day busloads of tourists come one after another, and sales of its pineapple cakes can be counted by the truckload.

Most of the tourists are from mainland China. Chinese tourists have shocking buying power. Whether it’s Louis Vuitton or small souvenirs, they make a sweep of every shop they visit. It is common for a busload of mainland Chinese tourists to spend between NT$200,000 and $250,000 (S$10,000 - S$ 12,500; US$6,667 - US$8,333) in a single visit.

I bought several boxes of pineapple cakes, mung bean and red bean cakes, milk sun cake, yam and almond nougats which the crew packed and sealed in a box for easy check-in at the airport. I spent NT$3800, hope the tour guide is happy with her commission.

At the Taoyuan International Airport, I discovered they have a branch there.  -_-

I love Vigor Kobo's Milk Sun Cake and nougats. The nougats are really fresh and delicious. On the flight back, I finished one box. And my apologies to my relatives and friends if you didn't get the nougats as gift, they are so yummy, I kept them for myself  :P

Milk Sun Cake - a flaky, melt-in-your-mouth, sweet puff pastry with a sumptuous malty, milky filling that doesn’t stick to your teeth!
10 pieces for NT$350 (S$17.50)

Nougat - 5 favours to choose from : original, chocolate, almond, yam or sweet potato. I bought the yam nougats and almond nougats. Love its milky, chewy taste. The almonds are fresh and crunchy. The yam is oh-so-fragrant! A packet of nougat costs NT$240 (S$12) Must buy!!

Vigor Kobo Cake Store (Taiwan)


  1. Reminds me being herded into tourist spots when I use to travel a lot. But sometimes I did find some items to buy. Or I would walk down the street and find someplace else to shop unless you were out in the middle of nowhere. I enjoy your trip reports.

  2. I have eaten them before. Not too bad. :D But I didn't know they are traditional cakes.

  3. So you confirmed my thinking that the tour guide must get a commission. Sounds like you did your (yummy) part to keep her guiding folks back to that cake shop :P

  4. Judy,
    Yes, sometimes I do find something I would buy at tourist shops.

    I realised that most tourist shops priced their products more expensively than those we would have visit on our own to cover the commission of the tour guides.

    I dislike tour guides omitting or cutting down the time visiting places of interests just to let us shop.

  5. Christopher,
    They are so commonly found these days, hard not to try them. :P

  6. Sukhmandir Kaur,
    Tour guides are not paid a high basic salary. They depend on tips from their customers and commission from the merchants to earn a decent living.

    They deserve the income if they provide a professional service. I am not pleased if they cancel any sightseeing and instead go out of their way to make me shop at a store that offers them commission.

    As for this store, the products I bought from them are so well received by my friends and relative that I need to blog about it.

    And for those who wants to buy these products, they don't have to go through a tour guide. They can buy them at the Taoyuan International Airport.

  7. This is a very sadistic post ! Now I want to try all the things you mention ! I love to try out food I don't know except maybe roasted bugs !

  8. It sounds like it was too irresistible not to buy. I am glad they the nougats were good and you got to enjoy some for yourself. It seems we often forget to treat ourselves.
    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a nice comment. It is always an enjoyment to hear from you.
    Blessings my friend, Catherine

  9. This is one reason I dislike following tours. They will bring you to all those places to shop! And make money for them!

  10. The Chinese are very rich eh? Spend so much!

  11. Hi, may I know which airport terminal is the Vigor Kobo?

    1. Taoyuan Airport terminal 1
      3F (3rd level)
      Store on left side of Arrival Hall
      BEFORE Passport Checking Hall.
      (第一航廈 非管制區 出境驗照之前 三樓大廳左側到底 玫瑰唱片斜對面)

      Taoyuan Airport Terminal 2 Mei Ming Goods Museum
      Departure Level 2

  12. Hi may I know if they offer samples to try at the airport outlets? Thinking of making a trip to the Taipei outlets if they don't cos I would like to try before I buy anything...

  13. Hi, do they offer samples for trying at the airport outlets? Thinking of making a trip down to the Taipei outlets if they don't cos I would like to try before I buy anything. Thanks!

    1. Yes, there are samples for potential customers to try at the airport branches too.