Ah…night markets. How I love them so. In most cities in Asia, especially Southeast Asia, you can find incredible streets that come alive in the nighttime. Everything from arts and crafts to food stalls, to little gifts being sold in small shops,  can be found in them. These night markets are certainly a sight to see for most Westerners, who don’t have anything like it back at home.


I’ve been to many night markets throughout my travels in Asia, but none were quite as exciting for me as the Shilin Night Market in Taiwan’s capital, Taipei.


Here’s what you can expect to find when you go there:


1. Hot Star Chicken


It’s no secret that if you want to try new and exciting foods, Asia is the place to go. But, when those countries can take what you love from back home (in this case, fried chicken) and combine it with their own cooking styles and flavors, that’s even better. Here at the Shilin Night Market, you can find the delicious Hot Star Chicken. It’s a large chicken breast pounded to be flat like a pancake and fried. Then, you can sprinkle it with spices of your choice. Just make sure you line up early, as this place gets crowded quickly!

Shilin Night Market


2. Massage Parlors


While there are massage parlors all over Taiwan, you don’t have to go searching for one when you’re in the Shilin Night Market. Near the entrance and throughout the street are many parlors, offering pretty good deals for a Taiwanese massage. Okay, so the prices may not be AS cheap as say, Thailand or Vietnam, but they are good. Especially after you’re feet get tired from walking all night!


3. Large Arcade Machines


Do you love games? We do too, and so do the Taiwanese. One thing you should definitely expect to find here are little rooms with large arcade machines. I preferred to play the giant crane machines,  where I tried to win myself a Pikachu doll. But, no worries. If you can’t manage to get it, you can buy it somewhere along the street.


Which brings us to the next thing you should expect to see…


4. Cute Accessories


Taipei is a fashionable and place and any accessory you’ve every imagined finding in Asia can be found here. From hats with watermelons on them (something I happily bought) to keychains, sunglasses, t-shirts, socks, and toys, there’s nothing you won’t find. And, with the K-Pop music blasting in each little store, trust me; you will be motivated to buy something sooner or later!


Shilin Night Market


5. Frogs’ Eggs


There are a lot of ‘funky’ foods you can find at the Shilin Night Market, and it’s up to your discretion whether or not you want to be brave and try them. (I didn’t). All over Asia, I’ve seen everything from Balut (duck embryo) to fried tarantulas and silk worm larvae. But, here in Taipei, you’ll find frogs’ eggs as one of the main streets.


6. The Modern Toilet


Most people know that Taiwan is famous for the restaurant in which you can eat foods shaped like poo, right out of miniature toilet bowls. But, being the big and bustling city that it is, I had a hard time finding where to go to find this place. That’s why I’m here to tell you that one of The Modern Toilet locations can be found right here in the Shilin Night Market.


The Shilin Night Market in Taipei may be ready for you, but are you ready for it? You should be well prepared now!


Hana LaRock is originally from New York, though has called other places around the world her home for the last two years. She currently lives in Mexico and freelance travel writer. When she’s not working, she enjoys writing, reading, spending time with her dog, and of course, traveling. You can find her at www.hanalarockwriting.com.