As Night Falls on Taiwan

Taiwan is well-known for its night markets. In Taipei, we couldn’t help but visit a few, as we explored the goods and foods they had to offer.

Our first experience was in Shilin Night Market, West Taipei. This is notorious for being a tourist trap, where goods are priced higher, and you will come across more of the cities travellers. Still, this meant it was a good spot to find some vegetarian food for me alongside delicious meaty goods for Dan! We enjoyed strolling around, admiring the organised chaos as we went. There was also a great little shopping street near here, where we could both get fresh food and where we first tasted the delight that is a Taiwanese dumpling.

After Shilin, we wanted to visit a more local and foodie night market. So, we opted for Raohe, a local night market in the North West of the city. Here, I smelt an aroma that was powerful and intense, not in a good way. Turns out, a popular food here is liver and kidneys. Boy, do they omit a pungent smell on a hot street! Gagging aside, there were a lot of tasty treats on offer, but admittedly these were more focused towards the Dan style consumer. There was little to be found, aside from fruit, for the veggie muncher. Still, I got to absorb the sites, sounds, and smells with the locals.

On our second half of the holiday we visited Hualian city’s night market too. Again, this was one that had more meats to offer, but the prices were much cheaper! It was also not as crowded, which gave me the chance to go shopping. Mistakes were made and I got confused when haggling and ended up paying full price for everything. Still, the equivalent of $20 for two dresses and two tops isn’t exactly bad, but I must have looked like a millionaire to other people around! That is what happens when Dan leaves me for a dumpling shop…though I can’t blame him. Dumplings every time.

It is probably obvious, my favourite food, and it is safe to say Dan’s too, were the delicious dumplings. I couldn’t eat as many as Dan because of the vegetarian factor, but when I could, oh did I munch! They were so very tasty. So. So. Tasty. There was something immensely satisfying about that steamed goodness with a hot and tasty centre. I could eat dumplings all day, every day, leading to the conclusion that, for food at least, we moved to the wrong South Asian county. Japan, raw fish, Taiwan, dumpling heaven. No contender!

Right, I now need to spend a little time wiping my chin and walking off the ‘lack of Taiwanese dumplings in my life’ frustrations. I’m going to put The Script on loudly, thrust my hands in to my pockets, and with a sad glance and my white rice lunch, storm out of the office…

Thanks dumplings, I mean Taiwan.

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