Taipei, Taiwan

One Night in Taipei Night Market

Saturday, August 24, 2019

One of the things I love about Taiwan is the Night Market. Taiwan is the first country that I've ever been to and that was in 1995, when visas were still difficult to obtain. My parents, even though my dad was a Taiwan National, still had to go the hard way of processing our documents. And after staying there for almost 6 years, I can say that the night markets are one of the things that I did miss so much.

So, when the opportunity came for us to go back to Taiwan as a tourist (why I didn't get my citizenship while my siblings did is a long story), I can't go home without visiting one of the famous night markets. I could even do with the ones that aren't famous to tourist. As long as its a night market, it will make my heart happy.

Our friend Jackey, a former office colleague now turned restaurant owner invited us to dinner. So we were set to go there at 6pm. There wasn't really anything on our itinerary for that night so we decided to go out of the hotel early and just explore the city. Guess what, just a few blocks away from where we were staying was a night market. At around 5 pm, stalls were starting to open so we decided to go before heading to Jackey's restaurant.

As I had imagined, we immediately look for the Hsiang Chi Pai or the chicken in basil leaves. It's a staple every time we would go home from work before so it really brought a lot of memories of our office days in Taiwan.

Who would want to miss the Stinky Tofu? My favorite. My brother in law just couldn't take the smell and he said it smelled like an old sock and he's right! It does stink and it kinda just grow on you. When I first tasted in way back in 1995, it took me some time before I was able to appreciate the flavors.

Then we went for the rice noodles or Mi-fen (Bihon). The bihon is cooked differently in Taiwan. Here in the Philippines, we have to put in a lot of ingredients such as meat, vegetables and almost everything. In Taiwan, it's simple. Just bean or mung sprouts with the special sauce. I also saw the Tien Pu La but opted not to have it since I don't want to be full. My friend's restaurant is the shabu-shabu eat all you can type so I didn't want to eat something heavy.

And because we ran out of time, we went to my friend's restaurant but we did came back after dinner.

What you must remember when in a night market :

Always go for the ones that isn't available in your home country. (obviously!)

Go for the stinky tofu! You are missing half of your life if you haven't tasted it yet.

Fruits are the best in the night market, always served fresh and with a dash of kiamoy (dried plum) powder .

Pearl Milk tea of course!!! This is where you will find authentic pearl milk tea. Before it became a craze in the Philippines, we were already loving it! The secret is in the pearl, the stall owner told me. He said they cook the pearl with the flavoring (honey) so they won't have to add sweeteners in the milk tea.

Catfish ! We didn't see a stall maybe this wasn't the type of night markets that sold catfish soup.

But what I noticed was there were many new food items that they were selling compared to almost ten years ago. And I guess, food also change with the times.

So, that sums up our night market adventure, I could not really put down into words everything I felt that night. What I did find fascinating was the number of tourists there was and nobody seems to mind the cameras rolling. It was vlogger's paradise.

Here are more photos:

Stinky Tofu

Tien Pu La

Hsiang Chi Pai (Chicken)

Chen Chu Nai Cha  (Black Pearl Milk Tea)

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