Kaohsiung's famous night market
Liuhe Night Market 六合夜市 (or Liouho Night Market) in Kaohsiung is one of the most famous and oldest night markets in Taiwan. First food stalls appeared at the end of 1940s and at the beginning of 1950s, but in 1987 the area was polished up and turned into a tourist night market (source). The night market, albeit small, boasts with a very rich display of Southern Taiwanese delicacies, however seafood is predominant. This is definitely not the biggest night market in Taiwan, but it's one that you need to visit, if you happen to be in Kaohsiung, if you're a seafood lover. I'm sure you'll find something you like.
MY IMPRESSION: The market is relatively small. It occupies a section of Liuhe 2nd Road. It's divided into two parts, of which one is longer and more crowded. The road is closed for traffic, especially for scooters, however now and then you will see some of them passing through (who can stop them?). The area is relatively clean, but can't be compared to some of the night markets in the north, such as Yonghe's Lehua. The overall impression is good, especially because the road is wider (something very unlikely to be in Taipei). We arrived there relatively early (at 17.40) and that's why we have avoided the huge crowds, that are common at later hours. What I also liked were the trash bins in the middle and some stalls even had tables where you can sit down and eat your xiao chi.
WHAT KIND OF FOOD IS COMMON: The most common food here is seafood 海鲜 (hǎixiān), followed by pork 猪肉 (zhūròu) and other standard night market dishes such as stinky tofu 臭豆腐 (chòu dòufu) or oyster omelette 蚵仔煎 (kēzǐ jiān). Among the more unusual dishes is snake meat 蛇肉 (shé ròu), fried ice 炸冰 (zhá bīng) and the expensive black fish eggs a.k.a. black caviar 烏魚子 (wū yúzǐ).
MUST-TRY FOOD AT LIUHE NIGHT MARKET: I'm not really sure what I would recommend as must try. The fried ice is definitely interesting, although I have not tried it. It's definitely what the name says (you can see a photo here). If you're a fan of snake meat or just wanting to try something different, than you have the chance to experience that here. Unlike in Taipei's famous snake alley, I've only seen one snake restaurant here. But all in all I recommend you to try some fried xiao chi or small eats and some seafood, be it squid, crabs or fish, you will get the ocean's finest treasures at Liuhe street.
Let me show you some photos from Liuhe Night Market in July, 2011:
POPULAR SNACK: MARINADE
POPULAR SNACK: STEWED PORK AND SHRIMP NOODLES
POPULAR SNACK: GRILLED CHICKEN
POPULAR SNACK: SNAKE MEAT
POPULAR SNACK: PAPAYA MILK
After we filled our stomachs with delicious food, we left for Chishan.
LIUHE NIGHT MARKET IN CONCLUSION: I like this night market a lot and would like to return one day, after I visit all other night markets in the city. It's a small and compact night market with less exceptional food, but a lot of solid one, so it's almost as if whatever you try, you will go safe and be sure it'll taste good, but I don't really have any particular recommendations. The only thing you really should try is the papaya milk. That's my favorite drink in Kaohsiung from now on.
Opening hours are from 5pm to 5am, almost all night. Amazing!
HOW TO FIND LIUHE NIGHT MARKET? SEE MY MAP:
To find the night market is very easy, exit at the Formosa Boulevard Station at Exit 11 and you are there. Click on photo for the Google Map and the original source.