Taiwan's Night Market Culture
Taiwan is home to over three hundred night markets. Night markets provide a place for locals and tourists alike to unwind after a busy day. Known for food, games and shopping, they also are an out-of-the-ordinary place to stroll, socialize and enjoy the culture of Taiwan.
The Taiwanese believe food is so important that the most common greeting used is "Have you eaten?" and an old Taiwanese saying says, "Eating is even more important than the Emperor." The culture of the night market is proof of this belief by the row upon row of food stalls available.
The Shilin market in the city of Taipei is the largest night market in Taiwan and offers public transportation to and from the market. Shilin offers Taiwanese gourmet snacks such as Bubble Tea, a milky tea that has pearls of tapioca added after boiling them in black sugar.
Shops & Games
Night Market Game
Shops at night markets sell high-quality products of almost any kind at reasonable costs, making them an excellent shopping experience for tourists and locals alike. People frequently socialize during shopping or while playing games--for example, catching goldfish in nets in the Shilin market.
The concept of food in a night market compares somewhat to what the West views as "fair foods" sold at concession stands. The Taiwanese call night market foods "Xiaochi" food, which translates to "small food," meaning anything easily carried is sold in the food stalls.
Generally, night markets begin at sunset when vendors begin setting up shops and stalls. Depending on which night market it is, they close at between 11:00 p.m. and midnight.
Connie Whiting has been a professional writer since 1999. She is published in Red Rock Press Anthologies and "Legacy" magazine. She is also an experienced food column writer. Past positions include certified dental assistant and virtual assistant for “Your Invisible Assistant” a service focused on travel arrangements and media writing. Currently, Connie writes for Demand Studios while pursuing an Associate of Arts.