Welcome to Taiwan’s famous night markets!
When talking about Taiwan travel, we will not be complete if we miss out mentioning the ubiquitous Taiwanese night markets!
You likely know the usual tourist stuff: That Shilin night market is the largest and most popular night market in Taipei city. Other popular night markets are those in other cities of Taiwan such as New Taipei City, Taichung, Kaohsiung, blah blah..
Taiwan night market fans watch out!
Traveller, how do you enjoy the character of Taiwan street markets I described as “organised chaos”?
In the night market culture rich in sights, sounds and smells, what do you look out for when thronging among shoppers, diners, vendors plus everything else in between?
Believe me, these are 3 stuff you want to watch out for amid the street buzz!
1. The quiet and unpatronized street stall!
Obviously there are reasons why the stall is not as busy as the others.. As visitors, we may never know exactly why, but we can make some street-smart guesses..
- Maybe it has to do with what the stall sells?
- Could it be the stall holders are in question?
- Could there be a new(er) stall around? Or simply, the patrons have not turned up yet?
Tread carefully, brave traveller!
Some will advise you tourists in Taiwan not to eat or shop from such an unpatronized stall. If you choose to check out the stall, I would say go ahead (and good luck)!
A part of Taiwan travel fun is in discovering what you don’t know, isn’t it?
2. The popular, much-touted street food!
You will find that in general, Taiwanese night markets are largely similar. But know this, savvy traveller: You can tell and distinguish night markets by the distinctive street cuisine each market uniquely offers!
Tour Taiwan night market homework..
So find out what are the special and popular street foods in the night market(s) you are visiting. Which are the stalls publicized in the Taiwan tourist brochures?
- Raohe night market has amazing herbal soups.
- Shilin night market is great for oyster omelet and stinky tofu.
- Luodong night market at Yilan boasts of smoked duck meat and “cow tongue” pastry!
Even if you don’t eat at the much-touted stalls, at least you can confidently tell your friends you know what is good to eat in which night market! Clever!
3. Pickpockets in night market!
Fun as they are, always be aware that the organized chaos of Taiwan night markets are natural settings for the petty and opportunistic crime-minded like pickpockets.
3 safety tips for you touring Taiwan night markets..
1. Tour in awareness!
Stay alert. Guard all valuables, such as your wallets, purses, cell phones and purchases.
2. Carry your bags with care!
Sling bags through your arms, over the shoulders, and hold them in front of your body. Wear backpacks in front or by your side.
3. Be discreet with your money!
Do not show so much of your tourist dollar openly. Use smaller change (TWD100 notes rather than TWD1000 for example) to pay for street buys.
Personally, my touring companions and I had NEVER experienced a loss to pickpockets in Taiwanese night markets (thus far).
But the risk is there and real—among crowds and congestion, anywhere!
So dear tourists, pay attention to these things and stay safe and sane – while you eat, shop, play in Taiwan’s amazing street life!