Taiwan Travel

Shida Night Market

Taipei is famous for its numerous night markets dotted throughout the city where people go to shop and eat after the sun goes down, many staying open till midnight. On my first evening in Taiwan I headed to Shida night market in the Taan district (near Guting MRT station).

Shida Night Market

Even though it was drizzling outside the market was still bustling with young people, mainly students from the nearby National Taiwan Normal University (I’ve always wondered why in Asia they call their education institutions “normal”?).

Damp Market

It felt a bit like a cross between Hong Kong and Seoul with a mixture of street fashion and local culture.

Taiwan Street Food

A wide array of street food called xiaochi meaning “small eats” or finger foods was on offer with a selection of common snacks and more exotic options. Stinky tofu seemed very popular and as the name implies you can smell it a mile off!

7 Eleven

Something you’ll notice about Taiwan is that there are 7-Elevens everywhere. In some places, it seemed like every other store was a 7-11 which leads me to conclude that Taiwanese people either really love convenience stores or are just lazy 😉 Either way, you’ll never be short of a fine selection of drinks and pre-packaged foods!

1st Meal in Taiwan

We had dinner at “Sugarcane Hot Pot” a little way down one of the side streets – simple, healthy, and tasty. After this, we headed to Cafe Bastille nearby which boasts a vast selection of European beers in a relaxed atmosphere. Come rain or shine Shida night market is worth a visit.


Originally from the UK, David is designer and wanderer currently based in Kamakura. Prior to this, he lived in China and longs to explore more of this vast and varied land. He started Randomwire in 2003 to chronicle his travels and occasional musings. Feel free to drop him a line.

19 Comments Add New Comment

  1. R says:

    Hey, David, sorry for disappeared from this world.It is really a long time since last time I read your blog.seems you had an awesome time in Taiwan.what a pity I cant see the pictures,you should think a way to let ppl in mainland can see your pictures:p Food is the biggest charm of Taiwan in my mind,if in the future I go there,food will definitedly the most important reason,ahahaha:)

  2. Matt Hooper says:

    Good article. I read once that Taiwan has the highest amount of 7-11s per capita in the world. We say that if you can’t see the next 7-11 from the previous one then you’re not in Taipei.

  3. eligh says:

    haha i’m a student of that university and just to let you know, the “normal” basically is in my opinion a horrible translation of shi-fan. “shi” standing for teacher and “fan” standing for model or example. so basically it translates as the standardized training of teachers and educators!

    it used to be a university that specialized in training teachers only but now it has a wide variety of departments, so i guess you can finally say it now actually is just a “normal” university…haha sorry, bad pun

  4. Joff says:

    Hi David

    Could you share how to get to the Shida Night Market? I’ve been in Taipei thrice but have still yet to visit Shida even though I have every intention to do so.

    I’m visiting Taiwan again later this month and this time round, I want to make sure I visit this night market no matter what it takes 🙂

  5. […] Shi-da Night Market is also open late and great for dodgy-looking moonlit transactions, offering the best in cheap goods and awesome street food. You can also chipmunk dumplings into your mouth until you explode for about NTD150 ($5) at most local cafes and restaurants. Photo by: Rob Karlic […]

  6. Lara says:

    Nice photos! and in addition to these food stands, there are lots of nice cafes in Shida Night Market 😀
    I was just graduated from national taiwan normal university. About the using of “normal,” I think it’s originated from French “école normale.”
    for more(thanks to wikipedia haha) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_school

  7. Annie Pei says:

    Taiwan has so many 7-eleven store because it’s just not convenience shop, but you will notice that if you want to buy phone credit for your mobile phone (usually bought at the post) you can go straight to 7-eleven. And, the fact that the stores are open 24h/7 makes it more than convenience store! Once you live here, you can see how important they are, all electricity bills, water bills, tour trip, send mail via post, almost everything can be found at 7-Eleven !

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