The Shilin night market is the most popular among all night markets in Taiwan. It is also Taiwan’s largest, making it a favorite shopping place for local residents and a major tourist attraction for people visiting the country. The market is found around Yang Ming Theater, spreading as far out as the streets of Da Dong, Wen Li, Da Nan, and Ji He.
You can find almost anything you need, such as clothes of the latest fashion, jackets, shoes, accessories, toys, bags, cosmetics, sports wear, DVDs, traditional Chinese clothes, and others, in this night market without having to spend as much as you would in a department store. The low prices of goods keep the crowds coming every single day, so expect a lot of people even during weekdays. On weekends, the crowd so much becomes thicker. If you visit on a weekend, you will witness a sea of people invading the market stalls, so if you prefer a more relaxed shopping, it is best that you avoid the weekend market.
People go to the Shilin night market not just to shop for goods but also to satisfy their gastronomic cravings. When you pass through the food stalls and the smell of freshly cooked food enters your nostrils, you will not be able to resist the flavors that are waiting to be sampled. Chicken steak is a favorite among regular night market goers and is a must for first timers. The crispy skin and moist tender meat will make you ask for more. Hao Da Chicken Steak in Wen Lin Road is the best place to eat this delectable dish.
Be sure not to pass up the Shanghai fried buns. These are a trademark of the Shilin night market, and some people claim that you have not really experienced the night market if you have not tasted the Shanghai fried buns. The buns come in various fillings – meat, cabbage and mushrooms, and pork and scallions. Freshly cooked buns have really hot fillings, so be careful with that first bite.
There are other interesting and yummy dishes in the night market that you should try. These include barbecued chicken wings, squid, and sausages, fried squid, oyster omelet, fried broad noodles, stew, spring rolls, sweet rolls, peanut candy, tempura, spicy bean curd, medicinal ribs, scallion pancakes, and many others scattered among 539 food stalls. To make sure that you thoroughly enjoy the food, don’t go to the night market with a full stomach.
You can also go to the night market for a bit of fun. You will find KTV bars, arcades, and movie theaters. If you want some peace and quiet after you have had your fill and you have bought what you need, you can walk around the grounds of a nearby museum or you can go up to Yang Ming Mountain for a wonderful view of the city at night.
The Shilin night market is not hard to find. The easiest way to go there is by taking the MRT. Go down at Jiantan Station and walk toward Wen Lin Road. Alternatively, you may take buses that will stop at MRT Jiantan Station or you may simply take a cab.