Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Taichung Yizhong Street / Yizhong Market (臺中一中商圈 / 一中街) @ Taiwan

Unlike Fengjia Night Market, i could not find much information (in English) on Yizhong Market, whether online, travel guidebooks or blogs. My interest was piqued as i remember reading that this market was voted as one of the most popular shopping areas in Taichung!

Hence, despite our hectic schedule, we decided to pay it a visit and nothing's better than to walk there in the cool, windy weather. Our friendly hotel receptionist told us it would take us no more than twenty minutes, provided we didn't lose our way. And we did lose our way. 

Nevertheless, we reached Yizhong Street in one piece! 

Return of the platform shoes?! As the fashion district of Taiwan's second largest city, quirky dressing would not be uncommon and to me, it does add on to the visual appeal in the atmosphere, for better or for worse.

Spring has arrived, which means stocks for winter and autumn wear would be undergoing massive discounts! Guess i would have to make arrangements to visit Taiwan in autumn / winter the next time so that i could stock up on spring attire.

There were loads to see, plenty to hear but we were more keen to check out the numerous food stalls along the street! It was over 2pm and our last meal was breakfast at Cherng Yuan hotel in Sun Moon Lake! 

Our first stop - 明帥蛋餅 (NT$30 each) which was like a cross between egg crepes and roti prata. It wasn't that memorable although it did manage to fill up our stomach, somewhat. 

巫记青蛙下蛋 - translated as the frog lays eggs, this was on my itinerary as a must-try in Shilin Night Market. Since it has a branch in Yizhong and i was feeling thirsty, why not try it earlier?! The so-called eggs were the pearls used in milk tea and after taking a few sips, i thought i should have ordered milk tea instead. Taste was alright; just that i don't quite understand what the hype was. 

金牌巨无霸香酥臭豆腐 - my very first smelly tofu in Taiwan! Not the first one that i chanced upon though but i was selective; it must smell horrendous before i would even fork out my money! This supposedly famous stall, judging from the accolades, met my criterion! 

At NT$50 a box, you would be allowed choices like the level of spiciness and whether you would prefer to have a vegetarian smelly tofu. The sauce had a savoury tinge that worked very well as delicious topping for the crispy tofu. My only complaint was that the stench, which should have intensified as i ate the tofu, was still relatively mild. 

Alex could not resist this as it was only NT$10 a piece (approximately S$0.40)! The owner was very generous with the red bean filling and i bet you could hardly find anything like this in Singapore! Surprisingly, it was also rather tasteless! Pity, a great pity. 

I wanted to try this deep fried chicken cutlet as the shopfront was jam-packed with customers making / waiting for their orders! Didn't get any as i didn't know when would be my turn!

一中8兩碳烤雞排 - whatever the case, i must have chicken! This stall had a queue in place and i did what many Singaporeans love to do, i queued up in an orderly fashion. 

Each piece of chicken weighed roughly 8 taels (equivalent to 300 grams); hence the name. Its cooking method was also different from the others in night markets; in addition to deep frying, there was an extra step to grill it over charcoal for 2-3 minutes! 

Sprayed with a layer of oil (i think), the final step was to chop it up for easy feeding! I was secretly very excited as the aroma smelt too good and i could not wait to give it a bite!!! 

Portion was good enough for a number of persons! With the exception of the aforementioned statement, i found the chicken meat to be too dry, texture of the skin was a bit soggy and the marination a tad too salty. 

Now's the time to hit the shopping! Note that Yizhong street is mainly flanked by shophouses although there are lanes in between where you can enter. Those narrow lanes are in fact the interesting ones! 

Step in and be blown away by the many shops! Okay lah, i exaggerated a little as the lanes could not be compared to what i have encountered in Bangkok Chatuchak market. Nonetheless, do keep in mind that it can get very crowded! 

Prices at Yizhong were said to be more economical than other places even though i could not confirm as most items sold were more suitable for the ladies and i am a bad at bargaining. 

With the National Taichung University of Science and Technology as Yizhong's next door neighbour, i believe the claim should more or less be true. 

Surrounding Yizhong Street were a few other streets worth checking out; for example, Yucai Street and Zunxian Street. Don't know where to go? Follow the crowd! 

Tarot card reading seemed quite popular! People who know me well would be aware i don't enjoy getting my fortune read. It can be quite disturbing to know your supposed future when you should be the one managing and deciding your own fate. 

Could not help queuing up for this flaming beef cubes! 
For my review, click here

Rainbow hair?! Cool sia!

Lady Paradise - further explanation would not be required as to why. Next shop should be renamed Children Paradise to be more in sync with each other. 

Taiwan is renowned for being a motorcycle nation! The riders were actually very careful / alert but as pedestrians, we should also be mindful, especially in lanes that appeared to be for pedestrians only. 

50嵐 - Singaporeans should not be a stranger to this brand as this is the mother company of the immensely popular KOI bubble tea shops in Singapore! Maybe it was the overseas syndrome; the Oolong milk tea tasted way milkier and nicer in Taiwan! 

Holding on to a cup of ice milk tea, it was definitely one relaxing walk! 

Cafe hoppers would guarantee have insufficient time in Taiwan as there were just too many themed cafes! Fortunately, i prefer to spend my money eating at street stalls instead of checking out cafes that would likely serve mediocre food. 

The main hype and activity of Yizhong Street should have tapered off from this point but being a curious cat, i had to check out what lies beyond! 

A gaudy looking building loomed ahead of us; the King's Palace, said to be an American style restaurant and bar. Well, i am in Taiwan, so i am not that interested in Western cuisine. 

A related shopping district known as Yizhong New City! The shops laid out in a more organised fashion like a shopping mall although i would still prefer the messier Yizhong Street anytime.

There were numerous photo-spots where you can indulge in some selfies for your instagram account.

Including a section with hundreds of panda plushies! Pandamania seemed to be big business in Taiwan and this was likely due to the birth of Yuan Zai, the first panda cub born in Taiwan! 

Even the dog was excited by her grand arrival (kidding of course).

Street view of a cross road near Yizhong Street - the reason for taking this photograph was because of the jewellery store with the name of 今生金飾 (the pronunciation sounds like a romantic Chinese idiom; 今生今世 which means this lifetime).

Ending the post with a panoramic view of Taichung city from Chung Yo department store (中友百貨公司). If you are bringing your kids along, they would likely enjoy themselves on the upper levels of the big complex. 

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Location Map
As above. Click and save to zoom in for better clarity.

How to go there?
If you are staying near Taichung Train Station, it is within walking distance of around 20-30 minutes. For those staying around Fengjia night market, save some time by taking a cab. 


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.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for the write up. Great info.

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    Replies
    1. No problem, Zhi Shan! And thanks for the compliment! :)

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  2. the most comprehensive write up on Yi Zhong Street! Thanks again Cavin.

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    1. No problem and i thought there could have been more photos! :P

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    2. What camera did you use during your trips Cavin? Your pictures are so sharp and awesome!

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    3. Hallo Kye! For this trip, i used Nikon D7100.

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  3. Yizhong looks so interesting! Definitely one of the 4 famous night markets there!

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    Replies
    1. you are informative; i am only aware of two in taichung!

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