We were told that there was no night market in Hsinchu. However, that was bad information. There is a night market on Tuesday and Thursday nights downtown behind the train station! We were excited to learn this and had to see it for ourselves. Besides, we figure when all of our friends come to visit we had to know what there is to do in our town!
The only night market we had experienced until now was the one in Kenting on the Southern tip of the island. It was large and a definite tourist attraction on the main road through town. How did our city stack up? Well, it obviously is not as big, but it definitely had some things going for it that made it unique and stand out.
Location, location, location! This night market is in a large parking lot. What is nice about that is you do not have to worry about traffic. In Kenting, we had to make sure that we were close to the stalls as it was lining the busy thorough fare in the town. They only thing we ran into here was people. I was amazed to see the amount of people at the night market on a Thursday night: school/work night. It was alive and thriving.
It had carnival games! There were kiddie rides and carnival games reminiscent of the state fair,but on a small-scale. The prizes you could win were the familiar giant stuffed animals and the games were all the same.
The ring toss however, was by far my favorite upgrade. Granted the prize for that game was usually good because it is a difficult game, but here you are trying to land bottles of top shelf alcohol! That would not happen in the states for obvious reasons, but I still thought it was a great idea.
There was the “classic” street food like stinky tofu, but also grilled meats, many types of fried foods on a stick and desserts. I liked the mochi I got mine topped with seaweed. D got his mochi topped takoyaki style with bonito and sauce. It was a great place to go for dinner because you can wander around and eat several different items very cheaply. We had curry flavored takoyaki, which was quite good.
We definitely are liking the Japanese influence in Taiwan because there is a lot of food that is familiar to us. I also appreciate how everything comes with mini plastic or wooden toothpick/forks to share as you walk the market.
There were also items to buy. 9 pairs of socks for $3.00 US dollars! I mean who can say no to socks? I wanted to buy a pet fish and pet turtle, but I do not currently have a home for them. If I end up buying a fish tank… I might have my own Finding Nemo family. As I am writing this I am now kicking myself for not taking a picture of the turtle. It was so small and cute… I am sure it will get giant. I should investigate first before I buy things from people who don’t speak English. Next trip promise to show you a picture of them. I’ll be honest I think I was eating something on a stick at the time so I did not have a free hand for my camera😜
Mind you it was a Thursday and a school night, so we did not stay too long. Although, we saw enough to know we’ll be back… and soon. Next time, the ring toss is calling my name!