Aloha Taipei! The Shi Lin night market

As you read this, we’re awaiting Typhoon Soulik to hit Taiwan, but in the meantime you can read about what we did on our first night.

The Shi Lin night market is Taipei’s largest one, with 540 stalls in a maze of vendors. Make no mistake, although it’s become touristy over the years, it is still crawling with thousands of locals. And it’s not just food vendors, either: you will find rows of stores selling shoes, clothes, jewelry, and more — even a quirky stall with condoms. Here’s a quick look at some of the things we saw:

I will admit, although this market is still a must-see due to its sheer size, it’s not necessarily the best place. We were supposed to meet my cousin Dennis at the MRT stop and head over, but we got delayed at the turnstile (we didn’t know how to use the token) and missed each other. He wandered in there for less than an hour, then went to a different, smaller market to eat and explore. You do get a wide variety of things by virtue of Shi Lin being so large, but you also get a lot of stalls that repeat products. You will see many vendors selling the same fruit, smoothies, black pepper buns, juice, shave ice, and grilled skewers. It’s hard to find the truly unique stalls in there. Here’s a gallery of some of the many things we saw; if you want to see all of my photos (including the, um, uncensored stuff), click here.

Aloha Taipei!

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Here’s a view of the street as you cross to get from the MRT station to Shi Lin.

Follow Cat Toth (@Thedailydish) and me as we explore the city! The hashtag is #AlohaTaipei. Up next: Taipei 101 and Din Tai Fung!