When visiting Taiwan, it’s a certifiable offence if you don’t visit a night market. They can be found scattered everywhere throughout the country, with plenty to visit in Taipei itself! Switching it up from my usual journal entry style posts, I thought it’d be useful to summarise all the night markets I visited on my trip. Unfortunately, I must have been overwhelmed with the craziness of it all as I don’t have any pictures worthy to share (Bad journalistic skills there, sorry.) *
SHIDA ; 師大夜市
Our first evening in Taipei and our first night market visited! Serving as a great gateway into the night market culture, this particular one is filled with unique yet affordable clothing stalls. Reminding me of Ewha University Shopping Street in Seoul, it’s popular with students due to its proximity to NTU and you’ll find that the atmosphere here is perfect for ambling through at your own pace. Of course there’s a nice selection of food stalls or if you’d rather sit down someplace to eat there’s also plenty of great restaurants here too.
KEELUNG (MIAOKOU) ; 廟口夜市
A natural place to end up after visiting Jiufen and nearby areas, it was certainly a shock to the system after Shida. Arriving well after 10pm, the crowds had died down so wasn’t nearly as busy as it could have been. Not that I’m complaining, it was great to be able to walk through and browse all the food on offer before deciding what to go for. Its main feature is its selection of seafood available! I found that seafood prices here can vary depending on the stall, so it’s worth having a good look around before you make your final decision. If that isn’t to your taste however, there’s plenty of other offerings to buy. With a large selection of food stalls, I found that this was also a great place to actually sit down and eat. Plenty of stalls here offer some sort of seating arrangement for customers. However, I found it a bit intimidating to navigate when you can’t read any of the Chinese signs!
SHINLIN ; 士林夜市
Probably Taipei’s most famed night market, it’s a huge cluster of both people and stalls. It’s similar to Shida in that there are some clothing and accessory stalls mixed in with the food, but 100% busier! It’s fun to walk around and there’s a LOT of food on offer making for an excellent place to sample some of Taiwan’s more traditional dishes. The place is full of life and energy that I’ve heard doesn’t die down until well past midnight!
TAICHUNG (FENGJIA) ; 逢甲夜市
After a visit to Sun Moon Lake, people naturally gravitate towards Fengjia night market to fill their stomachs. I was naïve in thinking Shinlin was busy as here you’ll find yourself carried along by the giant crowd of people also trying to work their way through. After visiting a couple of night markets, you’ll start to spot the same chain of stalls popping up in each (namely the fried chicken and squid stalls). However, I think Fenjia’s popularity comes from its exciting selection of the latest food trends, things we tried here were the raindrop cake, steamed bao burgers and a terrifying liquid nitrogen dessert!
These were all the night markets we managed in the days spent in Taiwan, although there’s plenty more to visit when returning in the future. Since the food is pretty much on display, it’s easy to see what’s on offer and sample new things! If you find the choice too overwhelming, a good indicator of what to eat can be deduced from the line of people queuing up for a particular stall – a very patience trying method.
*Featured image for this post comes from my friend Ting (check out her Instagram here: @miscting) Pictured is Ciyou Temple, near Raohe night market – regretfully not one I personally visited but isn’t it pretty?