I can't stop raving about Taipei's night markets. So far, they are my favourites in Asia (haven't been to Japan and Korea yet though). There is something in these night markets that breathe life and it's certainly addicting.
For my entire trip, I stayed in Taipei and every night when I go home from day excursions, I find myself drawn to these narrow alleyways of food, fashion and more food.
Night markets in Taiwan have become famous for their xiaochi, which literally means"small eats". Served in portions similar, these dishes are often served as take away food, but some sellers provide small folding tables and stools for customers who would like to sit while they eat.
From several variants of dimsum, oyster omelettes, noodle soup, vegetable sticks, bbq meats, fried chicken chops, frog legs, shawarmas and even the famed Taiwanese milk tea, the selection goes on and on. It's a smorgasboard indeed every night, in an vibrant outdoor party.
The top tourist night market is the Shilin Night Market - one of the largest night markets in Taiwan. Locals often come with family and friends to eat, browse and look for great bargains of various merchandise. Some of the most famous snacks that originated here include deep-fried chicken breasts, kebabs, spring onion pancakes, pan-fried dumplings, grilled Taiwanese sausages, small sausage wrapped in large sausage, hot pot, fresh squid, pork or fish thick soups.
Other popular night markets include the Raohe Night Market, the very first night market in Taipei. There is also the bargain hunter favourite Wufenpu, where several clothes, bags, shoes are sold at very low prices. Then there is the trendy Shida night market, popular with students because of its location near several big universities.
So as you can see, it's an endless buffet of sights, sounds and tastes. I ate on the street every night I was in Taiwan, and I still couldn't get enough of it. I loved the food and there are more that I haven't even visited. Heck, I haven't even eaten in a decent restaurant. With these night markets, it's definitely more fun in Taiwan, and I just can't wait to go back for more.