With yellow sloping roofs, hanging red lanterns and an imposing traditional Chinese style gate, the Huaxi Street Night Market (華西街夜市) certainly looked every bit of her fifty years, and more. This grand old dame of Taiwan’s night markets is home to several massage parlours, clothing stores and most famously, snakes.
The snakes are served in a variety of ways; a simple snake soup (150 NTD per bowl) for the squeamish and snake blood and venom for the adventurous. There are two restaurants serving such ‘delicacies’ and you can actually see live snakes at the restaurant entrance. The snakes moved nary an inch the whole time I was there and they could already have wasted away, for all I know, cramped in their tiny cages.
Food wise, Huaxi Night Market isn’t the best place, unless of course you’re into snake cuisine. The other food stalls served up pretty standard fare, like oyster omelette, minced pork rice and meat ball soup. The dan zai noodles are pretty good as well.
It rained when I was there, so for me, the best part about the night market was the fact that it’s fully sheltered. It’s also a great place for cheap manicures and pedicures and prices can go as low as 100 NTD for a manicure.
Personally I thought this night market was the most boring of all I’ve visited, which is a pity considering that it’s one of Taiwan’s oldest night markets. Instead, visit Guangzhou Street Night Market for a truly Taiwanese night market experience. It is located right next to Huaxi Street Night Market, which means you’ll be able to kill two birds with one stone and visit both in the same night. :)
Nearest MRT: Longshan Temple Station
Bus: 231, 234, 245, 263, 265, 310, 628, 701, 702