From Jinsanjiao, the distance to Zi Qiang Night Market did not seem that far on the map. However, it was actually a half hour walk. After a brave attempt to walk proved to be too challenging for our tired bodies after a day of hiking at the Taroko Gorge, we finally gave up and hailed a cab on the street to bring us to Ziqiang night market.
It was only a 5-min ride in the cab, and cost about SGD $6 to $8, but I think it is money well spent.
At Ziqiang night market.
There were so many different kinds of food around. BBQ are one of those must-try.
Da chang bao xiao chang (大腸包小腸). The name sounds a little disgusting, but it is actually Taiwanese sausage sandwiched in sticky rice. A very popular item in Taiwanese night markets, and a must-try for visitors.
Bing Tang Hu Lu (冰糖葫蘆) – sticks of fruits glazed with sugar. They look so colorful and attractive when displayed together.
More stalls selling the Bing Tang Hu Lu. They look like the kind of props used in chinese period dramas.
Di Yi Jia barbecue (第一家烤肉串). At the CityInn Hotel which we were staying at Taipei city, one of the hotel staff highly recommended this stall to us. Seems like the reputation of this stall has reached even faraway Taipei city.
Right next to Di Yi Jia are their competitors selling almost the same things, but never managing to attract the same crowd. The contrast could not have been greater.
Coffin-rice (官財飯). Never liked the sound of this inauspicious name, but if you look carefully at the Chinese characters, the chinese character for ‘wealth’ was used for the ‘cai’, so the actual meaning is not coffin, but ‘enclosing wealth’.
There are two stalls in close proximity selling the same coffin-rice, so we chose to try the one that seemed to have more people in the queue.
The menu. Ranges from seafood, spicy, non-spicy to sweet.
The process of making coffin-rice. Dig a neat hole in a piece of toasted bread, put in the filling of choice and then cover back the hole.
The finished product, which honestly did not taste that fantastic.
Fried chicken cutlet, a regular feature in all night markets. But I had no interest in this, because I was craving for the one from Shilin night market.
Ziqiang Night Market may be much smaller than its more famous counterpart Shilin Night Market, but the crowd are equally massive. It looks like the Taiwanese really love their night markets.
The line characters are so popular in Taiwan, but sadly not so in Singapore. The plush toys are everywhere, even in the arcade machines.
After a first round of walking round the night market to see what is available, we are finally back at this Di Yi Jia barbecue (第一家烤肉串). The queue is still so long, but I just had to try this to see what they hype was all about.
Queue up and pick the sticks (肉串) that you want, pass them to the cashier and they will give a queue number after you have paid up.
The signboard was showing number 213 when I paid, and I got a number 260! Gosh, 47 people in front of the waiting line! We waited for almost an hour just to pick up my order of a few sticks of meat! It taste really good but was not worth the one-hour wait – should have ordered first before walking around the night market.
Getting back to our hotel (Hotel Bayview) from Ziqiang night market was an issue because we were not familiar with the roads and buses. Getting a cab is the one and only option.
Tip: There is a petrol station right next to Ziqiang night market where cab drivers would cluster around. A one-way trip back to the hotel would cost about SGD $8 to $10.
Join us back as we travel back to Taipei city for more fun.