Marketing 101: The Best of Taiwan's Night Markets
As the sun casts a coronal glow around Taipei 101, locals and tourists alike ooze out of the towers and down into one of the many buzzing Taiwanese night markets for a night of mingling, shopping and a lot of eating. Open late, offering fresh food and all sorts of souvenirs, the massive assortment of street stalls and sidewalk vendors make night markets a major part of Taiwan's nightlife. For travelers to Taiwan, the markets are a great way to sample tasty Taiwanese cuisine while reveling in some of the local culture. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Shilin Night Market: The largest and oldest night market in the Shilin District of Taipei city, vendors start setting up and selling around 4 pm, with peak hours between 8 - 11 pm and keep it going well past midnight. Famous for a wide variety of local food such as fried buns, peanut candy, oyster omelets and tianbula (Taiwanese tempura), this market is a foodie's heaven. With a carnival-like atmosphere and good deals on clothing, shoes and accessories the market is our favorite and easily reached via the Shilin MRT.
2. Huaxi Street Tourist Night Market: Only a five minute walk from the MRT (Longshan Temple Station), this market attracts plenty of international tourists to the city. Established more than 50 years ago, the market sells all sorts of snacks, herbal cuisine and Chinese arts & crafts. Huaxi's signature gourmet restaurant, "Tianan Danzai Noodle House", is bedecked in art-deco style and offers seriously tasty seafood dishes. Other attractions at the market include foot massage shops and heath-oriented spas.
3. Fengjia Night Market: Situated next to Feng Chia University in Taichung, this is the second biggest night market in all Taiwan. Established in 1963, the market has more than 1,000 shops and food stalls lining crowded Wenhua Road and offering the most diverse and non-traditional of Taiwanese cuisine. Anything with a unique fusion of flavor is what sells best here...well that and the steamed buns with sliced duck meat and rice cakes.
4. Siaobei Night Market: The vibrant food central of Tainan, this night market was established in 1984. With more than 200 food stalls, the market attracts crowds of foodies from early evening to well past midnight. It hasn't been a trip until visitors have tried local delicacies such as potside sticker soup, eel noodles, shaved ice with brown sugar, sweet and sour marlin soup. For the more adventurous eaters, there are 20 varieties of the renowned stinky tofu hotpot.
5. Liuhe Night Market: Possibly the most fun night market, this Kaohsiung market is awash with vendors selling local dishes, handicrafts, clothing and pets. A stroll along the main street brings you past plenty of cafes, restaurants and international chain stores. Diets will be broken at the numerous food stalls offering up barbecued corn, takoyaki, chicken wings and shaved ice with mixed fruits and sugarcane water.
Just Gotta Try:
Oyster Omelet - A major delicacy in every night market, these omelets are pan-fried, filled with small oysters, starch, and vegetables. A home-made sauce is added to the mix; a wicked mixture flavored with a perfect blend of sweetness and spice.
Chou Dofu - Also known as stinky tofu, the unofficial national snack of Taiwan is either loved or hated due to its strong smell. Served deep fried or grilled, the dish typically consists of marinated tofu mixed with fermented milk, vegetables and meat. Mmmm smelly and tasty.
The In-Crowd: Connaught Place, New Delhi
If you didn't know already, India has A LOT of people. Luckily crowded places generally mean a wealth of things to see and do. And if that's the case, India is incredible. The history, the culture, the people, the food, the entire country is an all out assault on the senses. Landing in New Delhi is a little overwhelming at first; the sounds and smog take time to get used to. But once you orient yourself to the city and sites, you must navigate to one amazing area.
Connaught Place or CP is one of the most popular tourist and business destinations in New Delhi. Named in honor of Queen Victoria's son (the Duke of Connaught) it was originally created in 1933 when India was still under British rule. At the time, it was the largest market of its kind in the country and it hasn't lost any of its appeal.
First, it's crowded…really, really crowded. Being a main business, entertainment and tourist hub tends to bring in the crowds. Second, you can find absolutely anything here. Divided into alphabetical blocks CP is packed with designer stores selling the latest fashions, large state emporiums for those looking for handicraft and handloom wares, pavement stores hawking cheap accessories and trinkets, as well as those omnipresent food vendors cooking some amazing street food.
In addition to the shopping, CP is definitely known for some fantastic dining, catering to all budgets. There are the familiar fast food joints (both American and Indian) but the area also houses loads of coffee shops, 5-star restaurants, budget eateries, and some of the best bars and pubs in the city. The United Coffee House, a New Delhi landmark, is an uber-popular café, always packed, often with lines of eager customers waiting outside the door.
Part of what makes CP unique is its circular design. Easily recognizable on any map the area consists of an outer ring of offices and banks, with an inner circle crammed with a massive amount shops and restaurants. The Rajiv Chowk station, the busiest on the line, sits in the center of CP. Sitting directly above the station is a large redeveloped green-space called Central Park, a popular venue for cultural events over the years.
Between the inner and outer circles is Palika Bazaar, an underground market specializing in electronics and clothes (generally the illegitimate kind). With close to 400 shops, it is said to contain at least 10,000 people at any given time. Near to Palika is one of the most well known tourist points in Delhi, the Janpath Market. Here, you’ll find a maze of shops selling clothes, trinkets, handicrafts, bags, and books. No sales tags showing anywhere, this place will test bargaining skills immediately. As always, the market is replete with the requisite food stalls, which serve local snacks such as chaat and paani puri. But be forewarned, hygiene at these places can be questionable. Most travelers prefer to come back from India with stories and souvenirs, not dysentery.
CP houses several travel agents as well as the official office of the Tourism Department making it both ideal and popular with tourists. Banks and ATM's are also plentiful, so exchanging currency and travelers checks is never a problem. The hotels in the area cater to all budgets, from the very, very basic to five-star. Easy to find and amazing to experience, Connaught Place is packed with crowds, curry and cool.
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Review of the month: Holiday Inn Resort
Posted by Adria Devius Tiono
Fantastic moment at Holiday Inn, i went to Phuket for honeymoon..I already reserved online for superior room.. When i checked in at the hotel, i surprised because they upgraded my room to busakorn villa pool wings with special room prepared for honeymooners..My wife was excited and extremely happy with the room..It was a great room, we have free mini bars, free dvd rental, free internet service, nothing to complain..The hotel is in great location, we found a lot of interesting shops around the sidewalk of the beach..They have a good breakfast also, and complete facilities for children and adults..This hotel will be unforgettable hotel for us..