Road trip in taiwan – Keelung night market

Last November, we went to Taiwan for two weeks and we did a road trip around the island and it was fabulous ! The weather, the people.. and the food, oh the food…. it was just amazing ! We landed in Taipei and we started to drive clockwise around the island.

The flight from Manchester to Taipei airport was a long one, and the 4 hours stop over in Dubai were a bit painful. I thought Emirates was a good airline company, but I have to admit that the service was really poor on that flight and we had to wait almost 2 hours before getting a bit of water. Our seats were broken and we couldn’t lower them.. so it was impossible for me to fall asleep ! Thankfully, they had a good selection of tv shows and films :-) All the hostesses seem overwhelmed and didn’t really know how to handle such a big plane. People were a bit drunk because they served free alcohol. When I went to Singapore I used Quatar airline and I think this company is ten times better for the same price.

Our flight landed in Taipei end of afternoon, and we picked up of car at the car rental company. Everything was smooth but the traffic around Taipei was horrendous. People don’t follow any code, they overtake you from left and right, and sometimes at the same time. It is very scary. And then you have the moppets… driving from everywhere without paying much attention. Most of the information is in mandarin or Hokkien, which turns out to be quite difficult for people who don’t speak these languages. I was glad to have my personal guide with me, aka my boyfriend, so the experience was more pleasurable. I think it can be very difficult to get around if you only speak English.

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We arrived in Keelong quite tired after such a long journey and checked in our hotel. It was already late that night, and raining as well, but we really needed food so we headed for the center.

Keelung is located in the North East of Taiwan and is called the Rainy Port, for obvious reasons. Keekung has a famous Night Market called Miao Kou (基隆夜市廟口夜市) located a few minutes walk from the train station, in the area surrounding the Dianji Temple (奠濟宮). Night markets are popular around Taiwan, with more than 100 of them and are quite homogenous in their setup, with lanterns lining the store fronts. Even if the name “night” suggests they only open at night, most of them are also open during the day. With little space to cook at home, people prefer to head out almost every night to buy cheap snacks. I can honestly say that I ate the best street food of my life in Taiwan.

The Miao Kou Night Market is famous for its seafood. The milk crab and stirred fried king crab legs are popular but i found the food quite expensive compared to other night markets around Taiwan, probably because it is quite touristy. In the “local” side of the markets, prices were more affordable.. ranging from £0.50 to £1 ;-)

Miao Kou Night Market (基隆夜市-廟口夜市)

Miao Kou Night Market (基隆夜市-廟口夜市)

I realise I didn’t take that many pictures that first evening but don’t worry, the rest is better documented ;-)

 

 

Packing my Suitcase
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70 responses to “Road trip in taiwan – Keelung night market

  1. I remember Keelung night market. So many people and the lights and music so bright, it was so “Asian”. :D Sorry to hear about your Emirate flight. I took them to Africa last year and everything was okay. I think the airlines are now rated by their Business and First classes, not economy. So the masses never get to experience the reason they’re always on the top 5 airlines in the world lists. It seems that air travel comfort, in general, is going downhill. Anway, love your photos. They took me back many years. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I felt in love with all the night markets in Taiwan.. the food was just so good ! I wanted to try everything all the time !

      Oh thank you for that explanation ! I wasn’t aware of how they rank airlines companies. It makes sense now.

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  2. It took me a little while to get over to your blog so I am enjoying catching up on this very fascinating visit you took to Taiwan. How fascinating this night market looks. I think it is through street food such as this that you really see the culture of a country. It looked absolutely delicicious – especially that soup and the crab legs!
    – Kate

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh don’t worry dear, we all have lives and we are all busy. But I’m glad you managed to find your way back just on time for this fabulous series about this magical place :-)

      I agree with you, eating street food, talking to locals.. there is nothing better to understand and enjoy a country fully :-)

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  3. The night markets sound wonderful Gin! Good that you had someone who could interpret for you though – my friend’s son did a Rotary exchange to Taiwan a few years ago and she really noticed the lack of English speakers when she visited. She found it quite difficult and also she said the humidity was very enervating (wouldn’t suit me – I much prefer Mediterranean climates like Perth!). Great post and photos – have really enjoyed reading about your trip! :)

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    • I talked with another blogger who has visited taipei the capital and apparently over there, English signs are more frequent. But as soon as you leave the capital, it’s more difficult ;-) The humidity didn’t really strike me because we didn’t stay in the north because of the monsoon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not sure where my friend stayed exactly or what time of year she went. I know she found the lack of English a problem and the weather uncomfortable. We’re used to a dry heat for the most part in Perth so that might have made a difference. It really does make things more comfortable even when the air temperature is warm! Glad you avoided the monsoon!

