It surprises me when others put SnakeAlley (Huashi Street - #6 on the list) on a “To Do” list for visitors to Taipei. It’s so early-80’s. I admit, I was in that vicinity a year ago accompanying a friend to the temple. Other than that, I only went when I first got here over a decade ago - and I didn’t know why it was on the tour back then either.
If they had to put a night market on there, I would put Fuyuan St or Tonghua St ahead of Huashi St any day (or night) of the week
The eclectic mix of dildos, snakes, and loafers gives the market a unique character that you won’t find in any other city. For the first-time visitor the place offers a wonderful, surreal glimpse into Taipei’s diverse urban fabric. In order to truely appreciate all it has to offer, it’s best to start your tour surrounded by the soulless steel and glass of modern Hsinyi - then head west via MRT.
Another “to do” on my Taiwan tourist map is the one-two punch of Keelung’s MiaoKou and Kanzihding markets. Much better seafood than Fuyuan or Tonghua. Hmmm… baked crabs. Plus you get to witness the spectacle of Kanzihding’s trading floor.
Overall, I’d say the writer captures the spirit of the city. As you can see below, my ten-point itinerary for visitors isn’t much different.