Shilin Night Market

16 12 2007

A trip to Taiwan would not be complete without a visit to one of the island’s ubiquitous night markets. Almost every night, food and merchandise vendors will line the streets in little pockets all over the city hawking their wares and snacks. Some larger markets will even include a section of low tech carnival games. The Taiwanese night market is a combination of medieval market, food bazaar, and carnival show all rolled into one. In Taiwan, everyone goes to the night market, from children to teenagers to adults and to grandparents. As you can see from the picture below, night markets are frequently packed, noisy, and full of excitement.

Night Market

On this visit, we decided to check out Shilin Night Market, the most popular night market in Taipei. The night market is located right off the Jiantan MRT stop on the red line, the station before the actual Shilin stop.

The night market is a showcase of Taiwanese street food.

Chinese Sausages

Yummy! Freshly grilled chinese sausages and luo mi chang, aka dua deng (rice stuffed in sausage casings) are among my favorite foods.

Night Market

Grilled corn on the cob

Night Market

I’m not really sure what these are. They look like candied tomatoes.

Night Market

The main food tent is located just across the street from the MRT stop. Inside are a bunch of food stands catering to every taste.

Stinky Tofu

Taiwan’s famous stinky tofu. This is an acquired taste, but I love it!

Night Market

Some boiled Oden, including my favorite Ah Hue and Di Hue, or gelatinous rice.

Night Market

There are also numerous fruit smoothie and dessert stands.

Night Market

There is a small clothing and merchandise area under the tent.

Outside the food stands is a game area filled with low tech carnival games.

Night Market Games

You can win cheap plastic toys that are made in Taiwan!

Night Market Games

After exploring the large tent area, you can walk across the street away from the MRT station and follow the street stands down a few blocks for more shops selling everything you would ever need to live in Taiwan, including clothes, CDs, housewares, electronics, and more. The things sold here are of the cheapest quality, so buyer beware. However, you can get some great bargains as long as you understand what you buying in terms of quality. Bargaining is expected.

Night Market

Although the food here is cheap, delicious, and plentiful, be aware that these street stands are not the most hygienic. Therefore as a general rule you should examine the stands and make sure they look clean and have lots of customers before trying the food. This is not to discourage trying the food here. You would be missing out on one of the best places to get authentic Taiwanese street food. Rather, there are many cleaner food stands out there and one should endeavor to eat there, even if they are more expensive. If you are unsure, don’t feel like you need to eat here. You can always go to the food court at Taipei 101, which serves many of the same Taiwanese dishes, albeit the more sanitized (and sometimes blander) versions.

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7 responses

22 12 2007
owshawng

I love going to those nightmarkets and wandering around. The food is so good. The 2 big drawbacks are how crowded they are on a weekend, and good luck finding a bathroom if you gotta go in a hurry. Maybe the MRT has restrooms now.

29 01 2008
Andrea italy-taiwan

Hello there,
Nice to discover your travel blog! I am italian and I live in Taiwan. Browsing the web looking for Taiwan related blogs I bumped on yours.

I am also running a blog about Taiwan, unfortunately I choose to write just in Italian language, but pics talk by themselves! Please have a look:

italy-taiwan.com

24 07 2008
jez

medieval indeed! the nightmarket are the kind of place that seem interesting for the first couple of visits. however, you soon realise that the merchandise is mostly rubbish, the food is, in my opinion, way over-rated and incredibly unhealthy (deepfried, highly salted and unrefrigerated) aand the crowds can be all engulfing. when you throw in the heat and the vile smells that waft up from the sewers that run directly under most of these places, the novelty soon wears rather thin.

12 10 2008
Rudi

AAAAHHHH… Truly one of the BEST places I have discovered in Taiwan too… sooo much to do… to see and to eat….. 10 years of living here now and am still not tired of it….

17 10 2010
Connie

HI IM FROM TAIWAN
the nightmarkets are really nice 😀
I like to go there after a tir’n day 🙂

30 12 2010
Ian Smith

I just love oriental night street markets.

sadly too many Europeans do not trust food stalls, and go and eat in posh retaurants because they think the food is safer, when you can’t see it being cooked. How silly, because in the market you can see your food being cooked so you know it is being done properly.

Finally, it is delicious too – almost always!!

5 05 2011
Best Caribbean Vacations

Some of the best food is from street vendors, looks great!

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