If you are wondering what to do in Taipei at night and your stomach is rumbling, then look no further than the Taipei night markets! I had heard the Taiwanese love a good night market but it didn't prepare me for the amount of tasty food on offer and the sheer size of them.
The main/best night markets in Taipei City are Shilin Night Market, Raohe Night Market, Tonghua (Linjiang Street ) Night Market, Ningxia Night Market and Huaxi Night Market. They are all slightly different but whichever market(s) you choose (if you don't have time to visit them all) you will leave with a memorable experience and satisfied taste buds.
Here are my top 5 reasons why you must visit night markets in Taipei
1. The FOOD
How could food not be number 1?! Trust me you will be in food heaven. There is a crazy amount of different foods that are on offer for you to try and your taste buds will not be disappointed. As soon as you approach the Taipei night markets you will smell them before you see them and the smells are even better when you reach the food stalls. However, one smell I will never forget is stinky tofu, which is not pleasant in the slightest and is actually one of the worse things I ever smelt in my life, but you do get used it (kind of).
When we visit a new country we like to have a list of local foods that we want to try and the Taipei night markets are the perfect place to tick a lot off the list. Most of the food is sold in small portions, so you can eat more of the delicious local delicacies that are on offer! Most of the food looks amazing but you will come across the odd stall that you will probably walk past when you see they are selling every single part of the chicken including the crest and innards.
You will not leave a night market hungry and your hardest decision of the night will be deciding what to choose, as there is so much you won't be able to try everything.
2. The ATMOSPHERE
There is such a buzz at the Taipei night markets and it is the perfect way to spend your evening, after exploring the city in the day. Everyone is having a great time, eating, shopping and socialising with friends. The markets can get a little crowded but it didn't bother us.
3. The SHOPPING
If you want to burn off some of the calories you have consumed from the tasty street food, amongst the food stalls are shops selling clothes, shoes and accessories to walk around. Does it get much better than street food and shopping?
4. The PRICE
When we were travelling we were on quite a strict budget and night markets were the perfect place for us to fill our bellies on a small budget. Getting dinner from the night markets was always tasty but cheap. Some stalls can be quite expensive but there are a lot of inexpensive dishes on offer, so the night markets can work for any budget.
5. The CULTURE
The Taipei night markets are not set up for tourists and we barely saw other travellers when we were exploring the stalls. The local Taiwanese don't only grab a quick meal but also meet friends there, so it is a great place to grab a snack and a seat and do a bit of people watching to see how the local people go about their day to day lives.
So there are my top 5 reasons why you should visit the night markets in Taipei. They will appear in most, if not all itineraries and guidebooks and there is a good reason for that! Have fun!