Over the weekend I explored Danshui and I must say that the Danshui Old Street (淡水老街) is hands down the best night market I’ve visited so far. If you like spectacular sunsets and strolling along charming old world streets, Danshui is a definite must-visit. Located at the end of the Tamsui Train Line, it’s also convenient if you just want to zip out of town for some fresh air and good food.
Stepping out of the MRT station, we were greeted by streams of bubbles, courtesy of the street peddlers selling soap bubble guns. The incandescence of the bubbles in the sunlight lent the riverbank a magical, whimsical touch and the various street performances we saw added to the carnival atmosphere.
The Danshui Old Street sells a variety of drinks, snacks and souvenirs. Do like we did and pop into the shade for a cup of cold sour plum juice after taking selfies by the riverbank!
For a truly gorgeous view of the sunset, head on to Fisherman’s Wharf. Apparently it’s also a popular filming location for Taiwanese serial dramas! A round way trip costs 120 NTD and remember to keep your ticket with you as you’d need it for the ride back.
A postcard perfect view of the town as we sail away for Fisherman’s Wharf.
By the time we arrived at Fisherman’s Wharf, the sun had already set. I was naturally a bit disappointed; more so when I saw that the famed Lovers’ Bridge looked utterly ordinary. But as night fell, the wharf came to life enveloped in a soft warm glow from the street lamps.
I might have missed the sunset, but the view at night more than made up for it. When the lights come on, the once plain looking Lovers’ Bridge is magically awash in a kaleidoscope of ever changing colours. Sadly, photos taken with my phone wouldn’t do the bridge justice, so I won’t be sharing them here.
From the land that brought us the Modern Toilet Restaurant, now comes phallic pineapple tarts and other pastries. I know it’s been around for some time now, but I’m still amazed by the creator’s ingenuity. If you’re eating this in public, definitely do not make eye contact with anyone.
Not everything sold at the Fish Market is as provocative though; there were plenty of dried seafood, flora teas, preserved fruits and even ice-cream. Strangely enough, there was no fish for sale at the Fish Market.
In Taiwan, the best food to be found is usually at the night markets so we headed back to Danshui Old Street for dinner. We stopped for some fishball and wanton soup and unlike fishballs in Singapore, those here come with a meat filling stuffed in the fishballs. Danshui is also famous for something called iron eggs, chicken eggs that have shrunk to tiny little black balls.
Overall, Danshui Old Street felt somewhat more authentic than Shilin and the store owners seemed a lot friendlier. They’ll ply you with samples and even if you end up not buying anything, it’s perfectly ok! I really love the laid back atmosphere at Danshui and I think it’s perfect for a quickie day trip. At 45 minutes the MRT ride may seem a little long but go with a bunch of friends and time just melts away! :)