rao he night market

Considered one of the oldest night markets in Songshan District on Taipei’s eastern end of the city, the Raohe Night Market is also definitely one of the best markets there is in Taipei.  It has everything you need in a night market, lots of food, and lots of random things to buy.  Unlike the Shilin Night Market, where you mostly will find purely street snacks, at the Raohe Market you will also find great stalls selling complete meals from noodles to rice dishes.  Let’s take a more detailed look at the Raohe Street Night Market!    

To reach Raohe, the nearest MRT station is Houshanpi MRT station which is near the Wufenpu Garment District.  It is about a 5 to 10 minute walk north from Wufenpu.  The eastern entrance to Raohe Night Market starts where Raohe Street begins, right where the Ciyou Temple is.

raohe entrance

Entrance to the Raohe Night Market.

Once you enter the market, the first thing you’ll notice is the famous black peppered pork buns (“hou chui bing” in Mandarin) being sold at one of the first stalls near the entrance.  My wife and I noticed a very fragrant and pungent black pepper smell as we entered the market, and to our surprise it was these black peppered pork buns that my friend from Taiwan kept talking about!  So we quickly joined the line to buy one to try.  The line up was quite long, but in the end it was well worth it.

black peppered buns at raohe

Scores of people waiting in line to get their hands on a black peppered pork bun.

There was an entire team of like 7 people preparing these pork buns!

At 45 Taiwan Dollars, (which is only 1.50 USD!!!) it was a steal!  You get a huge bun pan fried until the skin was nice and crispy with a huge peppered pork and vegetable filling inside.  It was really tasty, and while tempted to buy another one to eat, we knew there were still other things to eat at the market, so we held our appetite for later.

rao he pork bun

The exterior of the peppered pork bun.  Nice and crispy.

The top of the bun was topped with sesame seeds.

The first bite!

Finally we hit the filling after the 2nd bite!

Nice pork to vegetable ratio.

It was really good…and was quite a generous portion too!

The last bite before the bun was finished!  YUM!

Once we tried the pork buns, we made our way to explore the market.  It seems we just reached the market when it was just about to start up (which was about 6:00pm), as we saw many vendors busy setting up their booths for business.  It was already getting busy, I’m guessing because its about rush hour time where people are starting to leave work.

The night market was already getting busy.

Vendor doing the final setups to his stall.

More vendors opening business for the night.

Vendors everywhere!  It was awesome!

People starting to get the “snack” on… Vendor selling fishballs.

One of the items my wife and I wanted to try since we arrived in Taipei was the mango ice shaving dessert.  We heard so much of it before, as Taiwan supposedly grows very tasty mangoes.  So to not let an opportunity pass by, we found a mango ice stall to try this amazing dessert.  There were many flavours to choose from, but we just stuck with the standard mango flavour and ordered the standard portion.  At 80 Taiwan dollars (about 2.70 USD) it was value for money!  Basically this so called standard portion was enough to feed at least 3 people, and was fully loaded with fresh mangoes on a bed of finely shaved ice with condensed milk.  It was awesome!

This was the stall where we had the mango ice shaving dessert.

This was what the standard portion was like.  It was massive, and look at all those mangoes!

Closeup view.  It was very good…the mangoes were very sweet and juicy!

After finishing off the amazing ice mango dessert, my wife and I continued our stroll through the Raohe Night Market.  What was interesting that I find at Raohe was that there was a good variety of stalls selling different types of “knick knacks”.  Unlike some night markets in the world (such as the ones you see in Hong Kong or Singapore) where you will see many of the stalls selling the same stuff, at Raohe there was good variety and uniqueness among the stalls.

Stall selling wallets.

Jeans stall..

Purse and accessory stall.

Sun glass stall.

Stuff toys?  Actually I think they were actually pouch bags.

Shoe stall…

Even a tea pot stall was there in Raohe Market!

 This was pretty cool.  A glass ornament stall, where this guy in sunglasses was making them live on an open flame for visitor’s to see.

After browsing through all the random “knick knacks”, we were getting hungry once again.  We found an interesting stall that was selling barbecued mushrooms.  These are not just any mushrooms, but were the giant ones with a huge stalk.  It was pretty tasty and at only 30 Taiwan dollars (1.00 USD) it was also really cheap!

rao he bbq mushroom

Stall selling the barbecue mushrooms with onlookers waiting in line.

Closeup of the mushrooms on the grill.  Look how big they were!

The barbecue mushrooms, after grilling they will chop it up, and you can top it up with various condiments.

We then turned our attention to a huge lineup ahead.  We were wondering what the commotion was about and as we walked closer, it was a stall selling Korean Bibimbap which is a vegetable, egg, and meat dish served over a bed of rice inside a stone bowl that is heated up over an open flame.  It looked good, but the line was too long, so we never did get the chance to try.  All we got was just some pictures of it below.

