It was past 10:30PM when we arrived in Taipei Main Station coming from Hualien but that didn't stop us as we proceed to a night market that starts from 4:00PM and stays open until the wee hours past midnight. Shilin Night Market is accessible by alighting Jiantan MRT station and coming from Taipei Main Station, it is only a 15-minute ride with a fare of NTD20. For non-locals, it is important that you go down in Jiantan MRT station and not to commit the common mistake of tourists that heads further to Shilin MRT station thinking the place is closer from there.
In front of Jiantan MRT station is a food court selling local dishes and beverages. Since we already had a filling wonton soup as our dinner in Hualien, we had to ignore the food stalls even if the food they serve looks luscious.
Inside the market, one will be amazed that a number of stalls line up serving different items and there are plenty of choices. The place may be big but during peak times the place is jam-packed with hungry eaters.
further inside the food court
We walked past the food court and we arrived at the street night market.
There are also a few stores of fruits, beverages and easy-to-carry food items for those who like to eat while scouting for items to buy.
It was almost midnight but there are still people coming in and the place is still packed. Aside from stalls that are literally on the streets, there are also permanent stores on the buildings on the side. For shopaholics, especially to youngsters, the place can be a shopping heaven because there are so much to see and buy that it may drive you crazy!
Aside from the goods sold on the streets, there are also branded items and outlets available nearby but they are priced just the same as those you will find in the shopping malls.
In the end, we didn't really buy a lot of things because most of the items here are not of our style (take note - short shorts!) and most of the things sold here are catered to girls than guys. I was able to buy a few things, but mostly are food items including muah chee (mochi) or glutinous rice cakes to bring back home. We left by around 12:30AM and was able to catch the last train going to Taipei Main Station, transferred to another train, also on its last run, to Taipei City Hall MRT station (NTD30). From there, we hailed a cab going to our hotel and paid NTD240 for the fare. The next morning will be free and easy for us as we hit the beds and sleep soundly before 2:00AM.