Taiwan – Taipei’s Night Markets

Taiwan is home to some of the best night markets in the world. From perhaps the most famous – Shilin Night Market – through to temple markets such as Keelung, if you are visiting Taiwan, below are a selection of those you won’t want to miss. Most markets are pedestrianised – so no cars are allowed – but are also fun to cycle around (you might want to consider bicycle insurance if so).

Shilin Night Market
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Shilin Night Market
The Shilin Night Market is widely considered to be the biggest and the best night market in Taipei. Here you will find an abundance of different local crafts and produce, as well as many places to sample local cuisine. Taiwan is known for its amazing array of unusual delicacies – such as pancakes, hot pots and sausage – all of which you will find at Shilin. The market is also home to many stalls selling the latest and most unique local fashions – from tailor-made shoes and hats to hand-sewn dresses and suits. Shilin is an amazing place to barter and grab a real bargain. No two stalls are the same, and there really is plenty for everyone. Situated near the Yangming Theater and Cicheng Temple, this market is centrally located.

Nanya Night Market

Another night market worth a visit is the Nanya Street Market in Bangiao. Smaller in size to Shilin, Nanya gives a more intimate community experience. The Nanya market, which has been in operation for over 20 years, offers a wide range of local meat, fish and vegetables available at very cheap prices; the array of lights and colours on the stalls also makes for an amazing photo opportunity. The market is famous for sesame seed oil, chicken on the bone, chicken paws, crab claws and chicken stock.

Roach Street Night Market

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Roasted Corn At Roach Street

The second-largest night market in Taiwan, the Raohe Street Night Market was originally set up to boost business in the Raohe Street area after business in declined in the 1980s (due to transport developments in the capital). Six hundred metres in length, the market is full of traditional Taiwanese character, and sells a huge variety of local foods and products. Situated near the Shongshan Railway Station, its entrance is marked with a grand decorated archway stretching across the road. The market’s philosophy is “the later it gets, the more beautiful it becomes.” This is symbolised by its owl logo.

Keelung Temple Night Market

Keelung Temple night market is situated in Keelung City – a ten minute walk from the Keelung Railway Station. It was first introduced in order to serve the needs of the many worshippers who came to nearby Dianji Temple to pray for good luck, health, fortune and to find solutions to their problems. Keelung Temple night market is most famous for its wide selection of seafood delicacies and local snacks, and some stalls now open for business 24 hours a day. It is made up of over 60 food stalls and stall holders speak many different languages – including English and Japanese – to cater to the market’s international clientele. Here you can find many of Taiwan’s most famous snacks; stinky tofu, oyster omelettes and fatty pork sausages. Stalls also offer a selection of after-snack cooling drinks. It is also worth visiting the temple while you are here.

Snake Alley (Huaxi Street Night Market)

Located next to Mengjia Longshan Temple, the Huaxi Street Night Market is one of the oldest tourist destinations in Taiwan. Better known as Huaxijie Yeshi - Snake Alley, the market is two blocks long and sits in Wanhua district. Maybe it gets its name from one of the delicacies on offer - snake blood. While popular with tourists, the alley, which used to be a red light district, is not looked upon fondly by locals. Oysters, pork stew, authentic Taiwanese sweets and fish steak stews are just some of the foods on offer. These can be washed down with all kinds of drinks from juice to locally brewed beers. It could be very easy to eat and drink too much, so caution is best advised; especially if you are looking to let off some work-based steam.
Jade Market (Jianguo Holiday Flower Market)

As the name suggests, this is the place to buy the precious stone, jade. There are an abundance of jade products, mainly jewellery, but also carvings and ornaments. A great place to find an authentic Taiwanese souvenir, many vendors offer a “make your own” jewellery service; you can purchase a Chinese ‘macrame’ chord and select a unique jade pendant. Prices are very reasonable as jade in this area is plentiful; prices start at approximately TWD100 per stone pendant, but make sure you shop around for the best deal as there really is a lot of choice. The market is also famous for selling Buddhist prayer bracelets, as well as offering a selection of more flamboyant costume jewellery.

Tong Hua Night Market

This is easily one of Taipei’s busiest and liveliest street markets. Situated in central Taipei, Tong Hua Night Market features several dozen local food stalls with a very impressive selection of different cuisine, including Malaysian, Japanese, Taiwanese and vegan / vegetarian delicacies. Food is cheap, as is the market’s selection of high fashion items. There is a wide selection of products at this market, including household goods, bric-a-brac, clothes, rugs, local crafts and produce. The market is near to Tong Hua street, which is famous for its quirky shops and eateries.

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About Mimi

Hi, I'm Stephen Liu! A Taiwanese couchsurfer, backpacker, food lover and postcrosser. My wife and I challenged ourself to visit all the counties and cities in Taiwan! Read more here.

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