Look at the crowds of people around the Bibimbap stall!

Look at the Bibimbap…cooked over high heat in a stone bowl…looked good, but too bad we didn’t get to try.

As a consolation prize for not able to sample the Bibimbap, my wife and I decided to go try the pork rib soup, which was considered another specialty at Raohe Night Market.  There were numerous stalls selling pork rib soup, and all of them were equally busy.  We just sat down at one of the stalls to order a few bowls of the pork rib soup.  I believe all the stalls were selling around the same price, and the one we sat down at charged around 60 Taiwan dollars (about 2.00 USD) for one heaping bowl of soup filled with lots of steaming pork ribs!  The broth of the soup was rich and aromatic, they seemed to have cooked the soup with some Chinese herbs.  The pork itself was tender and juicy.  Overall it was quite good.

rao he pork ribs soup

The pork ribs soup stall we ate at.  Look at all those people eating!  That must have been a lot of soup they made to feed all these people!

The pork ribs soup.  It was good!

Closeup view of the pork ribs soup.

After the pork ribs soup, my wife and I were pretty much full.  It was a pity though, because we barely scratched the service on the foods available at Raohe Market!  The below are just some of the stalls selling food at Raohe.

Stall selling some seafood noodles.

Closeup of the seafood noodle stall.

Some type of braised chicken stall.

People queuing up for their meals at this stall.  I can’t remember what they sold though.

A stall selling pickled vegetables and braised meats.

Chestnuts stall.

This person was grilling giant squid!  Very awesome indeed.

Fresh guava on sale, marinated with syrup.

Spring roll stall.

Another noodle stall.

Nasty bits stall…this was similar to what I tried in Shilin Market.  Not for everyone, but I like this stuff…it’s good.

Roasted fresh peanuts and corn.

Some kind of dessert jelly stall.

Finally after 2 hours of browsing and eating, we reached the end of the Raohe Night Market.  The total stretch of the Raohe was market was about 600 meters long.  When you reach the end however, there was not much to see so we just headed back to where we started from to catch the train back to the city.

The end of Raohe Market.

End of Raohe Market, not much things to see here.

One thing however to take note that I think would be useful for you all.  When I visited Raohe, after all the eating, my wife and I urgently needed to look for a washroom.  To our surprise we could not find any public washroom on the entire stretch of Raohe Market.  The only public washroom we ended up finding was at a 711 convenience store located right beside the Ciyou Temple near the eastern entrance to Raohe Market.

I have took some pics below to show you where this 711 convenience store is located, and also marked it down in the location map below!  I hope this will help you all out and not have to go through what we had to go through that night!  =)    So there you have it, a night out at the wonderful Raohe Night Market!

Here’s a pic I took with some cool effects to it.  But the main purpose of this photo is to show you the 711 convenience store (in the right of the picture) located right next to the Ciyou Temple (on the left of the picture).  Notice you see the washroom and ATM sign under the 711 sign?

Another pic, but without the effects.  Just look for the 711 with the washroom and ATM sign.

Location map to Raohe Night Market:

Nearest MRT station:  Houshanpi MRT station – about a 15 minute walk from the MRT, and is about a 5 to 10 minute walk north of Wufenpu Garment District.  Located right beside Ciyou Temple on Raohe Street itself.

Opening hours:  Daily – 6:00pm until late night (some stalls start closing around midnight, while some still open till 1:00am onwards)

Admission:  FREE

raohe location map

Location map of Raohe Night Market.
Green box is the Houshanpi MRT station.
Blue box is the Wufenpu Garment District.
Red box is Ciyou Temple.
Purple box is Raohe Night Market.
Red star is the washroom located at the 711 convenience store.

 

What crazy adventures you have experienced through the night markets?  Please share your experiences below!

Alec Chan

Alec Chan is an intrepid traveler, travel writer, author, speaker, serial entrepreneur and self professed Asia travel ambassador. Traveling all around Asia since 2003, and still traveling, Alec is an accomplished and passionate traveler seeking to bridge the cultural gaps in Asia. Through his unique perspective as a Canadian born Chinese, Alec shares his special insights on Asia to help others around the world to have a better understanding on Asian culture so that they can have a more meaningful, fun, and stress free trip to Asia. Alec has written numerous travel guides on several destinations in Asia and is the editor in chief of AlecTravelGuide.com

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3 Responses to Raohe Night Market – One of the Oldest and Best in Taipei!!!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Alec, this is a really detailed post, thank you for all those helpful information (especially about the washroom). Will be visiting Taiwan this coming June and I absolutely can’t wait! :)

    • Alec says:

      Glad you found this useful! Have a great trip ahead, and do come back often to my blog for more travel information to Asia!

      Cheers!

      Alec

  2. Kimmie says:

    I find yr blog on Taipei very helpful and impressive. 1st time going to taipei for a short trip. Thanks for sharing.

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