Taipei a city of nearly 4 million people is home to 6 night markets catering to everyone’s needs from electrical appliances, toys, clothes and of course street food.Taipei’s Shilin market is the oldest and largest market. It first started in 1899 when people came to sell produce and fish in the Shilin area. Now locals and tourist each night flock to check out the market.
Shilin’s night market was what we were looking forward to the most in Taipei and it didn’t fail to disappoint. The area has an atmosphere like a carnival with food stalls and side shows for the children or the young at heart to play as well as stalls selling clothes. What I liked about the stalls were that the owners were friendly and never pushy unlike what you find at other markets around the world and I even managed to buy a t-shirt which I rarely do at markets.
Rei had the time of his life pulling on the trigger of his first air rifle as he shot at the floating ping-pong ball . He focused hard held the rifle firm, target locked in to only miss. The rifle’s barrel must have been bent. Well that is what we told him. His night didn’t finish there as he won a small soft toy for throwing a ball into a target. All that pitching practice with dad paid off.
Rei at the Shooting rangi at Shilin’s night market
Shopping done, side-show attractions done. What next is food and it can’t be a market without good old street food. Shilin’s market and in fact all of Taipei’s markets are known for delicious food so below you will find what we ate and what we thought of the most well-known food at the market.
There are quite a few variations of these sausages but the one that we ate was the most common one that you can find at the market. A pork sausage served on a stick so that it is easy to eat. I thought this would taste like any other sausage that you could find around the world but the sausage is rather sweet and not really to our liking. Not bad but had better sausages.
The most well-known food that you can find at the market and also the easiest to find because of its pungent smell that you will smell before you see the tofu. The tofu is deep-fried and topped with sour pickled vegetables again served on a stick. If you like tofu then this is easy to eat once you get past the smell but overall good. Rei joined in and had a bite but Hitomi wanted nothing to do with the tofu or me after I ate it. The Taiwanese actually found it funny seeing a foreigner eat it.
Taiwan fried chicken
Hitomi really wanted to eat this and we nearly couldn’t find it. We nearly gave up and just as we were to turn around we came across it and it sure was popular as there were a lot of people waiting in line to get some chicken. The fried chicken steak is massive luckily we only shared our food as this would be difficult to eat by itself. The chicken is good thinly sliced fried, not too oily and tastes I think very similar to a chicken snitzel. It is good Tip share it.
A big fan of oysters, a big fan of omelets. We really wanted to eat this, we really wanted to enjoy it but there was something missing was it that we found the omelette to be gluey was it the potato starch used to make the egg batter or was it the orangey, red sauce that gave it a sweet taste. We are not sure but neither the three of us liked it.
People are surprised when I tell them that we have never had bubble tea until we went to Taiwan. Well what I found was this drink is addictive. Basically it is a large iced milk tea served with tapioca balls in the bottom of the cup that gets sucked through the straw when you drink it. For me the taste of tapioca is kind of similar taste to coffee I don’t think other people would describe it like that so for me the drink tastes like a mixture of tea and coffee It is so damn good that I had one nearly every day.
There you have it a night at the Shilin market something that the whole family can enjoy.
How to get to Shilin market
To get to Shilin market take the red MRT train line to JianTan station exit at exit 1
starts from 4pm to 1am
visit the National Palace museum before going to the market.
Have you been to Shilin market? what did you think of it.