Recently I had the good fortune to cooperate with Tripinsiders.com in designing a new event for our guests, a morning market tour and dumpling cooking class. Tripinsiders made this beautiful two minute video to introduce me and the tour.
I really appreciate the kindness and expertise of Rosa, Ray, Gabriel and everyone at Tripinsiders for helping me so much with this, and giving me an insight into their world.
Tàipíng market: This is the oldest open market in Taipei, built more than 100 years ago. The market offers all kind of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood. The food stores around the market have been offering the most delicious food for more than half of a century. Originally, it was a wholesale market.
Yǒnglè market: It was originally established around 1910, during the Japanese colonial period, when it was the first indoor market in Taiwan. It was the first time Japanese administrators organized an outdoor Chinese style market, and brought the stallholders into a cleaner and more hygienic indoor market. Upstairs on the 2nd floor is a fabric market.
In the near future we will start offering this tour of historic Di Hua Street, and the Da Dao Cheng Area in Taipei. The tour will cover the morning market, temples, the traditional food stands and small restaurants.
This is a list of some of the morning markets in Taipei. Taiwan's morning markets are ignored by most travel guide books, magazines and websites. In Taiwan, most families shop for fresh food in the morning markets two, three or even four times a week, that's how they get the freshest ingredients. Taiwanese people really care about fresh ingredients, for health and taste reasons, and because small homes don't have storage space – they want vegetables the day they are picked, noodles the day they are made, fish the day they are caught, and so on. Read more about Taipei's day markets here.
The wet markets of Taiwan usually are not on the regular tourist schedule.Most guides or local people would never think of bringing their customers or friends anywhere near them. The floors are wet, vegetables are still dirty with the mud from the fields, slabs of meat are cut open on the stands, all kinds of smells float in the air.
Taiwan's morning markets are ignored by most travel guide books, magazines and websites. But, if you really want to understand local culture, a walk through a morning market can teach you far more than a day at some sterile, packaged tourist attraction far away from real people's lives.
Join the crowds strolling through Taipei's Flower Market on Sundays. It's good for people watching even if you're not buying, and in summer all that vegetation keeps temperatures surprisingly pleasant in the shaded market.