Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fengjia Night Market (aka as Feng Chia Night Market) 逢甲夜市 @ Taichung [Taiwan]

If Shilin Night Market is known as the father of all night markets in Taiwan, Fengjia would no doubt take the esteemed position as the mother given its popularity. 

Here's my take on my first official night market in Taiwan.

The hotel i stayed in was nearer to Taichung main station which put it at a further distance from Fengjia. Taking a taxi, hence, would be the most efficient way to get to the night market established back in 1963.

It wasn't easy to pinpoint the exact 'entrance' but following the crowd might be the best course of action in the event you are not very sure if you are on the right direction!

For a person who enjoys the local Singapore-style pasar malam, the atmosphere in Taiwan was way more vibrant with loads to see (including eye-candies) and plenty to eat!

The enticing aroma of food filled up the streets and you need only to use your sense of smell to dictate what to have for dinner! Bad sense of smell? No worries; have your eyes do the choosing for you!

Fortunately, there were many things i didn't dare to try; for example, the congealed pig's blood cake and pork knuckles. I could not imagine my weight upon my return to Singapore should i be adventurous enough to give everything a try!

Crowd as seen in the above picture. People normally stick to their imaginary dual-lane direction and i don't remember hearing / seeing any erupted skirmish resulting from overcrowding and human jam.

Dustbins! Friends have recommended reusing plastic bags for rubbish as one could not readily find rubbish bins as easily as in Singapore. I took a step further by buying a pack of plastic bags in Singapore and bringing them along for this trip! So eco-unfriendly!

There were many things you could spend your money on, like the realistic animal-head backpacks. For me, i have gone past the age when i would go into every store to check out the good buys. Unless something intrigues me (usually out of curiosity), i would just walk and cover as many streets as i could.

Claw machines! Knowing Alex's affection for them, i had to avert his attention so that he would not spend hours trying to pick up a useless toy that we would have to haul back to Singapore.

Food was everywhere! And they often display eye-catching signboards with claims and accolades that imply you would definitely regret it if you don't try out whatever they are selling! Some even took the step to install LCD screens showing variety programmes that gave rave reviews to their stalls!

As a true-blue Singaporean, always be skeptical; any claim is only hearsay if there isn't any queue! Haha, no lah, i would feel more confident to check out the food if there is a queue formed outside a stall.

Furthermore, i am weak when it comes to aroma; of course, things that smell delicious do not translate directly into taste. A classic example was the carrot cake in Jonker Street, Malacca.

Our first food stop - the lazy prawns with a logo of a bearded man (逢甲鬍子哥懶人蝦)! From the signboard, i deduced it was the store that came out with lazy prawns. Why were the prawns lazy by the way?

Because you don't have to peel the shells! So its correct meaning should be prawns for lazy people! Barbecued over an electric grill, the prices were very affordable!

4 sticks for NT$30, 8 for NT$60 and 15 for NT$100 (less than S$5)! Notice the "night markets" notice on the bottom left? This means you could pay using the NT$50 coupons collected from the Taiwan Tourism Bureau in Singapore (address: 30 Raffles Place, Chevron House, #10-01, Singapore 048622; call 6223-6546 to check out what freebies are available for redemption).

I am a small eater - the smallest serving (original flavour) would do. To be frank, i didn't think the prawns were good; they were overcooked and the meat was too dry for my liking. Prawns should be sweet and succulent, which obviously wasn't the case here.

Wanted to have my second serving of smelly tofu for the day. Looked at Alex pleadingly to share the carbohydrates. That bloody ass said no! :(

Another seafood stall; this time selling grilled scallops!

1 stick for NT$40 and 3 for NT$100 - you would be given the option of the type of sauce / topping for the scallops; i chose original sea salt, Japanese flakes and pepper lemon!

Original was still the best!

They do look a bit like snails; shall give them a miss as i am not into snails. Such is the hypocrisy of humans; i take shark's fins, drink swallow's saliva yet i could not handle a small snail.

I believe i have a similar picture of the LED lights for my post on Malacca Jonker Street! They were markedly different in Taiwan as they could be rotated and the material used was a plastic component said to be removable for ease of cleaning.

Did you know what these are? I didn't think too much of them until the owner took a liquid bag and started clicking a metal piece inside. A chemical reaction in the liquid soon followed and voila, it turned into a heating pad! You should see our reaction; i bet our jaws were wide open by this amazing revelation!

My first thought was we would have no use for this in Singapore given our hot and humid weather! Who in the right mind would put this on their body and go to sleep?! However, a heating pad has more uses than just a mere bed warmer; you can use it on areas affected by rheumatism, joint pain, sprains and even relieve the menstrual pain for the ladies.

For those who want to know more, click the above! To my cousin, Meixin (Joie), please print a copy of this for your mom! By the way, i think my mom loves this the most among all the presents we brought from Taiwan!

It's people everywhere! As the Chinese saying goes, people mountain, people sea (人山人海). Taiwanese people are so pleasant and it is this exact reason that i guess Taiwan has become such a 'hot' destination for local Singaporeans.

With so many lanes and little streets, even i (a navigation specialist, apparently) was confused on where exactly i was. Having said that, i am aware this picture was taken along Wenhua road and we were quite near to the main entrance of Fengjia University (逢甲大學).

See, i was right! Some history about Fengjia night market - it started along Wenhua road and was initially known as Wenhua Night Market. The present area covers Fengjia, Fuxing and Xi'an roads; making this night market the biggest in Taiwan as some have claimed!

