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The Foodie’s Guide to Taiwan’s Can’t-Miss Night Markets

Feast Through Taiwan

This unique little island, given the nickname “Ilha Formosa” (the Beautiful Island) by 16th-century Portuguese settlers, abounds with delicious traditional dishes brought over by mainland Chinese immigrants in the 20th century, influenced by native aboriginal culture, as well as Japanese and other international cuisines.
The best way to sample the cuisine, of course, is to visit Taiwan’s ubiquitous night markets. When the sun goes down, the streets of most major cities light up with the hustle and bustle of vendors hawking their wares and food stands to spill fragrant scents onto crowds of locals and tourists looking for a good deal or a bite to eat.
Whether you are looking for local specialties like chewy oyster pancakes and the infamous stinky tofu, or the Taiwanese version of crunchy large fried chicken or ice cream wrapped in a crepe, you can find all of this and more at any of the following night markets below.

Northern Taiwan

Shilin Night Market, Taipei

Arguably the largest and most famous night market in the entire island, Shilin Night Market is located conveniently next to the MRT Jiantan Station and attracts hundreds of tourists and locals every night. The market features general merchandise and local cuisine, with a Night Market Food Court located along the western edge.  Feast on the reasonably priced fried chicken stake, bubble tea (which was originally invented in Taiwan!), and, of course, don’t forget to give the famous stinky tofu a try!
If you come early to the night market, feel free to take a look at the Martyrs’ Shrine nearby, built to honor fallen Kuomingtang soldiers after the Chinese Civil War.

Raohe Night Market, Taipei

Another major hot spot, particularly for tourists and visitors, is the Raohe Night Market, one of the oldest night markets in the capital city. This 600-meter single pedestrian path in the Songshan District is lined with cozy shops and stalls, carnival games, and fascinating late-night foods and snacks.
Easily accessible from the MRT, the entrance of the night market is located right next to the Songshan temple and is conveniently situated beside a clothing outlet in Wufenpu and the Taipei New Horizon Shopping Complex. For an unforgettable night, shop to your heart’s content at the clothing outlet or shopping center, and then fill your belly with the well-known pork pepper buns, giant grilled squid, mochi, and of course Taiwan’s signature beef noodle soup!

Miaokou Night Market, Keelung

Located seven minutes away (on foot) from the Keelung train station, the Keelung (pronounced “Jeelong”) night market is one of the most famous night markets in the country. Known for its seafood, visitors to the Keelung night market will be able to enjoy the fresh sea breeze as they stroll along the boardwalk beside the water and enjoy the sight of large ships docked at the harbor.
The night market wraps around a local temple in the center of the city and is particularly well known for its lush seafood. From milk crab and stir-fried king crab legs to its barbecue squid and cuttlefish, Keelung night market is a definite must-visit for the seafoodie visitor!

Central Taiwan

Feng Chia Night Market, Taichung

This night market/shopping town located within walking distance of Feng Chia University offers not only delicious foods and fashionable clothing for sale, but Taichung is also known for selling the cheapest, most fashionable mobile phones.
Comprised of one street, Feng Chia night market offers cheap and delicious and unforgettable foods and a friendly atmosphere–a true sensory feast for both eyes and tongue. Moreover, visitors are encouraged to rent an iBike (an iBike station is located at the main intersection of the Feng Chia road) and travel green through the area.
If you’re looking for churros, scallion pancakes, sweet potato balls or pork-stuffed rice-sausages, this is the night market for you!

Zhongxiao Night Market, Taichung

The Zhongxiao night market was historically the late-night snack center of choice during the Japanese colonial period. It was here that locals feasted on grilled duck, oyster vermicelli, and all sorts of seafood. It was also here where the Ding Wang Spicy Hot Pot originated.
Zhongxiao is well known for its delicious food. Located next to the Third Market, Zhongxiao opens as the Third Market closes (around 4 pm). Some of its must-try dishes include bamboo rice, sugarcane juice, and, of course, Zhongxiao BBQ.

Tunghai Night Market, Taichung

This upscale commercial district located in Taichung, Taiwan features not only a university (Tunghai University) but also a fixed store night market. Different from traditional open-air street markets, Tunghai night market is hugely popular with students, staff, and professors from nearby Tunghai U, and also features a melting pot of fusion cuisines and brand-name clothing.
Perfect for the foodie-shopper, Tunghai Night Market offers an array of irresistible snacks, from chicken steak burgers and steamed meatballs to braised dishes and chicken feet gelatin!

Southern Taiwan

Rui Feng Night Market, Kaohsiung

This grid-shaped market is considered one of the busiest and most popular night markets in Kaohsiung. Located in the Zuoying district, Rui Feng is open Tuesday nights and Thursday through Sunday nights from 6:30. With a two-decade-long history, this L-shaped market offers late-night snacks, entertainment, and shopping. Due to its location, most Ruifeng local visitors are students and office workers, and it sports a variety of low-cost dishes to appeal to guests.
Some of Ruifeng’s most famous dishes include Wanguo steak teppanyaki, brown sugar bubble tea, papaya milk tea, and Mongolian barbecue.

Ling Ya Night Market, Kaohsiung

Located in Taiwan’s largest southern city, the Ling Ya night market is a favorite among the locals. Designed for the focused , the Ling Ya night market solely features food stalls, including such delectable options as squid and eel noodles, Taiwanese salt and pepper (deep fried) chicken, braised pork rice, and white sugar cake.
This market is easy to navigate because the stalls are arranged neatly in two rows, so you will never have to fear getting turned around in large crowds or maze-like winding streets.
As a bonus: because more folks in the southern part of Taiwan speak Taiwanese (in addition to Mandarin), you can take the opportunity to practice sharpening your Taiwanese skills as you order food from the local vendors. (“Ji Koh?” means “How much?”)
No matter where you go in Taiwan, you are sure to have an unlimited number of choices of delicious foods to try. But to soak in the excitement and flavor of Taiwan, unfiltered, make sure you spend some time wandering through its iconic night markets. Wishing you an unforgettable food-lover’s adventure in the Beautiful Island!

