Walked around the neighborhood for a bit before heading to Shilin Market!! It is a three minute walk from Jiantan Station (Exit 1), basically like right across the street. There are also signs that point toward where to go.
The place seems to be mostly shops, but it's laid out so that carnival games are all lumped together, food stands are generally all at the same place. It's pretty crowded too and we came on weekdays. But it was the Chinese National Holiday (国庆节) so it could've been a lot of tourists. Plus it's nighttime, too...so locals could still come.
They had a lot of UFO catcher shops, but I feel like they're so rigged >:( I ended up blowing more money on it and didn't win anything. So much harder than the place in Ximen. The workers also reposition it ever time you mess up, so I can't tell if it's to make it harder for you again or if it's actually an easier position to get it because if it falls too behind then it's impossible. Maybe it's a combination of both.
They recently renovated the place, so now the food count is in the basement. From what I heard, locals don’t like the change. We came to Shilin on both nights, but it wasn't until the second night that we realized there was a food court...so we just assumed that the few stands outside was all there was.
Food from the outside stands:
Bacon wrapped chive (??) NT$10; Not worth it. A lot of people lined up for this so I thought it would be good, but it wasn't my thing.
Spicy fish balls NT$25; Can't really go wrong with fish balls..
Calamari; Nice and tender :D It was kind of a lot though.
Steak cubes NT$100; Also not worth it because it was basically eating eating cubes of fat and I wanted my meat :(
Cory bought stinky tofu (臭豆腐)...and I actually tried it too. I only took a small bite, but could definitely taste what makes it so distinct. It's like a really gross aftertaste. Wanted to try it in Hong Kong since I think that's where it originates from, but didn't actually get a chance to while I was there. Stinky tofu also has a really distinctive smell even if you're just walking by it and it took me a while to realize where it was coming from.
The food court didn't really have that many people, and it was basically just open food shops.
蚵仔煎 Oyster egg pancake thing? I didn't like it so much >< It has a gooey texture underneath, but from what I was told, it's the sauce that determines whether it's good or not.
Forgot what this was, but I didn't like it that much either. So picky wtf.
大腸包小腸; uhh...big intestine wrapping small intestine literally. It's basically a hotdog with sticky rice as the bun and Chinese sausage as the uh sausage.
I always see the goldfish scooping in manga during summer festivals lmao so I was curious to actually try it. They're like little fishes, so not really goldfish. NT$30 for one try.
Heh..caught one. For a while, my scooper was upside down so it I thought I just sucked at it -.- But the girl next to me pointed it out and it was a lot easier after that. She was so good too because she caught sooo many :X Probably like twenty in the time it took me to caught one. Basically you corner the fish in your scooper and slowly lift it up so it doesn't break. Ofc, I didn't keep my fish, so I just gave it back after my scooper broke.
Heard that the chicken steak (NT$60) is really good, so I "had" to get it right before leaving the night market even though I was already super full :X I ended up forcing myself to eat half of it before I gave up. The thing was like the size of my face. Had to wait til we got off the station to go home before I could eat it because you're not allowed to eat in the metro in Taiwan :O Apparently it's enforced and people do abide by it...
I didn't actually buy much from the night market. Trying to think of what I got and I can only think of this Hello Kitty jigsaw puzzle I bought. So expensive (NT$983) considering I didn't have much cash T__T I spent like 40% of my cash on that because Taiwan only takes UnionPay for the most part and I didn't know if there would be foreign transaction fees for using mine. They don't really take Visa and it wasn't until after the trip that I found out my Discover is only accepted in Mainland China.
Meeeep... almost done with Taiwan posts. I have a lot of photos to go through for Hong Kong, so I've been dreading it :X Anyways, until next time!