Taiwanese street markets (2) – The bottom half of the 8D7N list

Just so you don’t waste your time in Taiwan I thought I should complete this post before going on to more Singapore timely events.

We gave this market a miss –

Shilin Night Market
Shilin is the famous night market in the capital city Taipei. However, it’s become a victim of urban regeneration and has been cleaned up and re-situated in a basement foodcourt where its become even smokier and smellier, but without it’s open-air atmosphere. By this time we were night marketed out and everyone voted to give it a miss.  sitcom

This one wasn’t ready for us –

 LiuHe Night Market, Liuhe Second Road (Day 5)
This street is known for food, clothing and bags, and lots of Japanese cuisine. It’s a night market. The tour scheduled a visit at 11 am in the morning. What can I say? This is not a place to visit in the morning!

And you can take these or leave these as far as I’m concerned –

Danshui Historical Shopping District, Danshui, Taipei New City (Day 1)
This is a pretty riverside town originally colonized by the Spanish. There are two shopping streets, one fronting the DanShui River, the other parallel to it and flanked by slightly European looking double story houses. The river view’s really good at sunset on a summer’s evening we were told, but it was dark when we got there. Perhaps it was the hour, perhaps it was the wintry rainy weather but the place had a slightly broken down and tired feel to it. I didn’t really feel compelled to come back again at a better time and in better weather, not even for the delicious yam pastry we tried.

XiMenDing Night Market , Taipei (Day 1)
This is the quintessential Tai Pei night shopping district. Lots of clothes and handbags shop, a famous rice-vermicelli stall, another famous ice-cream shop, and the usual stinky tofu shops. But I found it a poor imitation of Kowloon’s Mongkok Shopping District. After hearing so much about the place, it was a disappointment.

 To round off, a recommendation if you happen to be in Taichung

Yizhong Street Night Market, TaiChung (Day 2)
Its similar to XiMenDing but with a distinctive university student atmosphere and very cheap eats. The specialty here is ‘big sausage wrapped around small sausage snack’ or glutinous rice wrapped sausages. I found it nauseatingly oily but interesting. There’s also a huge selection of the oily deep fried and grilled fast food, including grilled ‘bishop’s nose’ or the fatty little backend of a chicken! Good to gawk over but not to eat. We ended up at a hot-pot place on the main road serving chicken soup, sesame oil chicken and chicken rice. Our hotpot – bitter gourd and pineapple – was something new and quite delicious.

Which leaves me all shopped out and mulling over a poem about what one really takes away from a tour besides an additional 3 kilos around the waist and bags and bags of souvenirs.

What do you think? Do leave a comment?

5 Responses to “Taiwanese street markets (2) – The bottom half of the 8D7N list”
  1. Ju-Lyn Tan says:

    This is extremely helpful – Meg and I are planning to be in Taipei and Taichung in July. I would have gone to Shilin Mkt, if not for your caution: foodcourts and I simply do not get along – way too many smells mingling. Everything sounds so “meat-heavy” – maybe not the best eating for a pescatarian?

    • Audrey Chin says:

      Are you doing a culture-history trip.
      The National Museum is fantastic BUT it’s also crawling with package tours from the mainland. Just to see the famous “jade lettuce” and “Tongpo meat” carvings takes about an hour in a q.

      You can of course go to the other exhibits if you’re willing to slither out of line.

      I found the 5000 years worth of jade displays fantastic. Also the bronze.

      • Ju-Lyn Tan says:

        We’re actually going for a Taiko drumming workshop, and Meg is getting her Taiko certification.

        Apart from you, we’ve heard from others that the National museum is incredible, but waiting in line isn’t really our thing. We would be happy to go to the Louvre and miss the Mona Lisa, so I guess we don’t have to see the lettuce & the meat carvings, in particular. Meg loves jade, and I like all things sparkly.

      • Audrey Chin says:

        You going to 10 Drums? We went there and had the greatest fun learning to drum. Got a video for Tim of their latest performance if Meg wants to watch it.

  2. Ju-Lyn Tan says:

    Wow, just watched a clip of them on youtube – they are awesome. Would love to borrow your video.

    But no, not going to their school. We are heading for a 2-day workshop with a school in Taichung, not sure which one; everything is being arranged by our sensei. Then she will take her taiko certification exams in Taipei.

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