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Romantic Taiwanese Getaways for Nature Lovers

Nature Lovers

This little island nation was nicknamed “the Beautiful Island” by the Portuguese for a reason. It is full of verdant forests, charming seascapes, and some of the friendliest locals in the world. Taiwan is the perfect place for a romantic getaway, and here are some of the best locations in particular:

Hualien, Taiwan

This lovely coastal city located in Northeastern Taiwan has an unhurried mountain town feel, perfect for long, lingering walks and meaningful memories. The Taroko National Park, a 92,000-hectare national park is one of Taiwan’s nine national parks, featuring all-natural mountains, gorges, rivers, and cliffs. You can take a guided day tour of the Taroko Gorge, or make your own way through the winding mountain paths or alongside the rocky Qixingtan Beach.
In addition, Hualien also features a Cultural and Creative Industries Park–former industrial spaces that have been converted into art venues including art exhibits and craft shops. If you come at the right time, you can be treated to street performers and music shows as well! There are even opportunities to go whale and dolphin watching in Hualien, with a high likelihood of successful sightings, particularly between April and October.
And don’t forget the food: for an authentic Taiwanese night market experience, check out Dongdamen Night Market, located on Zhongshan road and open from 5:30 to 11:30 pm, daily. This subsection of a larger bazaar and events area is home to three main market lanes, including Futing Market (featuring Taiwanese food), another street representing mainland Chinese dishes, and Aboriginal street, a lane filled with local vendors offering aboriginal style snacks and gifts. Hualien is the perfect romantic vacation spot for nature-loving foodie couples from anywhere around the world.

Tamshui, Taipei

If you prefer a more citified feel for your love story, remember to check out Tamshui, Taipei–known for its famous Lover’s Bridge which lights up at night as live musicians serenade diners at the local restaurants along the river. Located near Tamkang University, Tamshui is a beloved spot for college-aged lovers and is a top dating spot for university students and visitors alike.
Even during the day, couples can rent bikes and ride along the peaceful coast, perhaps stopping in to visit Fort San Domingo (one of the oldest European style buildings in Taiwan) or Tamshui Old Street (full of delicious foods like the iconic fish balls and Ah Gei) for an unforgettable date.

Pingxi Sky Lanterns, Taipei

Have you ever wanted to release your own burning lantern into the night sky as a declaration of your love? After Disney released Tangled in 2010, viewers everywhere have swooned at the romantic scene where Rapunzel and Flynn sing to each other as floating lanterns glow like stars in the inky night air.
Pingxi (also known as Shi Fen) was literally awarded the “most romantic place in Taiwan” in 2014, made famous by the movie “You Are the Apple of My Eye” which also featured a romantic scene involving the releasing of a sky lantern.
If experiencing a sky lantern has always been your dream, you need dream no longer: Visitors to Pingxi are given the opportunity to decorate and release their own sky lanterns, as well as stroll along the rustic railway, hand in hand, or explore the Pingxi Old Street–a street built into a hill with a train track going overhead.
If you are looking for a memorable place and activity to declare your love to your significant other, or even pop the question, you can’t go wrong with Pingxi and its famous sky lanterns! During Chinese New Years, particularly, tourists are invited to release a Chinese lantern into the sky.

Brown Boulevard, Taitung

This picturesque path located in the center of the island nation is perfect for a romantic lovers’ bike ride. Featuring a wide expanse of green rice fields, only one solitary tree, and zero telephone poles, Brown Boulevard has long been considered an ideal backdrop for wedding photography or just a relaxing location to travel through, hand in hand. Made famous because of a Mr. Brown Coffee commercial, this verdant paradise road is nestled in the rustic Chishang township of Taitung County and is closed to non-agricultural vehicles, making it safe and peaceful–perfect for exploring and enjoying.

Penghu Islands

If you love aquatics, consider bringing your beloved to Penghu, a group of islands and islets located off the west coast of Chiayi County. And if you and your loved one appreciate history, check out the Penghu Living Museum, which offers insights into centuries of Penghu culture, from religious beliefs to child-rearing practices.
Qimei’s most arresting feature is a double heart of stacked stones, an ancient but well-preserved fish trap located in the deep green-blue ocean and visible from the sky above. It is often said to represent eternal love and is the perfect backdrop to a romantic picnic, wedding proposal, or wedding photo shoot.

Yang Ming Shan, Taipei

Yang Ming Shan is an epic vantage point from which to view Taipei’s sparkling night scenery: the Yang Ming Shan National Park features a hidden volcano and is particularly beautiful during flower season, with sakura blossoms in full bloom.
There are also numerous restaurants with spectacular views located near Yangmingshan national park, including The Peak, which offers private seats for couples and a large menu with many selections; Back Garden, a Mediterranean-Bali themed outdoor restaurant, and Sleepless, the iconic spot for couples in love since 1986. Any and all of these elegant restaurants provide the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal after a day of hiking and exploring, and a time to talk about matters of the heart.
No matter where you go in Taiwan, an emerald land full of unspoiled nature and unique adventures, you will be sure to make one-of-a-kind memories with your significant other by your side. The most important thing is to enjoy each other and the land, and remember that, in the words of the great Charles Schulz: “in life, it’s not where you go, it’s who you travel with.”