Shop ‘Til You Drop at the Shilin Night Market – Part 1

When I think of night markets, the first one that comes to mind is Shilin. This place is the epitome of night market bazaars here in Taipei, if not the mother of all night markets here in Taiwan.

If you are a true-blooded shopaholic, I dare you to brave the Shilin Night Market in just one go and live to tell the tale.

The streets of Shilin night market are endless. I mean, just when you thought you’ve seen everything, you’d suddenly notice another alley and then another and then yes, another…to infinity. The rows and rows of clothes, shoes, food, accessories, toys, bags, and other things imaginable…if you came to Taiwan to experience shopping, then Shilin is the night market that you shouldn’t miss.

The end is never in sight. 

The best thing I love about Shilin night market is that you will find stands that also have signboards written in English. Other night markets in Taiwan are still quite traditional in the sense that they only write signs in Chinese. Also, most of the vendors know how to speak English so communication (and haggling!) is easier to facilitate.

Quick Trivia for Pinoys

I’ve seen somewhere that there’s currently a Shilin restaurant in the Philippines. Actually, Shilin is one of the districts that make up the city of Taipei and the place is more popular because of its night market (I think) rather than just the food.

How to Get There

Reach it via Jiantan MRT station if you plan to take the metro train. You can also try to get off from the Shilin MRT station but interestingly, that would take more time. So better stick with Jiantan MRT and go out via Exit 1.

The night market starts around 6PM until around 2AM. You can also try to check the place in the morning but most stalls and shops do not open until late in the afternoon.

If it’s not rainy on weekends, expect the place to get very crowded.

A lone traffic officer stands in the way of night market shoppers. Nobody dares to challenge him. He is god. 

But personally, I find it more fun to shop at Shilin when there’s lots of people. The place seems to throb with so much vibe along with the crowd of tourists–local and foreign.

Once you get out of Exit 1, you’ll see a fork in the road as you walk towards the Shilin Night Market. The road on the left is JiHe Road while the one on the right is Weilin road.

Just so you know, the guy on the billboard isn’t an actor. He’s the “After” photo of a cosmetic surgery patient.

Dadong/Weilin Road

The Weilin road splits further into two because it is also connected with Dadong Road.

The left side is already part of Dadong road while the one on the right is Weilin Road itself.

You can take either one  though I would personally suggest you go by Dadong road first. There’s so much to see there and if you ever feel tired and ready to call it a day, at least you would have already seen much of the night market’s offers.

hooray for unconventional cutesy 8GB USB drives!

fancy accessories

umbrellmets = helmets shaped like an umbrella or umbrellas shaped like a helmet

fluffy flip flops

for all you sportie shoppers, check out Momentum
And this is for your bridal shower/stag party needs

As you go this way, there will be smaller alleys that you’ll come by left and right. Feel free to explore these alleys too because they are still part of the night market and would somehow bring you back to JiHe or Weilin.

Once you get to the end of Dadong Road’s night market, you will see a rotunda. Just turn right then go straight ahead until you see the Taipei MRT.

You will eventually come by Weilin road once more, so turn right to get back on the night market strip.

Among the things you will see along Weilin Road is the Modern Toilet Cafe and the Chinese movie house where lots of Taiwanese street foods can be found.

Is that a toilet on the wall of the building?

YES IT IS. 

The awesomeness of Modern Toilet Cafe deserves a separate post. 

While I may not be sure if this Chinese theater has English movies too, what I am sure of is that once you see this…

…you have officially reached Weilin’s street food mecca!

CUSTARD CAKES

BARBECUES

SPRING ROLLS (the guy looking at the camera is optional)

and juices made from GIANT FRUITS AND VEGGIES
So now that you’ve discovered Dadong and Weilin, it’s time for you to explore JiHe (or maybe go back to it the following night). This other road also have very interesting Taiwanese staples when it comes to night market culture.
To be continued…

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