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Night Markets are one of the best features in any Asia travel itinerary, and Taipei does not disappoint at all. The night markets open in the evening throughout the city and sell a wide variety of clothes and household products – but tourists are mainly attracted by the sumptuous street food. Some of these markets are actually normal city streets that transform into night markets during the evening and remain open till midnight.
The following is a list of the most popular night markets in Taipei.
Taipei Raohe Night Market
Located in downtown Taipei, Raohe is the oldest night market in the city. This particular section of the street is only 600 meters long, and the Land God Temple marks one side of the market. It is a huge market and the predominant items here are food. The seating area is right in the center of the street and shoppers can walk along the sidewalk.
Nearest MRT: Song Shan Station
Shilin Night Market
The sprawling Shilin Night Market is the biggest night market in all of Taiwan. The place is always brimming with tourists and locals. The majority of the market is covered to protect visitors from rain, and the whole area is popular with bargain hunters. There are more than 500 food stalls, and popular items include clothes and souvenirs. A visit to this brightly colored night market is a must-do activity for any tourist.
Nearest MRT: Jiantan Station
Ningxia Night Market
This night market specializes in Taiwanese snack food and is actually the first night market in the country that has successfully separated pedestrian traffic from car traffic. The most popular dishes here include barbecued squid on a stick, pig kidney, grilled cheesy scallops, fish rolls and egg omelets. The market is totally packed on all sides and you may feel a bit claustrophobic at times, but it has a great collection of exotic food. In this market there are no stalls for cellphone accessories or clothing; just food and more food everywhere.
Nearest MRT: Zhongshan Station on the Green Line
Tonghua Night Market
Located near the iconic landmark, Taipei 101, the Tonghua Night Market is basically a market for the local population. It is not so popular with foreign tourists, but one can always come here to explore. You will find almost everything here, and you can easily access the city center from this market. You will come across people of all age groups in this market: the younger generation loves coming here to pick up trendy clothes and the older generation comes by to pick up goods for daily use. The food stalls are very popular, just like in the other night markets, and here you will get to sample local Taiwanese food. The sheng jian bao, or pan-fried buns, sell like hot cakes along with cilantro burrito for dessert. If you are adventurous, then you can try the braised duck tongue, fried chicken feet or oyster omelet. The stall vendors are easily approachable and very friendly. They will also share historical and cultural facts about Taiwan, which will keep you captivated for hours. If you are feeling shy, then they will also crack jokes to make you feel more comfortable.
Nearest MRT: Xinyi Anhe Station on Red Line
Gongguan Night Market
You can get all kinds of items in this market, making it very different from the other night markets. There are tea houses, bookstores, accessory stores and also a movie theater! The prices of the goods are very reasonable as the market is quite close to the National Taiwan University. As usual there are a number of food stalls, which sell local and international food. The most popular dishes here are scallion egg pancake, bubble milk tea, cuttlefish vermicelli with thick soup and, if you are really adventurous, pig’s blood cakes – the taste is not very overwhelming and even first-timers will like the rich flavor of this blood cake. The snacks here are very popular and you may have to wait in queue for around 30 – 40 minutes to get a dish. If you don’t want to stand in the queue, then you can head over to one of the many restaurants that are located in the vicinity of this place and eat in peace.
So that’s the list of the best night markets in Taipei. Now it’s up to you to go out and visit them!