Shilin: One of Taiwan’s many thriving night markets


A food vendor preparing the day’s meal
Anthony Maliki who was in Taiwan
Though Taiwan is blessed with world-class innovations in various fields especially in the Information Technology (IT) sector, other traditional areas are still of interests.
For example, the Taiwanese tea culture is very strong and there are usually many ceremonies to celebrate the best tea around the country.
However, the night markets are an awesome life of the Taiwanese people and visitors alike. There indeed many of such markets cutting across the island country. Some of the markets are of multi-product while others are single item like for flowers, foods or bicycle.
Some of the night markets in Taiwan include Tainan, Feng Chia, Liouhe, Raohe, Tonghua, Rueifong, Keelung, Miaokou, Huaxi, Shilin, Luodong, Ningxia, Datong, Lehua, Tamsui, Sanzhi, Sanxia, Zhongyang, Fu-Da and Taoyuan among others.

A crowd alley at the market
Infact, most markets operate till 12midnight while others remain till 2am daily with some located on a stretch of a street while others spread across many streets and alleys with buildings turning into shops and eateries.
The Shilin night market in Taipei is one of the sprawling markets in the country. It is a mixed frenzy of so many things. It is like an organised confusion of some sorts. It is a blend of many people from across the world and many more intermingled with the locals. It is a bazaar of tourists, foods, toys, clothes, range of shoes, bags, assorted drinks, cheap items and not so cheap once.
It can be described as a place for honeymoon or a rekindling of cherished old moments as hundreds of couples cuddle and relishing in the surrounding funfair. Also, kids, teenagers and the very old all have space for merriment at Shilin.
There are streams of anything one wants to buy but there are always long queues of buyers in popular snack stands. However, other stands are quieter even as side vendors display their wares by the sidewalks urging people to their products.
The market has a famous Chinese fried chicken shops, and lots of fresh fruits. Vendors sell fruit to eat or as fresh fruit drinks. It has a section of Taiwan street-food favorites, including dumplings, noodles, stinky tofu, beef noodles, meat pockets, oyster omelets, and sizzling steak plates.

Gift items on the side walk
Shilin also has Oyster omelets, which are done Taiwan-style, with eggs, vegetables trucked in from the Western shores of southern Taiwan. These could be found at almost at every night market in Taiwan but each place has their own variation on sauce as well as hot sauces to accompany the dish.
If pastries are your style, Shilin market has varieties of cakes, both sweet and salty.
Shilin is surrounded by hundreds of clothing and accessories shops from shoes to dresses to jackets to jewelry.
Caleb Huang, who is undertaking his national service, told Daily Trust Saturday in Taipei that he buys his wares at the market because they are cheaper and equally of good quality. He said he bought a shoe at NT1500 which is not a bad price. According to him, many people patronize the market for such opportunities.  Indeed, whatever you wanted Taiwan night markets are where you found them and Shilin is the best of all. (Daily Trust, June 13, 2015)

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