Sat, Aug 25, 2001 - Page 11 News List

Back alleys of adventure

Hygiene might not be its strongest point, but Tunghua Night Market offers some of the most authentic Taiwanese snacks and is a favorite spot among the younger crowd

By Steven Crook  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

If food dominates the western half of Linchiang Street, boutiques full of halter tops, bell bottoms, platform shoes and accessories are the salient feature of the eastern half.

This is a good place to feel the pulse of current youth culture. After 10pm the swarms of fashionable young hipsters may make anyone older than, say, 25 feel a little out of place, though the almost scary getup of some of the mannequins provides post-prandial entertainment. Foreign visitors to Tunghua Night Market -- every evening there are dozens -- are often impressed by the fervid nature of free enterprise here.

"There seem to be many more shops here than in my hometown of more than 30,000 people," commented Peter Schinkel, a recent German visitor to the night market.

Schinkel admitted to being shocked by the less-than-pristine conditions in which some vendors prepare food: "I'm not sure if I would eat from most of these places." But when asked if he would recommend Tunghua Night Market to others, he replied: "Of course. My Taiwanese friends tell me this is the real Taiwan."

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