The Far East Center is more of a vicarious travel experience than a shopping mall -- an exotic otherworld seated at the corner of Federal Boulevard and Alameda Avenue. The double-decker complex boasts a Vietnamese bakery, a couple of hair and nail salons and two well-stocked Asian grocery stores that traffic in fresh, live fish, cookware, tea and spices. At Truong An, you'll find unique and affordable gifts such as bamboo plants, paper lanterns and cute Korean stationery. The center's always-packed parking lot's a pickle, but the prices are right and the offerings endlessly interesting. And when the shopping weakens your knees, there's plenty to eat: We'll take the Far East noodle joints over the food court any day. Celebrate the Year of the Monkey: Go East.