Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Trip To Taiwan 台湾: Taichung 台中 - Feng Jia Night Market 逢甲夜市

Photo By: Elin Chow

A trip of Taiwan is never complete without a visit to its night markets. Night markets are an unique part of Taiwanese culture and are the best places to visit to taste a number local delicacies.

Feng Jia (also known as Feng Chia) Night Market 逢甲夜市 is a must visit in Taichung 台中. Some says that your trip to Taichung is not completed if you have not visited Feng Jia Night Market. This is a bustling night market famous for its wide variety of innovative and cheap streets food.

Feng Jia Night Market 逢甲夜市

Located in Xitun District 西屯区 in Taichung District, Feng Jia Night Market is known to be one of the largest night market in Taiwan. Covering area up to 1 km around Feng Jia University 逢甲大学, the night market offers a wide array of Taiwanese snacks, drinks, food, fashion clothing, accessories and entertainment at a relatively affordable price.

Just like most night market in Taiwan, Feng Jia Night Market usually opens around 7 pm and continues until the wee hours of the morning. Even so, you will still find a handful of main stores opening at 2 pm in the afternoon.

Due to limited space in Taiwan, Motor scooters are the most popular mode of transportation on the island. At any given time of the day, it is not difficult to find hordes of scooters zipping up and down the streets, cutting through the crowded narrow alleyways, sidewalks or even night markets.

In Feng Jia Night Market, rows of scooters lined up outside of restaurants, shops and everywhere along the streets, Most of scooter riders in Taiwan tend to ignore traffic laws and safety as they drive their scooters through night markets flooded with pedestrians.

I remembered that there were a few occasions when I almost got run over by a scooter while I was exploring the night market. Thus, it is important for you to stay alert and watch out for the dozen of scooters that cut through the night market at all time.

Having to watch out for the dozen of scooters that cut through the night market is certainly annoying. If not for the scooters, perhaps I would enjoy visiting the night market even more. Personally, I feel that scooters should be banned from entering any night markets in Taiwan for safety reasons. But I believe this will not be happening any time soon.

The night market is always very crowded and noisy on weekend with vendors calling out their menus and fast-paced music playing over loud-speakers playing across the streets.

Hundreds of vendors and shops lined up on both side of the streets, offering a large selection of local specialties for visitors to choose from.

Every street and corner we turned into, there are just more food stalls for us to try. Since we spent most of our day sightseeing in Taichung, we did not have enough time to explore the entire night market. It was a pity, but at least, we still managed to cover part of it. 

Although the night market was really crowded, we were glad that the streets are generally wide and spacious. Thus, we do not feel uncomfortable walking among the people.

There are also plenty of trash bins placed at regular intervals down the long stretch of road for visitors to throw their food trash away.

For hygiene purposes, food stall vendors are required to wear a mask and apron during food preparation. Even so, we noticed that there are still a significant number of them who have failed to comply with this hygiene requirement.

Most of the night market also have some small restaurants offering a number of simple courses that allow people to finish a full proper meal without having to eat their way through the night market.

Feeling hungry and tired, we stopped by a small restaurant to have a quick meal before we continue to snack our way through the night market. This is where I managed to try the Taiwanese minced pork rice 卤肉饭 for the first time. It was so delicious!

Unfortunately it is impossible for us to try everything. I would suggest visiting the night market with an empty stomach so that you will have more room to stuff your face with all the unique and awesome street foods.

To be frank, I am not particularly fond of night markets. But I must admit that night markets are indeed the best place to spend your evening shopping for bargains and enjoying local food at a budget price. Among the 4 night markets (Feng Jia Night Market 逢甲夜市, Kenting Shopping Street 垦丁大街, Luodong Night Market 羅东夜市 & Shilin Night Market 士林夜市) that I had visited in Taiwan, Feng Jia Night Market is undoubtedly my favorite due to its spacious streets and the variety of food and fashionable items it offers.

If you are interested to know more about our trip, you may want to check out our 11D10N round island tour itinerary for the list of attractions that we had visited during our 11 days in Taiwan. Be sure to follow me  Facebook or Twitter  for the latest updates on my 11 days adventures in Taiwan!

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