After visiting Taipei 101 on my second day in Taiwan we went to a restaurant with some friends overlooking the city on a rather precarious mountainside. We had planned to eat outside but as it was a windy evening and so we retreated inside to enjoy some Taiwanese hot-pot.

Top Hot Pot

In contrast to the many times I’ve eaten hot-pot before they cooked the meat in a special sauce before adding the broth and various vegetables. It was pretty good but I’m not sure it warranted driving half way up a mountain for! On a warm evening when you could enjoy the view it would be perfect though.

Shilin Neon

After dinner it was time to check out another of the cities many night markets, this time Shilin (near Jiantan MRT Station), often considered to be the largest and most famous one in the city. It’s also one of the oldest, having been there fir more than 100 years.

Bubble Milk Tea Shop

Our first treat was “pearl milk tea” or “bubble tea” which is a local creation consisting of sweetened milk tea with large tapioca balls served ice-cold. You drink it through an especially wide straw so as to be able to suck up the pearl balls. I’d had it before in China but never as good as it was here.

Happy Crowds

We then made out way to the main shopping street which was crazy busy, even through it was already 9.30pm. When I first came to China the crowds felt horribly claustrophobic but I seem to have slowly got used to them but still usually try to avoid where possible

Duck Heart and Chicken Stomach

There were lots of tasty treats on offer including what I was told were dog tongues but in fact turned out to be duck hearts and chicken stomachs (I’m not sure which is worse!). Most of the street food looked pretty clean and hygienic in comparison to what you might find on the mainland.

Muppet Gallows

On many of the streets illegal vendors setup their carts in the middle of the road and to our astonishment we noticed lookouts with earpieces keeping watch for the police. Every time an officer passed they would send out a signal over the radio and within 20 seconds or less the carts were cleared away into side streets, only to re-emerge a few minutes later once the law had gone!

Domo Kun

As well as food and clothes there were also many brightly lit game arcades designed to part customers with their small change. The machines were clearly rigged to prevent anyone actually winning!

Rainbow Candy

After a very long day it was time to call it a night – many thanks to Yapei for guiding us around 🙂

Comments

  1. Stevo says:

    Great photos, David. I really want to visit Taiwan. I’ve heard great things about the night market – duck hearts are not my favorite snack but acceptable under certain circumstances.

    I’m in Dubai for two more days – I have yet to take a photo. Hopefully today….

  2. Ted says:

    Hi David, if you’re ever in Taiwan again you should try 春水堂 ChunShui Tang, the store that originally invented ‘Bubble tea’ and is definitely the best by far. Their drinks are a little more expensive than the stands since it’s a sit in tea house, but they’re worth it.

  3. mon lao says:

    hi! my husband & i are flying to taiwan this thursday, feb 10th for 4days. what’s the best nightclub, shopping place, and hotel you could recommend?

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