Saturday, June 09, 2012

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Sanhe Night Market, Sanchong, Taipei

6/09/2012 Taiwan Explorer

Sanhe Night Market 三和夜市 in Sanchong, New Taipei's north-western district, was probably one of the worst night markets I've ever visited. By the time I've visited Sanhe, I've pretty much seen most of the big night markets in Greater Taipei area. I've survived markets like Nanya, Xingnan and Luzhou, but Sanhe almost took the best of me. I'm not sure, why I was so disappointed and it wasn't only me - my wife felt the same and she is a local. Sanhe Night Market is intertwined with the nearby Wenhua Night Market.

MY IMPRESSION: I visited this night market in July 2011, it was very hot and humid at that time. And because the main lane of the market is extremely long and narrow, walking to the end was very challenging. I wanted to return half way through, but decided to push to the end for the sake of journalistic integrity... or something. The market was easily "clogged" by the masses, which was tiring, because you had to wait until you could move forward. The extreme narrowness of the street was not permitting a lot of fresh air, so you can imagine, that it wasn't easy for us to explore the area. I personally would not return here, but I'm not saying, that you have to stay away from that market. Maybe on a less crowded and less humid day, you can have a nice experience. If you're adventurous, I believe Sanhe won't be that bad for you. If you're picky and sensitive, better choose a different market (I recommend Ningxia or Lehua).

WHAT KIND OF FOOD IS COMMON: The food is the usual xiao chi - it's street food combined with cookie sellers and some small restaurants. A big part of the long narrow lane is occupied by clothes vendors. I had a good oyster omlette somewhere close to the end of the market and that was about it. Somewhere between Sanhe and Wenhua we had a rice noodle soup 米粉湯 (mǐfěn tāng) and glutinous dumplings 湯圓 (xiányuán) - these were for us the highlights of the visit.

MUST-TRY FOOD AT SANHE NIGHT MARKET: I recommend the rice noodle soup.

Let me share my photos of Sanhe from July 2011:

The night market is quite crowded at it's main entrance.

Girls shopping toys in the narrow street.

The salty chicken, a common staple at Taiwan's night markets.

Cookies, breads and cakes were tempting the passers-by.

Stylish Tee anyone?

Tofu, sausages, soups - traditional Taiwanese food.

Girls slowly strolling.

Clothes are here in focus.

A tiny bit wider, a tiny bit better.

This part is between Sanhe and Wenhua Night Market.

POPULAR RESTAURANT: TONGHUA STREET RICE NOODLE SOUP 通化街米粉湯

We went to a shop, that was famous for rice noodle soup.

This is cuttle fish with wasabi - it was yummy.

The whole set.

POPULAR STALL: WONTON SALT BALL 餛飩鹹圓

These are special dumplings made of glutinous rice.

Simply delicious.

After the meal back in to the crowd.

Not so busy clothes vendors.

A kilometer more to go, perhaps.

The road widens.

A popular papaya milk shop.

This is the famous papaya milk.

People sitting and eating... and an uncle standing.

Oyster omelette stall. We decided to have one.

This one was not bad.

And we went a tiny bit further - to the very end of this long lane.

On the way back we were harassed by a noisy megaphone.

Walking back to the metro was a relief.

IN CONCLUSION: Sanhe Night Market might not be something suitable for my taste, but maybe you want to visit and see, if it's as bad as I described. Maybe it's nice and convenient for you, because you live nearby and are used to it, but I am just a tourist and my expectations are different than yours.

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