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July 7, 2012 / windlessly

Taiwan Travels: Day 5 (part 3)

It was a looong day with so many things happening that I had to split this into three parts. It’s not in chronological order though, I just wanted to give Shilin Night Market a post of its own because I’m going to be uploading so many pictures of it.

Here was our LAST dinner as a group… so sad =[. But we did have a ridiculous amount of fun with the Lazy Susan and spinning a 10NT dollar coin on it, then getting inventive with the lighter cover haha.

 

It was easily one of the most fun events that we’ve been allowed to go on. I mean, it’s a night market at Taiwan. Of course it’ll be lots of fun. Anyways, we were led out after dinner in several large groups, crossing the streets in blobs and probably stuffing up traffic. The thing about crossing streets in Taiwan though: you always have to watch out for aggressive drivers. They WILL come within an inch of running you over. One motorcyclist literally cut in between our line as we were crossing. It must have been a funny sight for any onlookers though, a massive line of orange parading the streets.

 

It was impressive, I have to say. A night market in Taiwan is essentially a square/collection of streets that are flooded with street vendors, food courts, and small shops. It was impressive, I have to say. Standing at the mouth of the market where we were, we could see three never ending lanes that stretched right into the heart of the Shilin night market. There were so many places to go to and see it was ridiculous. We made sure to take a few poses in front of it before venturing in.

 

 

 

 

There was a mixture of excitement and anticipation in the air- only when we got there were we allowed to go free and roam wherever we wanted. We went with an awesome group- not too big to lose focus (though we did stop and talk about underwear at one time, and stopped in the middle of a couple other busy intersections?? haha) but still big enough to have a lot of fun and interesting conversation. I think the ongoing fight between Jordan and Pearl/Rachel beat all though.

There were literally hundred of options to choose from. Some people even skipped dinner in anticipation of all the good food at the night market. Everywhere it was a flurry of activity and people milling about, colorful displays, merchandise almost spilling out into the streets, large signs, people bumping into you, people calling you and inviting you into their stores, occasional breezes of air conditioning, motorcyclists pushing their way through the crowd, and everywhere the smell of roasted meat, fried food, almond milk, citrus-y drinks, and everything good to eat. My friend Kevin did the smart thing and brought a video camera, but I’ll just post a string of pictures and let you imagine you were there with us (and if you were there with us, let me just say I miss you all, good luck at your schools, and keep in touch!!!).

Needless to say, there were also a lot of interesting things to be found at the night market… (someone get me that Kung Fu Panda underwear for my birthday though!)

 

The first place that we actually stopped at was place to get some shaved ice. The supervisors advised against getting anything “icy” (water and ice products could contain dirty/contaminated water), but our group decided to risk it to get the biscuit. I’d say it was worth it, and so far none of us have fallen dead. There were so pretty weird shaved ice flavors (raisin? bean paste? corn??), so we just stuck to the classic mango and strawberry-kiwi. It was delicious, and pretty cheap as far as shaved ice goes.

There were a lot of shoe stores, lots of clothing shops (majority for girls, but there were some really cool shirts and jeans that I saw… I’d say Taiwan and east asia in general has a cool style of clothing that’s westernized but not completely), food of course, souvenir shops, arcade-type games (sit, pay, and play type games for money or stuffed animals), and beverage places.

 

  

The food was amazing, and so cheap! I think I spent a total of less than 150 NT, which is equivalent to around 5 US dollars. The lamb skewer and fried chicken steak were both amazing. The chicken steak especially is famous in the Shilin market, and we had to stand in line to get some, but it was soooooo good. Kentucky Fried Chicken? Pffft this was on a whole other level.

Lamb skewer (sooo good. I’m getting that if we ever go back):

 

Fried chicken steak (no bones, just walk and eat the deliciousness):

Overall, I enjoyed it a lot. Lots of good food, fun conversations with friends (hahah at one point we were discussing how getting duel citizenship for Taiwan and the US would be useful in case you ever had to run from the police), and seeing the place get overrun with orange shirts.

 

Oh and the drinks! How could I forget? Almond tea and bubble tea and watermelon juice and all these other teas I don’t know the names of. Hahaha Kevin triple-fisting drinks and Christina ordering the wrong one, we were such tourists but it was so fun.  Apparently there was also bubble tea in a bag that I missed! It’s just too bad we couldn’t stay the whole night.

 

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