Night markets have been in existence in Asia for hundreds of years. Those of times gone by were surely nothing like the popular ones now found worldwide. Found in cities, often those with large Asian populations, has made them more than just a place to buy and sell. Today night markets are filled with quick bites of tasty foods, fun entertainment, designer knock-offs, and knickknacks; they are a large draw for both tourists and locals alike. Taiwan particularly has an abundance of night markets with the Shilin Night Market in Taipei being the most famous and arguably the largest. Divided into two sections, patrons can meander from shopfront to shopfront in one section perusing clothing stores, having a go at karaoke or playing arcade games. Go to the Food Court and there is an almost endless choice food. A friend told me that there are over 1500 food stalls. That is a lot of food!! Not a wonder this night market is famed. It is known for serving foods along the likes of oyster omelets, fried buns, tempura and much more. The ease of getting there by way of the Taipei Rapid Transit System and late hours (5:00pm to 1 or 2:00am is common) this market is a night out I would imagine.
Although Vancouver has a few night markets my friend said they pale in comparison to the ones in Taiwan. They have the large ones like Shilin where the crowds are immense and the choices for everything to the much smaller ones where locals visit and the crowds are fewer. Though she did say 500 food stalls is a small night market though for me I would still imagine that as rather large. It’s all relative I guess.
Photo Credit: Flickr – Alon Lim