Taipei Street Night Market and the Temples Nearby


Unmistakably a hardly-miss activities in a city like Taipei are bargain shopping and street food tasting. Like the other prominent tourist destinations in the country, Street night market is considered as a national treasure, where foreign and local tourists alike are expected to spend money unconsciously as they try to navigate one street to another.

Shilin Night Market at Shilin District is considered as the largest and the most popular night market in Taipei. Open usually at 4 in the afternoon up to way past midnight, the goods sold here are cheap but the quality will depend on your taste. Marked as “Made in China” or “Made in Taipei”, everything appears to be inexpensive particularly if I started to convert the price to Japanese Yen, but still not enough reason for me to buy anything.
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Various, dizzying array of street food, so far I never encountered anything weird except for one booth that sells an ice, cold drink made of Frog eggs. Anyone know the health benefit of drinking frog eggs?
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I was still hesitant to try any food sold on the streets, on the fear that I might ate something that I do not know, so I went to a safer option of having dinner at one of the small restaurant. Funny thing is I always ended up ordering food good for 2 to 3 persons and the order-taker looks at me as if wondering how this girl can finish up everything. I guess I can’t get over to the idea that my 1,000 Yen can buy more than just 1 bowl of ramen.
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You like going to markets or carnivals in order to showcase your balloons shooting skill or dart throwing ability and give your girlfriend a giant teddy bear, well in Shilin market the game is different. You need to beat out these men and women on a game of “majong”?
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On the other part of the city at the Songshan District of Taipei is another famous night market – Raohe Street Night Market.
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Mixture of food stalls, lucky charm shops, and clothes establishments occupies the 600meters long street.
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Also, noticeable are several fortune teller booth that is quite popular for Japanese tourists.
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I saw a group of people lining up at one of the stalls selling freshly made, charcoal baked pork bun for 50 Taiwanese Dollars ( ~ 2 USD, 131 JPY), so decided to give it a try. The pork bun is so good, I wanted to weep.
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Not to far from Raohe Market and not consider as “night” market is the most famous place for ladies bargain hunters is Wufenpu. Though, most establishments are selling wholesale, there are several shops that sells retail. Much better choice compare to the night market, if you are seriously consider buying clothes, bags and shoes.
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Again, I did not buy anything, I no longer fit on Asian size. In fairness, I did not find any fake or imitation goods on most markets I been to in Taipei compare to my country where it was blatantly sold.

With all the bargain shoes and the pearl milk tea booth on every corner, if there is one thing that most visitors fail to do is to spare a few minutes on entering the nearby temples, to at least appreciate its beauty when all the lanterns bulb are switched on.

Not only it will provide the much needed minute of quite from all the craziness outside, there is something mesmerizing about the red and gold colors, the large statues and the door-frame painted with temple gods and teachers.

Cixian Temple at Shilin Street Night Market.
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Ciyou Temple at Raohe Street Night Market.
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These temples are usually hardly-miss by location and by view. They are open for anyone who wishes to enter. I don’t see the rational why most tourist choose to ignore them and instead decided to spend time tirelessly walking around the crowded market.

38 thoughts on “Taipei Street Night Market and the Temples Nearby

      • I studied at the University of Saitama, I was doing postgraduate research, and was in Japan for about 18 months. I used to travel into Tokyo most days. Sadly my Japanese is now very rusty as I have not had chance to practise it for a very long time. I had friends in Karuizawa and would travel to the mountains for a couple of weeks when the heat of the city got too much. Yes, I have very fond memories of Japan and I enjoy your posts very much. :-)

      • but your photos and the narration do capture the sights and sounds, the atmosphere of the place…you took me with you. :)

        btw, why didn’t you get yourself a pair of those caiming, shoes with spikes all- around? ahaha, that’s power shoes, lol! ;)
        btw, again, our place ha been flooded, very badly… :c still, cheers! :)

      • :) that Caiming shoes with a dual purpose- a shoe and a weapon. i checked the spikes they are really pointy and can cause serious harm.
        Manila, oh my dear manila.. I am worried for my family, friends and everyone back home..
        Take care! cleaning up will take so much effort but Filipinos are known for resiliency, we will survive :)

  1. I was just in Taipei too! :) I didn’t see the frog eggs drink though. The most ambitious thing I could try was the smelly tofu. Did you try that?

    • wow, small world! how was your trip?
      nope, no smelly tofu for me :) i’m not brave when it comes trying out food, so i stick to what i like best Milk Tea with tapioca :)

    • thanks Marina! yeah, you should. maybe we can trade place for a week? :)
      I would love to visit NY!

    • agree.. i couldn’t imagine how they able to collect frog eggs, if those are really frog eggs.
      thanks :)

  2. It reminds me so much of Ameyoko between Ueno and Okachimachi! I wanted to add “except that pig carcass”, but then I realized we just replace it with a giant fish! :)

    That temple is phantasmagorical, and I want a pair of those spiky shoes! Next time a rude train commuter steps on my feet … HA! TAKE THAT!

    • :)
      wearing the spike shoes during rush hour in Tokyo will scare those commuters who just kept on pushing, pushing, pushing inside..
      who knows? maybe seeing how deadly the shoes is they might give up their seats to you haha :)

    • thanks again! :)
      yeah, i think Taiwan is underrated in terms of being a tourist destination, but for such a small island there are so many things to learn and explore!

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