Ten Taipei Night Markets You Can』t Miss

2015.12.04 01:58PM
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When Taiwanese people like a night market, they generally use the word 熱鬧 (rènào) to describe it. Made up by the characters 「hot」 and 「noisy」, this word means 「lively」 or 「bustling with noise and excitement」. Here we have compiled a list of Taipei』s ten most 「hot」 and 「noisy」 night markets. Whether it be fashion at Shida Night Market, local food at Jingmei Night Market or even a foot massage at Huaxi Street Night Market, there is something for everyone after-hours in Taipei!

South Airport Night Market: Taiwan』s Best (Yummiest) Kept Secret

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Although renowned as THE place to go for good food, South Airport Night Market has an air of mystery about it. Perhaps because it is a little further away from the MRT, even many Taiwanese have never been before. But as soon as you have tasted South Airport Night Market』s delicacies, you will keep going back! This is Taiwan at its most traditional. If you raise your eyes, you will see clothes drying on balconies above you, and looking around, you can see scooters and the traditional spiral staircases of local lives. It doesn』t matter where you eat here, it』s all good. But if you are after a stinky tofu that is guaranteed to be nice, order it at Stinky Tofu Boss (臭老闆現蒸臭豆腐)!
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Shida Night Market:Trendsetting

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Shida Night Market is renowned for its fashion. Close to a university, its crowd is young, relaxed and stylish. It primarily features fashion from all over Asia, with purchases to suit any budget or taste, from TWD100 shops to upmarket boutiques. The fact that most of the shops don』t have changing rooms can be a surprise, but luckily most of the clothes on sale are inexpensive enough not to dent your wallet too badly (and besides there is too much to see to waste time humming and hawing!) If you get peckish with all that shopping, Shida』s luwei is some of the most famous in Taiwan.
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Shilin Night Market:Treasure Hunt

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Conveniently located right next to MRT Jiantan Station (捷運劍潭站), Shilin Night Market is always buzzing with Taiwanese and foreigners alike. It is easy to get lost here, with inside and open air areas, it is a melting-pot of amusement arcades, souvenirs, clothing and accessories. Plan to be here a while as you explore the variety of goods on offer here. And if you follow your nose to the packed food court underground, plan to be here even longer. Remember, the queues are worth the wait- they are there for a reason. A warning though, the vendors tend not to be honest with foreigners, so have your wits about you! In the end, you might end up agreeing that Shilin Night Market may be the most famous, but it is by no means the best.
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Raohe Street Tourist Market: Feast for the Senses

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Raohe Street Tourist Market is one of the oldest of Taipei』s night markets and has just been offered a new lease of life with the extension of the MRT to its doorstep. Its short length of just 600 meters is deceiving. In fact, there is much to see and buy here, such as black pepper biscuit (胡椒餅) and Chinese herbal pork-rib soup (藥燉排骨). This night market is always very busy, and you might find yourself shuffling along slowly with the hundreds of other locals and tourists as your tummy grumbles. Slow down and embrace it. Enjoy the feast of smells as you wait, and maybe even feed your soul at Ciyou Temple behind it.
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Jingmei Night Market: Where the Locals Go

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Jingmei Night Market is a fantastic way to soak up traditional Taiwanese night market culture. Located near an MRT station, and with fewer crowds than some of the other Taipei night markets, you will still have to queue for your food, but not for so long. It』s worth the wait to dig in to traditional cuisine that has remained largely unchanged, even as the city changes around it. Try what the locals like best: Shanghai Pan-fired Buns (上海生煎包) or Achang Thin Noodles (阿昌麵線). Jingmei Night Market is tried and tested by the Taiwanese themselves.
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Huaxi Street Night Market: Looking for snake meat, sex toys or a foot massage?

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Huaxi Street Night Market may be one of Taiwan』s most baffling night markets! Unsuspecting tourists quickly notice a theme in the stalls- huge pythons in cages outside snake meat restaurants, sex boutiques, and an endless supply of massage parlours. Needless to say, this night market is definitely worth a visit. Situated next to Manka Longshan Temple, Huaxi Street Night Market attracts many tourists who want a bite to eat after a day exploring Taipei』s oldest district, Wanhua. Across the road from the night market, many elderly Taiwanese gather to play mahjong or chess. Wander through the nearby square and you might also be lucky enough to see live music performances, where older Taiwanese sway along to the music of their generation in the humid evenings.
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Ningxia Night Market: Chinese New Year (and Foodie) Fun

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Only a short walk from Zhongshan (中山) or Shuanglian (雙連站) MRT stations, Ningxia Night Market is well-known for its local atmosphere, and good food. Among the tempting aromas, oyster omelettes and fried taro balls are particularly worth a try. If you are in Taiwan around Chinese New Year, go to Ningxia Night Market for an insight into the most important festival in Taiwan』s calendar. This place is renowned for its Chinese New Year goods!
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Yansan Night Market: No Frills

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You won』t find many tourists at Yansan Night Market. Instead you』ll find Taiwanese people eating, resting and going about their daily lives. The restaurants may not be fancy and the tricks used to prepare your meal may not be showy, but the food on offer here makes it an unmissable addition to a food tour of Taipei. Three delicacies especially make the locals come back again and again: Fried noodles, guabao (steamed sandwiches 刈包) and mochi ice (麻糬冰). Yansan Night Market doesn』t need to rely on frills, sometimes good food is enough.
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Liaoning Street Night Market: Seafood and Beer

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Liaoning Street Night Market may be a short stretch of 100 meters, but there is a lot of eating to be done here, especially if you like seafood. Food stalls line both sides of the street, so you can wander up and down first, before having your fishy selection cooked right in front of your eyes. This is a great place to grab a Taiwan Beer and enjoy the best of Taiwan』s cuisine. Traditional red lanterns add to the atmosphere of this vibrant night market.
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Linjiang Street Night Market: A Perfect End to an Evening at Taipei 101

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Just one MRT station away from Taipei 101, Linjiang Street Night Market is a convenient stop for those who need a feed after watching the sunset go down from the observation deck of Taipei 101. Here you can find a night market that still has a local flavour, selling food, clothes, accessories and other quirky trinkets. Although it is not as famous as some of Taipei』s other night markets, you can still expect to queue up for the tastiest delicacies. In fact, we recommend you follow the queues to your dinner. The more locals waiting, the better your food is guaranteed to be!
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Ximending: The Hub of Taipei

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Although not technically a night market according to the Taiwanese, we couldn』t resist mentioning Ximending as a worthy addition if you are looking for some nightlife. Whether it be to appreciate famous graffiti, watch the latest releases in Ximending』s cinema street, peruse the creative commodities at Ximending Red House, shop for the latest fashion trends, indulge in the traditional food stalls, or simply 「people-watch」 Taiwan』s most experimental youth fashionistas, Ximending is where to be.
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