台灣大哥大 (Myfone) - i didn't read up on the available mobile plans for travellers and wasn't sure if this service provider was recommended. Nevertheless, our legs needed a rest and i required a data plan! The lady was damn helpful (as most Taiwanese are) and i got an NT$800 plan that came with 7 days unlimited data usage plus NT$200 worth of talk time (a call made to Singapore was only NT$8.50)!

Spotted a makeshift stall offering traditional sweets and toys!

On the street again when Alex was once again drawn to a vendor selling neck pillows! Quality was pretty good and the feel was comfortable; being Alex, of course he didn't mind spending on this purchase!

Many stalls were selling insoles that would increase your height by quite a few centimetres! I might have been tempted to buy a few when i was younger; now that i am 34, heck care lah! Put it this way, i might appear "taller" when i am outside but once i remove my shoes, i would still be the shortie i really am.

Sleepy kitty with a big bell hanging from the neck! I read in a book before that bells should not be placed on animals given their acute sense of hearing which would inadvertently affect them psychologically.

I wanted to eat my dinner here!!!!!! Known as the Tengu (天狗; a mythical creature in Japanese folk legend), it was said to serve smacking good steaks!! It was already closed for business when i arrived at around 9.30pm..

Well, late night dinners are a no-no for those conscious of their weight anyway. Not for this group outside a restaurant known as Pudage! Didn't know what the hooha was although you may wish to note that Korean fried chicken was indicated as the store's specialty. 

Want something unique? Try stir-fried snake meat! 

Uh-oh! Alex spotted the claw machines and as expected, he exchanged some coins to try out his luck. And you know what, he got it on first try!!! Now the cute little chicken in a strawberry suit is with Jovyn! I am just glad he didn't attempt the gigantic toys within the store.

Metal plate toasted squid!!! The jumbo size one was only NT$100! Pity i was mindful of my cholesterol level and that it was already quite late at night. 

I might be a glutton but my stomach does have its limit; it's not a bottomless pit, as some of you believe it to be, and i am also very conscious that i need to lose some weight! So, no more eating for the rest of the night; i shall however post some photographs of stalls that might be worth a try in my next visit.

For example, this century egg stall with various toppings and there was even a lobster salad with century egg combi! Hell, i have always thought century eggs as a traditional ingredient for rojak and porridge! Lau sisters and Ms Tan, we should consider century eggs for our salad fest, if it takes place. 

Korean rice cakes (topokki); the cool, windy weather must have played a part as it would be so shiok to bite into a piece of hot rice cake dipped in chilli!

Red tea smelly tofu with Korean kimchi! Yet again, i was tempted even though i am fully aware that this would spike my carbohydrate intake if Alex didn't help me with it. Nope, he wasn't keen. 

Golden right leg (黃金右腳); essentially, this is chicken drum and thigh and was recommended by quite a number of bloggers. 

大腸包小腸 - the birthplace of this little sausage in big sausage is right here in Fengjia. I am a lover of sausages yet i didn't fancy this snack; all because the big sausage was actually glutinous rice, a carbo heavy grain! 

Oyster lovers should get their fix of live oysters in this stall with prices starting from NT$50.

With countless food stalls in the night market, it's unavoidable that rubbish is an issue! No matter what, i still find the place relatively clean and people usually try to put their trash in plastic bags before throwing them in designated rubbish bins. 

Cute dog prowling the street again! I guess every visitor from Singapore who visits Taiwan would upload picture after picture of pet dogs openly seen on the streets and lament how good it would be if Singapore is like that. Yes, i personally thought this would be nice although we must always be mindful of our Muslim friends and other non-Muslim friends who are scared of dogs. 

This brand of spectacle shop was everywhere in Taiwan! 

10pm and people were still waiting outside this vegetarian restaurant for seats?!?!!? Damn, with so many places that i have yet to check out in Fengjia, i guess it would be beneficial to allocate two nights in my future visit. This time, i shall stay near Fengjia night market!

As i have always advised, do walk into the small lanes where there might be quaint little boutiques peddling unique house brands! Well, unique comes with a price. 

Colourful underwear for sale! Honestly, i am the type of customers who prefer to buy undies without people crowding around me! So embarrassing lor! 

Said to be a legendary fruit juicer, it claimed to serve super duper delicious papaya milk! Given the size of my chest, i declined Alex's offer to buy me a cup (p.s. for those who are unaware, papaya milk is said to increase the bosom). 

This section is along Wenhua Road towards Section 2, Xitun Road and you would find even more food establishments! This was already close to 10.30pm when some have closed for the day. 

Big headed prawns!! Guess how we ended our day before returning to the hotel?

By going for a massage at 蘭夏養生館! At NT$600 for a 45-minute foot massage and a 15-minute shoulder and neck massage, we were treated to a very comfortable and professional session that relieved the soreness on our legs, neck and back.  Check out their website here

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Location
Fengjia Night Market, Xitun District, 
Taichung, Taiwan


For an overview of my 9 Days, 8 Nights Taiwan Trip [Cingjing (清境) - Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) - Taichung (臺中) - Taipei (臺 北)], click HERE.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Cavin,

    Great post on Feng Jia Night Market! Do check out our post on what to eat at Feng Jia Night Market as well!

    Happy Travels Everyone!

    Tom,
    2bearbear.com

    ReplyDelete

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