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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Taiwan's Popular Culture Icon - Feng Chia Night Market

Stanley Hsu & Boting Chen

When you think of popular culture in Taiwan, the night market is probably one of the first things you think of. Among the hundreds of night markets in towns and cities all over Taiwan, the Feng Chia night market is the most popular, attracting millions of tourists every year. A variety of irresistible cuisines, jaw-dropping low prices, and convenient location are the characteristics that give this night market its soul.

All photos by the authors
The first time we went to the Feng Chia night market, we were totally mesmerized by the different kinds of food available such as tomatoes on sticks, octopus balls, and roasted coarse green tea. Everything made us salivate. (To be honest, we each gained five pounds after our wonderful visit to Feng Chia night market that night, which is quite amazing.)

You might think that such unbelievably tasty food would be too expensive. However, when we stepped through the arch door into the night market, we were speechless when we saw the gigantic roasted squid – for only NT$40! We had a really wonderful time devouring food and burning our money at the Feng Chia night market!

There are lots and lots of different kinds of food at the night market, and you won’t be able to eat all of them; however, you can always come back later at night! It’s hard for travelers from other countries to imagine that you can still have stinky tofu in the middle of night, and drink a bowl of meatball soup at one o’clock in the morning. The night market is your best friend, filling up your growling, empty stomach in a minute with hundreds of Taiwanese snack foods.

Indeed, the night market plays an indispensable and irreplaceable role in Taiwan’s popular culture. The convenience and availability of food are surely unbeatable. The night market is such a popular event that it has the magical power to attract thousands and thousands of tourists from all over the world. Not only is the night market a tremendous representative of popular culture in Taiwan, it also spreads Taiwan’s reputation to the whole world.

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