Taiwan is famous for its night markets. If you’re going through Taipei and only have a single evening then you should spend it at a night market. Grab local food, drinks and check out the culture in an authentic setting. Locals wander through the markets as much as tourists and the vendors are happy to smile and pose for photos.
Taipei as a whole is a very friendly & inviting city. I always felt safe throughout the city and although I was careful in the markets (as I always advise) I never was worried about my valuables. Lucky for us ignorant travelers who don’t speak Chinese the night markets are ever-present and easy to find. Most subway stops have a night market nearby with a note saying which exit to go to.
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We found a hotel near Ximen Station and were happy to find a popular night market when walking around. Street food & souvenirs were everywhere. We bought a handful of awful English shirts and tried just about everything we could see. Wandering through the stalls we bumped into a local group of reptile lovers who let us hold their pet snakes, komodo dragon & other lizards free of charge!
Raohe Market is one of the oldest in Taipei and easy to find at Songshan Station Station. You’ll see a a huge temple in front of this extravagant bazaar. They had a wider selection of foods & souvenirs. It was busier and had more store fronts filled with unique art and more.
Whichever market you choose make sure you try the stinky tofu! Ronda and I also expanded our palate with duck tongue & caramelized chicken feet (I recommend a few beers before venturing that far)