Taiwan, part 2: Raohe Street night market

After the strenuous ascent to the top of Taipei 101, we went in search of some much-needed sustenance. There are a number of night markets in Taipei: Shilin seems to be the most famous; Hwahsi Jie is also referred to as ‘Snake Alley’ and the one we chose, Raohe Street. There are others too.  Shilin gets mixed reviews online – a number of people said that Raohe has better food. It was food we were after, so this is the one we chose. Simon was keen to go to Snake Alley. I have developed an unhealthy fear of snakes, so I resisted strongly.
We hailed a taxi from nearby to Taipei 101.The inside of this taxi would rival a set from The Gadget Show. Whenever we stopped at lights, the driver’s DVD player would come to life and he would carry on watching some classical music concert. In addition to the DVD player he had 2 mobile phones resting on the dashboard, 2 cameras, with a live feed, pointing out the front of the car (to capture any meteors flying towards Earth I presume), a sat nav and a camera pointing towards his passenger. The live feed on this one seemed to be switched off. So many wires in an automobile I have never seen. Still, he drove us to my poorly pronounced Raohe Jie, nice and quickly.
To say the nightmarket was busy would be an understatement.  After wandering around the ghost-town like streets during the day, it was a shock to see so many people at the market.  Clearly everyone else was hungry too.  You had to walk up one side, and down the other.  You didn’t so much walk as get pulled along by everyone else.
There were hundreds of food stalls up the middle of the street, serving all sorts of delicacies from roasted corn on the cob to noodle soup to any part of a chicken to green mango and so on.  It really was a feast for the senses.  And all the food we tried absolutely delicious.  We had pork ‘pop corn’ (small pieces of pork battered and deep fried) sprinkled with spicy salt, green mango in a passionfruit and chilli dressing, fried pork buns and a chocolate waffle to finish it all off.  And it was so cheap.  If only I could eat like that everyday!

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