Review: Kaohsiung – Night Markets
If you are in Taiwan, night markets are a must do.
Whether you are looking for a quick cheap bite, shopping or plain simple fun, these night markets promise to deliver with their different food stalls selling food items as cheap as TWD 45 (USD 1.5 / SGD 2) to grilled palm sized oysters for TWD 250 (USD8.3 / SGD 11.20), clothing and other items and also game booths.
When I was in Kaohsiung the last week, I managed to squeeze in two night markets (for the first time in so many business trips to Kaohsiung): Liouhe Night Market and Ziqiang Night Market.
Liouhe Night Market
Also known as Liuhe Night Market, it is a pedestrian only street that is lined with stalls on both sides from end to end selling food items. So if you are a foodie and are not interested in doing any substantive amount of shopping and/or visiting the game booths, Liouhe Night Market is just right for you.
The market has a bit of everything. You can find your papaya milkshake (apparently quite popular among tourists and locals alike) and other “small eats” ranging from teppanyaki beef cubes, grilled seafood, Taiwanese Oyster Mee Sua (i.e. wheat noodles):
My personal favourite is the grilled giant oysters that are the size of your palm. Unlike oysters elsewhere, which are eaten fresh, the oysters here are grilled with a generous serving of ginger, garlic, spring onions and a good amount of pepper. So for all those who can’t stomach raw oysters, this is once chance for you to take in the good stuff cooked:
If you want something fancy, why not try some snake meat when you are there?
The market is spacious with wooden tables set out in the middle. This is free seating and you can grab your food and head over to an empty table. Just be sure to clean up after you are done. There are big trash bins strategically located along the street.
The only downside to this market is that it appears on tourist itineraries so you tend to see more foreigners here and also expect to pay more.
Getting here: If you are going by metro, the closest metro station is Formosa Boulevard Station (take exit 11). Be sure to stop by the station to take some pictures of the colourful “Dome of Light” that is the largest glass work in the world:
Ziqiang Night Market
In terms of night markets, Ziqiang is on the other side of the spectrum when compared with Liouhe. You can consider it as a no frills market that is frequented by locals. The market is located close to the 85 Sky Tower and is not a pedestrian only market; cars and bikes still have access to the roads along which the stalls are found. This gives the market a more local flavour instead of the tourist friendly watered down experience you get at Liouhe:
If you want to take in the atmosphere, just drop by any stall along the road, order your food and sit at the tables placed beside the road. If you, however, prefer a quieter environment or an air-conditioned environment, there are also small eateries along the road that you can eat at:
The prices here are generally cheaper than at Liuhe.
For some comparison, a good sized sugar apple costs approximately TWD 200 in Liuhe. You can get similar sized sugar apples for less than half that price in Ziqiang (TWD 80 for one and TWD 150 for two!).
Getting here: The closest metro station is at Sanduo Shopping District Station.
Since you are at the night markets, why not go check out the betel nut stalls and give them a try. A small pack of 6 would be sufficient so be sure to ask the stall operator if they can sell you smaller portions to try. I shared my experience chewing betel nuts in another post. Happy chewing!
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