Sunday, June 19, 2016

Shilin Market and National Palace Museum (Taipei Trip Day 4)

Returning from Yangmingshan National Park, we decided to go to Taiwan National Palace Museum first before our dinner at Shilin Night Market. National Palace Museum keeps a huge collection of ancient China Imperial artifacts. Some source stated that with 700k plus artifacts, it is the biggest museum of its kind. Well, we need to agree that only the Palace Museum in Beijing, China can beat it on the number of imperial artifacts. The type of the artifacts exhibited are mainly paintings and calligraphy, the metalwares, jades, ceramics. The museum contains several exhibition halls. We went through the halls following the numbers. We were excited to see different versions of the painting of "Along the River during the Qing Ming festival" (清明上河图) and amazed by the meat shaped stone. One dissapointment- the Jadeite Cabbage (翠玉白菜) was exhibited in other museum and we didn't have the chance to see it.

Taiwan National Palace Museum opens daily from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm, and opens till 9 pm on Friday and Saturday. The entrance fee is NTD 150 per adult. More information about the exhibition, opening hours, and entrance fee are avaialble at the museum official website. From Shilin MRT Station, we took a 20-minute bus trip (red line no. 30, or R30) to the museum. Reached at 6:30 pm, we roamed around for 2 hours there (yes, it was Saturday). Then, we went back to Shilin MRT Station, then to Jiantan MRT Station. Be noted that Shilin Market is nearer to Jiantan MRT Station, not Shilin MRT Station.

The main gate of Taiwan National Palace Museum. The bus stop is located at the ground floor of the main museum building. If we go by bus, we need to walk out of the main building to see the gate. "天下为公" described that everything on earth belongs to community. It brings the point that everything inside the museum belongs to entire human race, not for the emperors only.

We can see a big metalware- a "ding" (鼎)in front of the museum building. It is an ancient cooking ware.

There are other buildings with exhibition halls (upper left) near to the main museum building (upper right). A closer look at the big "ding" in front fo the museum (lower right). Our bags and camera have to be left at the locker. We took the opportunity to see the music performance at the museum's lobby before we left.

Again, if we want to go to Shilin Market (or night market), the nearest MRT station is Jiantan Station. From Jiantan MRT Station, follow the signages first, turn left and cross the road once exit from gate 1. Then the flow of crowd will lead us to the market.

Clear signage, yes, this time with English to Shilin Market in the MRT station (upper left). From gate 1, we can see a flux of people walking to and fro Shilin Market (upper right). So what we need to do is crossing the road and follow the crowd (lower right). By foot, Shilin Market is 5 minutes away from  Jiantan MRT station.
There is a big food court at the basement level of Shilin Market (upper left). There are several entrance to the food court. The food court was really crowded on Saturday, but we still managed to find a place to sit (upper right). The fried oyster was really nice (lower right), while the beef noodle was average. We tried the cracker wrap (大饼包小饼) at another stall. We didn't like the wrap.
Moved back to surface. The area inside the market with cover itself is not big (upper left). However., the night market extends to the area with stalls beside the covered street (upper right), uncovered street (lower right), and the street with shops like Ximending.

This is how Shilin Market looks like during day time.

We tried several types of food along the streets, including the vermicelli with soup (upper left), grilled mushroom (upper right), flame-grilled beef cube (lower right), and fried chicken steak. All of them tasted good except the chicken steak.

There are some quiet corner at Shilin Night Market as well- inside the market buidling.

Shilin Market used to be a marketplace nearby a harbour. Today, it has been transformed into a tourism night market. The evidence of its humble beginning can be still found here and there.

 The site of the old market is quiet. Nobody cares about this old place in the middle of extravagant night life.

Shilin Market is really crowded, especially at the streets outside the market building. The pedestrian streets are much smaller and not well illuminated compared to Ximending. It is not as organized as Raohe Night Market (饶河夜市)as well. Although many souces consider Shilin as night market, but in our opinion, there are only one or two streets that can be considered as real night market- streets with stalls or shacks. The rest are more towards the pedestrian streets with shops. However, Shilin Market did fulfill our expectation in providing good variety of food. It can be a good place for shopping- souvenirs, local delicacies, clothes, footwear, IT gadgets, teas and we can even buy ourselves a new goldfish.

We left Shilin Market at around 10 pm. That was out last stop on day 4. Day 5, old town Jiufen and the abandoned gold mine Jinguashi were in our list.

More about our experience in Taipei:


  1. How about the price of the food? Is it expensive?

    Too from Malaysia.

    1. The prices were around ntd50 - 150 per portion. A bit "high" compared to what we have in Malaysia. Well, that's the price that we need to pay for authentic Taiwan night market food.