Shilin Night Market

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Located across the street from the Jiantan (not Shilin) station on the Danshui (red) line in Taipei, the Shilin Night Market is one of the more famous night markets in Taipei. It is not only famous for the street vendors who sell all sorts of delicious street food, but also the stores and nightlife. By day it looks like any commercial part of Taipei, but by night, the streets fill up with people and vendors everywhere.

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I was prepared for a night market in the sense I knew it would be crowded, I knew it would be busy. I sort of had a farmer’s market on steroids idea in my head – turns out it was way bigger than that.

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One block away is the Da Dong Lu, the main pedestrian street. In the mornings, you can hear vendors shouting about their fruits, vegetables, meats, and prepared food from blocks away. This morning market starts early, maybe 5am, and it is worth waking up for to check out all the interesting food. I was quickly introduced to wax apples, sugar apples, and passion fruits. They are delicious! if it was a different season, I’d be gorging myself on pineapples.

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Once nighttime starts to set in, vendors start firing up their burners and pulling their carts along the sides of the streets. one place that consistently had a line was the Hot Star chicken.

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This was a stand that specialized in double-fried chicken breast that was absolutely delicious. I must have eaten at least 4 of them while I was there. the chicken breast was butterflied and ended up being the size of my face. they took the chicken out of the oil and quickly sprinkled the seasoning onto it, you had the choice of spicy or regular – the spicy was easily the better choice. the best part was it was only $50 NT (about $1.70 USD). no way you could find the same thing at home!

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Fruit juice stands were everywhere. you could find all kinds of fruit including guava, passion fruit, star fruit, pineapples, watermelons, honeydews, musk melons, etc. they all looked so ripe and good!

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A part of the night market was in this large convention-center looking building where stands would set up inside, creating a very crowded labyrinthian market that was full of food. I only remember seeing food places like the stand below, you could find just about anything you wanted to eat:

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and children were totally welcome. no child seats, no problem:

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I was very impressed with wide range of vendors and stores in Shilin. you could find just about anything you’d want to buy, they had tons of clothing stores, selling converse sneakers, puffy coats, mini-skirts, ugg knock-offs, you name it. even though this was a night market, there were still teenagers everywhere hanging out with their friends and being teenagers.

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so I’m not quite back into blogging mode, but below are more pictures. if you find yourself in taipei, make a stop to the night markets, it is totally worth a visit!

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(in front of the shilin temple)

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(your basic hot food vendor cart)

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(popular oyster pancake stand)

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(just about any meat you would want to eat)

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2 Comments

  1. vicki
    Posted January 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    nice pics! i love that oyster pancake stand 🙂 i didnt get to eat the chicken though because the line was SO long. whatd you think of all the mall food courts?

  2. Posted January 25, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    line was totally worth it 🙂 i love me some giant double fried chicken! the basement food courts were PHENOMENAL! i only went to two in the Xinyi district, but they were so awesome!

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