Without a doubt the night markets of oriental countries are a thing to relish your soul. They are beautiful small joints where many small individual sellers come and sell their fine products. They are small scale artisans or great chefs.
Defying the hard fact of not major scaling up due to scale funding, they however will exceed consumer’s expectation of tasting the fine things of life. More often than not, these markets are open till late night with an array of different offerings, which you may even term as exotic for certain.
Taiwan has an enriched heritage of Japan & China and Taiwan’s own that oozes out in the busting markets which are otherwise busy city street in the morning. The night markets are essential Taiwanese experience a curious traveler must not miss. Do visit there for a tasty quick snack or souvenir shopping. Following is a list of the best night markets of Taiwan, a curate list.
1. Shilin Night Market
The quintessential largest and most famous night market of Taipei, this one is situated just opposite the red line Jian Tan MRT stop. Over the years the market has changed location and appearance multiple times. Presently it is a long windy street full of vendors in day. As the area grew, the market consolidated into an open aired covered area with a grid design. In 2011, the market acquired the current underground location.
Devoid of the feel of the open air market, the market is as busy as ever with locals and tourists. It’s a big place and you’ll need to make a run through before deciding on what to eat. Above ground, are lines of clothing stalls and more food alleys. The market opens at 4 PM and goes late into the night. Unlike other markets, you’ll find plenty of English and Japanese menus to treat your taste buds.
2. Tonghua Night Market
Located at Tonghua street and Li Jiang street intersection, the Taipei Tonghua night market is a busy nightly market is a short walking distance from Taipei 101. Tonghua street is lined with many stalls serving up typical of Taipei night market cuisine.
There are a few intersecting alleys that are also lined with clothing and food stalls. This market has a more local Taipei feel and you won’t find as many tourists here compared to Raohe and Shilin. It’s worth a visit.
3. Ningxia Night Market
Ningxia night market is located in the heart of downtown Taipei on Ningxia road between Nanjing W road and Mingshen W road.
The busy, traditional street night market oozes an old warm charm that existed across Taiwan few decades ago. It’s well worth the visit if you’re looking for a variety of Taiwanese snacks and entertainment. Do indulge in the colorful accessories the street vendors sell.
4. Raohe Street Night Market
Taipei’s oldest night market from downtown Taipei, the market has an opening of 600 meters long street. The Song Shan Fu De temple (Land God temple) from one opening of the street represents the end of the gorgeous market street.
Predominantly a food market, shoppers indulge in flavours at the seating area in the centre of the street and on the sides. It’s not a huge market, but it has an old style charm. With increasing population, you will often see a crew recording the market scene. It is surely an endeared market among locals as well as expats.
5. Huaxi Night Market a.k.a Snake Alley
The Huaxi street night market is there for over 50 years. It was once the largest night market in Taipei in the bustling southern section of the city. Nowadays, the locals have moved to other parts of town, but this market is well visited. It also is within walking distance to both the Guangzhou and Wuzhou night markets. Because of these three markets, the area is a great tourist attraction at night.
The Huaxi market is mostly a covered market area. There are many foods, but this market is famous for its food made with Chinese herbs and medicine. The most famous foods here are made from snake and turtle. You’ll be able to walk the market and see these animals in caged.
This market also has plenty of fresh seafood and is famous for the Tainan Dan-Dan noodles. If you’re a rice porridge fan, the Huaxi night market won’t disappoint.
Do you have a favorite among the night markets of Taipei? I would love to hear about your thoughts on the same! Do share your experience in the comment section below.