There are large numbers of night markets in Taipei which are well worth a visit, because they sell very reasonably priced goods. They also have some interesting snack stalls. Most of the night markets are very crowded.
We enjoyed our visit to Shi lin Night Market and made quite a few purchases there.
Snake Alley behind Longshan Temple is also worth a look. This night market has several snake restaurants hense its name.
This night market is about 3 miles North West of Taipei's main train station.
The hotel's concierge was right. There is more street food offered here than Shilin night market. There were a lot of people walking the market on a week night. Some stalls have people waiting in line 20 deep to buy the food and drinks.
The main problem is a very bad and strong odor throughout the market. It smells like fresh feces everywhere. I could not stand it. I cannot imagine sitting and eating food in that horrific smell, but hundreds people were happy eating and drinking in it. The odor most likely was caused by fatty food residue dumped into the street and sewage system and fed on by bacteria, producing the obnoxious odor. Toronto's China town has the same horrible odor.
I ducked into a small restaurant and ordered the famous spicy oyster soup for about $3. The place was small, cramped and grimy. I finished the soup quickly and went back to the MTR for the hotel.
The Shilin night market has very few food stalls, selling primarily trinkets. Taipei's main train station 2nd floor is a large food court with a lot of regional food in cleaner environment. This place is much better for sampling local food.
Shilin - suitable for all ages. Huge variety of shopping + food. Alight at JianTan station (DO NOT alight at shilin station). Size of night market - Huge!
Liaoning - although it still appears on the tourist map that we got from airport, it no longer exist.
Shida - Alight at Tai Power Building station. This night market is more for youngsters due to it proximity to the university. Be prepared to squeeze with a few thousand teenagers in the alley. Not much food, mostly apparels for teenagers. Size of night market - medium!
Huaxi - suitable for all ages. Alight at Longshan temple station. Size of night market - small!
Danshui - this night market is by the riverside. It is the best night market I have been to. suitable for all ages. Size of night market - medium!
Raohe - it was raining heavily when we were there, good variety of food + shopping. But it will be challenging for those who travel by train(metro) as the "nearest" stations Taipei CityHall and Houshanpi are at least 30 mins'walk away. Size of night market - medium!
If you have time to travel outside Taipei - Keelung 's Miaokou night market is a real food paradise.
Huaxi night market is popular for its weird food such as snake, and, as I could see, turtles.
It's forbidden to take pictures there and I could only see alive snakes in cages, so I am not sure if they kill them after you order or what. I saw a turtle being killed and decided it was not the show for me.
This is one of the oldest markets in Taiwan, but one of many markets within Taipei.
To be in the market is to be among tourists and locals alike, enjoying food that may seem strange to you and I, but an every day meal for them. Stinky tofu, chicken butt, chicken uterus, goose tongue and head, fresh bitter melon juice, and fish eyeballs are the norm. There are arcade games, rows and rows of stalls selling anything from hello kitty keychains to deep fried crab to any type of clothing you could want.
A high dive into a culinary adventure, the Shi Lin night market is a must-experience, not just see.
Rao He Jie Night Market is a very big night market selling not only food but almost all daily necessities. Many local people come to this market to eat, to do shopping and just to enjoy the lively atmosphere.
The Rao He Jie Street lasts about 400 meters and uncountable number of shops and stalls are there along the street and a long strip of stalls is in the center of the road.
There are more than 100 stalls in Ning Xia Lu Night Market. And all are food stalls. Local people come here to eat supper but also tourists will be able to enjoy walking and eating here.
The stalls stand on each side of one narrow street. This night market is not so big, so you can walk from one end to the other in about 15 minutes. So I recommend you to walk through the street watching the stalls on one side and enjoy watching the stalls on the other side on your way back.
We went there after we had dinner, so I could eat only 'Ai Yu' (a kind of citrus jelly).
Shilin Night Market is a night market in the Shilin District. It is the largest and most famous night market in the city. The local businesses and vendors begin opening around 4 p.m. with crowds reaching their peak between 8 and 11 p.m. Businesses continue operating well past midnight and close around 1 to 2 a.m.
Shilin Market comprises two distinct sections. The food section is housed within a large complex selling traditional Taiwanese food and snacks while the other section is a pedestrian-only street crowded with street vendors selling an assortment of clothes, toys, accessories, watches, bags, wallets and other stuff.
Most tourists will head for Shilin Night Market or Huashi Night Market. However, there are smaller night markets around Taipei which are equally fascinating, less touristy and frequented by the locals. Liaoning Night Market is one of them. Part of Liaoning Street is converted into a food street at night. Some of the restaurants serve seafood and braised goose. Do try the braised goose at the famous `Er Rou Chen' restaurant. You can also select fresh seafood if you like crabs, prawns, lobsters, squid and fish.
Shi Lin Night Market
A must go place for shopaholic. You can find almost everything here for a cheap price.
Watch the changing of guard ceremony which happen everyday. If you miss the morning ceremony you can still catch the last one at 4.45pm. Nothing special though but a good experience to some.
Night markets mostly stay open until 1 am or so and are host to countless street vendors and small stores. Most stretch far, consuming half a dozen blocks and snaking through back alleys and side streets. Bartering and haggling is a must and is defiantly part of the fun.
Shilin Night market is ranked number 1 (according to my transit map/tourist information booklet) and certainly has a young crowd of patrons. Available here were many CDs, DVDs and VCDs.
The Huaxi Night Market is also called the snake street market because here you can actually buy and eat cobra meat. Yes, I saw it. Cobras and various other snakes are kept alive in cages (which I was unknowingly standing next to when I first saw this attraction), while some snake carcasses were adorned on meat hooks and were ready to be skinned. Other snakes that had been skinned were in giant glass jars that were filled with some kind of liquid, possible some kind of pickled solution to help preserve and flavor the meat. $300 TD and you could chow down on some cobra. I enquired about the purchase of such goods (Ni quway shaw Engwin ma?) but the shopkeep didn’t speak any Engwin. Another Taiwanese guy came by who spoke English and knew the cook, but he was drunk off his ass and I had a trouble understand what he said. Plus he was quite a frightening man who was freakishly tall and I didn’t much care for his demeanor and what I thought to be an anti-Japanese sentiment. In the end I lacked the testicular fortitude to consume the cobra. Partly because I wasn’t sure how they would cook the snake. Not sure I could have eaten the creature if it had been boiled. Grilled would have been okay. But mostly I didn’t eat the snake because the Huaxi market was the filthiest place I have ever been in my life.
There's plenty to eat and shop at this night market. It's a very lively place, but can get very packed, so be prepared to be pushed and shoved around a bit. Directly next to the subway station is a food market, so you can grab a fast meal/snack on the way to the market.