Taiwans night markets: How does a snake taste

in TravelFeed4 months ago

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It's dark and it's full on Taiwan's legendary night markets, the foul and sticky smell of fermented tofu is in the air and a couple of older men argue by a chessboard that is barely recognizable through the steam from the cookshops. Welcome to the Raohe Street Night Market in Taiwan's capital Taipei, a melting pot of smells, colors and mess, through which crowds of people push their way, from which individuals break out again and again to get fat-baked cookies, deep-fried king prawns or even shirts and sneakers and high-tech items. (read my other posts about Taiwan here) Rush hour every eveningRush hour every evening

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Night markets are an Asian, but above all a Taiwanese specialty. Where elsewhere the television is turned on after dinner to round off social life with a crime thriller, the Taiwanese head out before dinner to taste this and that at the night market, to meet people, to stroll around, to look for the latest fashions stop and drink beer, soda, or tea.

These chicken are ready to eatThese chicken are ready to eat

Whether Huaxi Street Night Market (formerly "Snake-Alley"), Shida Night Market or Raohe Street Night Market, the scenery is the same everywhere. There is little of the kind of exotic cuisine in Taiwan that roasts insects or cooks locusts. But there is enough madness for the visitor from the west to try. In the Huaxi Street market, queues are used to make a drink. It's called cobra blood with honey and it is not known whether the claim that the colorful drops that are dripped into the red liquid is not actually snake blood is true. It tasted like this, but how tasted a snake?

The mainstreet of a night marketThe mainstreet of a night market

The best known of all the night markets in the capital, however, is the Shilin night market in the district of the same name, which can be reached via the Jiantan MRT station. In addition to Taiwanese street food, unique goods are also offered here. More than 500 stalls stand in the winding streets and alleys near Dadong Road, in the middle the three-story market hall forms the center. Everything looks like an Arabic suk, only the disgusting smell of the legendary stinky tofu (choudoufu 臭豆腐) indicates that this is Taiwan, a country that has oyster omelets, a sweet sausage made from meat and rice and coriander and leek pancakes called dan bing has declared to its national dishes.

Will you try a snake drink? Or a bubble tea?Will you try a snake drink? Or a bubble tea?

Of course, the night markets are not all about food. In addition, in the high-tech paradise you will find an infinite selection of almost everything that runs on electricity, has a printed circuit board or can be put on. Especially at the Huaxi night market, which locals consider to be a tourist night market, even those who don't know how to shop will find things that are tempting to buy: technical gadgets for very little money, old historical relics of bygone times or exotic Chinese comics and communist film posters.

It’s play time every eveningIt's play time every evening

Like this one, even a visit to a night market is a piece of cultural heritage, because these special shopping streets, which look incredibly dreary in daylight, give an insight into the everyday life of Taiwanese people. Originating in the early Tang Dynasty between 618 and 907 AD, the night markets only became what they are today after World War II. At that time the prosperity of the inhabitants grew, the newly arrived Chinese brought money and demand with them, and urbanization increased. But the great times when everything was traded here that could be brought into the country unnoticed are over today.

The beautiful you girl is looking for hungry guysThe beautiful you girl is looking for hungry guys

Surprising raids have made copyright infringement rare. The stalls are also frequently checked for hygiene, which is why you can confidently order a meal in one of the cookshops. You don't have to worry about being served dog or cat meat either. Incidentally, the famous bubble tea, which has conquered the whole world from here, comes from the Taichung night market.

Eating is livingEating is living

There is no doubt that the individual night markets on the island differ from one another, but there are some similarities. The stands usually open at 6 p.m. and close at 1 a.m. On weekends, some are even open in the morning from 8 a.m. If you stroll through one of the night markets like the Shilin Night Market on your vacation, don't miss out on ordering Xiǎochî.

More things to eat you never know what’s in itMore things to eat you never know what's in it

These are snacks and drinks that are offered in a wide variety. The other goods are just as inexpensive as the food in the food stalls in the markets. You can stroll past the stalls until the early hours of the morning and buy one or two souvenirs. In the event that walking around for a long time has made you tired, help is close at hand: There are stalls at all night markets where you can have your feet massaged.

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Daughter and motherDaughter and mother The night is always youngThe night is always young and the beer is always coldand the beer is always cold
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