Night Markets in Taipei: Shilin Market
A tour in Taiwan is never complete without experiencing the night markets. The Shilin Market was on top of my list because it probably is the biggest and the most popular night market in Taiwan! It pays to know locals around because they would tell you the truth – that there are better and more effective night markets other than Shilin. I really wouldn’t acknowledge it to be the truth, if I haven’t experienced the other night markets myself and this is one failed mission because we didn’t have enough time to go around. That just means one thing: Taiwan Part 2! I would love to go back again 🙂
They said it could get crowded in Shilin market. Even on a Monday night, I would say that to be true. My first impression of the Shilin market was, it is pretty clean for something I expected to be dirty! The only thing you wouldn’t avoid noticing is the combined smell of food – raw and cooked.
The food section of the Shilin market is underground. I LIKE IT! It’s like a secret or something and ” underground” just sounds so astig! The only thing is, all the fumes and the steam could get trapped downstairs and all the aroma combined might not be as pleasant at first but as you go around and stand right in front of the individual food stalls, your appetite would be engaged!
Oh, the trip to the night market went well with the schedule. After all the tours during the day and the walking, I was just starving! I was prepared to experience the awesomeness of Taiwan!
It was a chaotic heaven!
I was thankful for the night market vouchers we got from Taiwan tourism. They gave us NT$ 200 (Php 300) worth of vouchers. I used it well and my first meal was buttered Salmon and shrimp for NT$ 200. I added rice for NT$ 10 (Php 15).
BEST BUTTERED SALMON and SHRIMP EVER!
And no, it wasn’t because I was just hungry, or maybe I was, but at that moment I just declared BEST Buttered salmon I’ve ever tasted in my entire life and I think this would be hard to beat!
One background on my taste buds: it prefers raw salmon over cooked one. But that all changed, that one fateful night in Taiwan!
One word to describe my experience with the buttered seafood: FRESH! Â Yes, it was really delicious because it tasted really fresh – both the salmon and the shrimps.
One thing I look forward to when going to Taiwan is to taste the food. Â Especially the fruits, vegetables and the seafood and it neverÂ disappointedÂ me. Â I can live here in Taiwan and have a pescarian diet and I’d be as sexy as I hope to be. Â I’ve been wanting to change my diet to pescarian but it’s quite difficult to do that here in the Philippines.
The fruits in Taiwan taste different. Â BETTER! Â For some reason, the fruits are sweeter and they have a richer taste! Â I was debating whether the grapes I ate were just very sweet or it might be a huge berry. Â Upon closer look, it is grapes. Â Maybe one of the reasons why their crops taste really good is that the soil is rich from the volcanic sands to the very nutritious water.
Authentic LARGE Taiwan Bubble Tea for only Php 45
Are these people crazy!!! NT$ 30 (Php 45) for one large bubble milk tea? #FAINTS!!! Â It couldn’t get any more “authentic” than that! Â Duh? We’re already in Taiwan! Â It was the only night in my life where I wished I had a bigger tummy to fit all the food I’ve eaten! Â I bought the Bubble Tea last and while I did enjoy the taste, it had nowhere to go anymore. Â I just carried it along with me when I went around the street market.
Shopping in Shilin Market
Apart from the underground food experience, we also got to walk around the retail boutique stores around Shilin Market. Â You can see all kinds of things with a great price! Â From wigs, to makeup, clothes and shoes, to provocative ice cream the shape of a man’s manhood… yes you can find it there! Â So if you’re looking for unique items and fun stuff, you would enjoy going around the market!
The City that Never Sleeps – More Night Markets around Taiwan
Our hotel is in a commercial area and therefore, the streets are dead at night. We tried to find the nearest Night Market in our area near FX Hotel. It is the Liaoning St. Night Market. We found it alright! But it was already 2am and we just saw the stores close. I was craving for buns!!! >.< good thing there was an abundant array of convenient stores offering preserved buns and creme brules. I was glad to take that and just chill by the bench outside our hotel at 12 degrees Celsius.
Here's a list of more Night Markets you might want to explore when you're in Taiwan:
*some markets are outside of Taipei
1. Shilin Night Market – most enticing
2. Ningxia Night Market – most recommended
3. Huaxi Street Night Market – most diversified
4. Keelung Miaokou Night Market – most friendly and most tasty
5. Fongjia Tourist Night Market – most tasty
6. Chiayi Wunhua Road Night Market – most recommended
7. Kaoshiung Liouhe Night Market – most popular, most enticing
8. Fongshan City Zhonghua Street Night Market – most recommended
9. Yilan County's Luodong Night Market – most friendly
*source: Taipei Night Markets brochure
More info about Taiwan Night Markets here.
Along the streets of Shilin Market, I saw this cute dog who acted like a cat – chasing the laser pointer!
AirAsia flies to TaiwanÂ four times a week, with fights departing Clark at 12:05 p.m. and arriving at Taoyuan airport at 2:00 p.m.
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More Shilin Night Market Photos
Bitin ako sa foodtrip natin sa Taipei, pero panalo talaga yung Salmon <3
Kakagutom naman tong post mo Miss Hannah! I wish I can visit Taipei, too!
Have heard a lot about the exotic night life of Taiwan from my friend who makes frequent business trip. Now, I will definitely be visiting Shilin Market and taste its sumptuous food for sure.
Loved such an informative and priceless article of yours. I will definitely go to Taiwan, in March on my first marriage anniversary and will taste those relishing grapes.
Earlier I had a different notion about cuisines in this part of the world but such lively pictures coupled with informative article has given me new reasons to try at least some of them in my second trip to Taiwan in February for sure.
Thanks for such a lovely post. After reading the article, we have indeed changed our honeymoon destination to Taiwan. Feeling excited and rejuvenated to experience some of the cuisines too.
The article has changed my perception with regards to cuisines. Although, I might not be able to go to Taiwan any time soon, but will definitely tell my friend to bring buttered seafood from there. Thanks again for the article.
Your article has a snap of Salt and pepper crabs and they indeed look delicious. My upbringing was done in Taiwan since my father settled there. But after his death we shifted to India. Any ways, will love to go there again and check it out too.
Thank you Natasha! Definitely, you must try this 🙂
That’s good to know! You should try Beitou hot springs then… I’ll blog about it next!
Shilin Market is definitely a place to visit! Alot 2-3 hours to eat and shop around. Have fun!
Bitin! tapos yong night market malapit sa hotel natin maaga sumara.. maaga ba or was it 2am na nung naglakad tayo? haha
IKR! Torture gawin to ng midnight!