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    • We felt in love with taiwan and I would gladly go back. It’s not very popular for european tourists, but it is for chinese people ! Can you speak mandarin ? Without speaking one of the languagse the experience will be a bit painful but will still be enjoyable if you are fearless regarding trying food you don’t know what it is :p

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  6. Pingback: Road trip in Taiwan – Braving the crowds at Yelhiu Geopark | Darwin on the rocks and around the world·

  7. When I left England 26 years ago I flew Emirates. They were good in those days. Nowadays I’d fly Taiwan’s own airline – Eva Air. They have an Economy Plus fare, sort of half way between economy and business, but not expensive. It’s worth paying a little extra on these long flights I think.

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    • I think the company was really good at one point, otherwise we wouldn’t find all these good reviews saying it’s one of the best company ever. I don’t know if I was unlucky or if everything has got older. I will remember your tip about Eva Air ! I wouldn’t mind paying a little extra for a good flight ! :-)

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  8. Those night markets sound just wonderful – who wouldn’t want to dine out every night there and not cook!! Good to know about Emirates too – never flown with them before but I associated them with great service and not what you experienced, that sounded like a horrible flight.

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    • Especially for that price ! it was so cheap ! For some stalls… you really have to be brave… Taiwanese people love offal :-(

      I thought Emirates would be awesome, a lot of people say it’s one of the best company (maybe it’s true for first class but definitively not for economic)

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    • I still haven’t finished to sort out all the pictures but I have decided to start reporting the trip anyway (it will force me to do it :p)

      The night markets are the best place for food over there !

      I hope you are doing fine x

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Free alcohol, sounds a quite bad choice when not even the seats are comfortable. Hehe, it would be funny to the people in the airport to spot the passengers as emerging from a bad party in a Viking plane.
    I have the feeling is the first time I see urban night photographies, I like the character of the lights and colors, made me think in Blade Runner (my favorite movie ever :P)

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    • Hmmm it depends what you like while travelling. The problem is the language barrier I think : most of the tourists are Chinese so they don’t speak a lot of English. It can be frustrating. But the people are really friendly, the food is amazing and the landscape is fabulous (especially the East)

      But hey, I agree… it’s always the problem finding the time and the money ;-)

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  10. Oh wow, I’ve never been here but have heard about the night market. Stir fried crabs legs eh? Sounds like yet another Taiwanese street food for me to try! :D Regarding Emirates, my experience with them is often the same as yours – the cabin crew are friendly but always look overwhelmed…unlike Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific.

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    • This night market is nice but I much preferred the food in Nanbin Night Market 南濱夜市 and Táinán Yèshì 台南夜市. But if you are nearby, it’s worth a stop for sure ! They have specialities you can’t find elsewhere. They also have the deep fried sandwich but I didn’t really fancy trying.

      If I ever go back I will try another company I think.

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  11. Yea, the journey from Manchester to Taiwan is long distance flight, normally, we travel from Hong Kong or Singapore to Taiwan as it is easier for us. i found staff services in Emirates were a bit slow and now I have fly different airline and find their services much better than Emirates. Keelung is so beautiful and on your first night already in to the local cuisine.

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  12. Sorry to hear that your airplane trip wasn’t exactly memorable. It must have been a bad day for the airline, but the main thing is all of you got to your destination safely :) Raining and still the night markets are open. I suppose that is most of Asia for you! The milk crab sounds delicious. I take that they use milk and cook it :D

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    • In November, it’s raining almost everyday in the North of Taiwan but people just act like usual :-) It’s still very warm.

      Yes, the crab legs are cooked in milk with a bit of garlic and butter.

      I can’t remember if you have ever been to taiwan ?

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      • Raining and warm often means bugs and mosquitoes around…hope that wasn’t the case when you were there! Never been to Taiwan. However, I was entertaining that thought last week in the office. Would love to head that way for a few days if work allows it :D

        Liked by 1 person

  13. There might not be many, but the market photos are vibrant enough to give a good impression. I’ve not been to Taiwan. My husband has been on business, but only to Taipai so I’m looking forward to learning more.

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