Shilin Night Market is consider the most famous Night Market in Taipei. It’s relatively clean compared to the other ones I’ve attended and the vendors are more tourist friendly with the things they sell. It’s filled with tourists and very crowded. It’s a couple of blocks from the Jiantan station.
It’s huge and spans a few blocks. I spent an hour here and didn’t have time to see all the vendors. The vendors are on the sidewalk, corners, store fronts and in the hidden alleyways. The great thing about the night market is the majority hidden alleyways are fully lit and you feel safe.
Actually, there was barely any cops in the streets of Taipei. The vendors sale all the typical items associated with Taipei night markets, which are boba tea, popcorn chicken, squid, potato swirls, fried chicken, toys, clothing, shoes, and everything you could imagine.
You have to eat some of the food to truly experience the night market. There are so many options to choose from and it would take months or a year to eat every single item here. However, I tried two vendors and their following items:
- Hot Star Large Fried Chicken – It’s a giant piece of fried chicken and the size of your hand. It wasn’t oily like American fried chicken. However, the batter is crunchy, crispy and comes piping hot fresh from the fryer. It’s salted and powdered with spices. The tender inside is juicy and guaranteed to burn your tongue if you’re not careful.
- Boba Milk Tea – This is the small cart right under the billboard as you walk up from the Jiantan station. I have Taiwanese friends who always tell me how boba milk tea and shave ice are so much better in Taiwan. I was always skeptical cause I’m a skeptical person who only believes 30% of the things I hear and read. Now, I’m a believer. The icy, soothing, and refreshing milk tea is truly better in Taiwan. It’s the perfect weapon to combat against the humidity in Taiwan. It cools down your body temperature. The jelly and boba eases your dry throat.
Overall, Shilin Night Market is a great place. There’s too much to do and experience here. I had a great time here and it was a wonderful experience. I wish I had more time here but I made reservations at Alchemy. Lastly, the 626/DTLA/OC Night Markets are a joke compared to the Taipei Night Markets. The essence and wow factor isn’t the same. It’s like how Chicago Hot Dogs are only good in Chicago, New York pizza only good in New York, and tacos are only good in Los Angeles.
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