Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tonghua Night Market

Tonghua Night Market is not one of the most well-known ones in Taipei. It has more of a local, neighborhood feel, even though it's in a really central location. This street full of shops and vendors is within a 10 minute walk of Liuzhangli MRT station, and Taipei 101 is close by. Tonghua Night Market is not too big, but it's still packed with unique foods to eat and things to buy.

As always, there is no shortage of interesting snacks you can buy as you stroll slowly down the street, taking in the sights and smells. 

Here's a ice cream wrap with peanut shavings. The peanut brittle comes in a huge block, and the vendor grinds off bits from the top to sprinkle on the wrap. Then he plops down three perfect scoops of ice cream. 

If you want to balance out your sugary ice cream, there are veggie vendors to be found! At the entrance to the night market, this man was selling fresh cut up veggies. 3 types of veggies cost 50 TWD, less than $2 USD. I picked broccoli, enoki mushrooms, and a cucumber. These veggies were cut up and seasoned with various spices, including a hefty dose of black pepper powder.

You can buy basically anything on a stick - chicken feet, mystery sausages and meat balls, organs, even rooster's comb! You know, the thing on top of its head. I tried it, and it was very rubbery and didn't really taste like anything.

All along the street are inexpensive shops selling all sorts of goods, from hardware to household items and clothing. Buy your stationary paper, sports bras, kitchen knives, and Hello Kitty water bottles all in one place! There are a few dollar stores. If you wander into one of these general stores you will be sure to find things you never even knew you needed, but hey, it's only a dollar right?

You can also buy huge prawns, or snails! Besides cart vendors, there were also quite a number of restaurants - western steak shops, sashimi bars - mostly around the 150-300 TWD range ($5-10).

It was really crowded! If you want a lively night market with less of a touristy vibe, then you should visit Tonghua. 

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