Changhua 彰化 isn’t exactly known for its night markets, but since I’ve been spending some of my time there I’ve done the work to translate what little information is available and share what I’ve experienced first-hand after having been out to about a dozen night markets in the area. This post (in Chinese), dating back to 2009, is the most widely cited reference that I have been able to dredge up. So far it hasn’t led me astray but there are no guarantees any of these markets are still around (or even cool and interesting).
Both Changhua City 彰化市 and Yuánlín 員林 have several night markets; the rest only seem to have one (on this list anyway—see notes below). Many vendors rotate between these markets so if you go to one of the bigger ones you’ll probably see most of what Changhua has to offer. For the sake of brevity I’m leaving “night market” out of the translations below:
- Monday: Train Station 火車站夜市 in Changhua City 彰化市, Datong 大同 in Yuánlín 員林, Dàcūn 大村.
- Tuesday: Zhōngyāng Road Bridge 中央路橋 in Changhua City 彰化市, Táifèng 台鳳 in Yuánlín 員林, Shetou, Zhangde.
- Wednesday: Jīngchéng 精誠 in Changhua City 彰化市, Datong 大同 in Yuánlín 員林, Tianzhong, Shetou, Huātán 花壇.
- Thursday: Thursday night market in Běidǒu 北斗, Dàcūn 大村, Zhangde, Héměi 和美.
- Friday: Zhōngyāng Road Bridge 中央路橋 in Changhua City 彰化市, Táifèng 台鳳 in Yuánlín 員林, Erlin, Èrshuǐ 二水.
- Saturday: Jīngchéng 精誠 in Changhua City 彰化市, Jīnmǎ 金馬 in Changhua City 彰化市 (might not exist), Datong 大同 in Yuánlín 員林, Tianwei, Shetou, Héměi 和美.
- Sunday: Guāntiān 冠天 in Changhua City 彰化市, Táifèng 台鳳 in Yuánlín 員林, Lukang 鹿港, Huātán 花壇, and Xīluó 西螺.
A few comments about the night markets I have personally visited (will be updated anytime I find out more):
- Jīngchéng 精誠 in Changhua City 彰化市: the largest night market I have seen anywhere in Changhua 彰化. There is a lot to see and do here—and it gets quite busy on a Saturday night, partly because of the cramped space where the long rows meet the outer aisle, though it is otherwise an open air night market (as are almost all night markets discussed here). Jingcheng is the closest thing to Huayuan (the most famous night market in Tainan 台南) that I have seen in middle Taiwan. In terms of location it shouldn’t be hard to find; just head for Línsēn Road 林森路 on the northwest side of town and you’re unlikely to miss it. Additional info in Chinese: here. More of my photos can be seen here. Update: I now have a full write-up about Jingcheng Night Market!
- Běidǒu 北斗: surprisingly one the largest and most happening night markets I’ve been to in Changhua county. It is located in the southeast corner of town; just follow Xīngnóng 興農 road south from highway 150, the main east-west thoroughfare. Also known as the Thursday night market (in Chinese, of course). I’ve been twice now and recommend it if you’re in the area. Try the fresh mochi and watermelon juice!
- Táifèng 台鳳 (might have formerly been known as Jǔguāng 莒光) in Yuánlín 員林: a mid-sized open air night market next to the bus station and just west of the railway line. The nicest in town but still nothing special. See also: this photo post and some of the photos in this Flickr album.
- Datong 大同 in Yuánlín 員林: a small but neatly organized open air night market in a parking lot on Datong street. Seldom very busy and seems like it’s waning in popularity.
- Tianwei: located in the flower market parking lot just off the highway, this night market looks fairly large but isn’t actually that extensive. Most unusual was the presence of some kind of religious performance near the back (maybe just a one-time thing). They’ve also got “Mongolian” barbecue (actually a Taiwanese creation), something I’ve not noticed at night markets before.
- Zhōngyāng Road Bridge 中央路橋 in Changhua City 彰化市: a small, subdued market on the east side of the central bridge overpass. I have stopped in twice, once in the rain and again on a Friday to see if there was anything going on. There wasn’t—so I don’t recommend it at all.
- Guāntiān 冠天 in Changhua City 彰化市: a sedate, old school night market on the northeast side of the city. It only runs on Sunday nights. Features many of the vendors you’ll find at Jingcheng.
- Shetou: there are actually at least two different night markets here. The one on Saturday is located in a clearing on a main road just east of the train station. There is another one under a covered structure at the north end of town but I’m not sure when that one is. In any case, the one near the train station is like a smaller version of Táifèng 台鳳, not very interesting.
- Huātán 花壇: on Zhōngxiào road, easily missed because there aren’t more than maybe five stalls there. Are there awards for the smallest night market in Taiwan? Don’t go out of your way to visit.
Location notes for some night markets on that list that I haven’t yet visited:
- Dàcūn 大村: near Xǐměi supermarket 喜美超市.
- Héměi 和美: presumably near Rénài 仁愛 Road.
- Xīluó 西螺: just across the county line in Yúnlín 雲林 south of Běidǒu 北斗.
For reference: Chinese Wikipedia lists many more night markets than appear in my original source.
My recommendation? If you’re a real night market junkie give Jīngchéng 精誠 in Changhua City 彰化市 or the Thursday night market in Běidǒu 北斗 a shot. Everything else on the list is more for residents and people working within easy reach of these night markets. I happen to enjoy going out to them even if they’re a bit dull compared to what you can find further north or south—but I also spend a fair amount of time in Changhua 彰化 and get a kick out of exploring things seldom mentioned in the English blogosphere.