六合夜市 ~ Liouho Night Market
Liouho (Liuhe) Night Market
Author: James Smyth
Editor: Huang Xin-hui
Kaohsiung is in southern Taiwan, and it’s the second biggest city in the country. Its original name was “Dagou,” which means “Hit the Dog.” Kaohsiung people have a good sense of humor. 115 years ago, the occupying Japanese government decided this name was embarassing, so they gave the city a new, unusually graceful name: “Takao” in Japanese, “Kaohsiung” in Chinese. (It means “High Hero” in English. The Romanization is Wade-Giles.)
Last summer, I traveled to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan. I flew from Singapore to Kaohsiung, and from there I saw Tainan, Taichung, Sun Moon Lake, and finally Taipei. So my first memories of Taiwan are of Kaohsiung. Soon after arriving at the hotel, I walked to Liouho Night Market to take a look.
Because Kaohsiung is a planned city, its streets are wider than Taipei’s and follow a grid format, which is convenient. Formosa Boulevard Subway Station near the market seems new, and the ceiling is beautifully and colorfully painted. Although Liouho Night Market is really busy, because the streets are so wide, it doesn’t feel crowded. Behind the standard food and merchant’s stands are various shops and stores. The center of the market is spacious, and there are plenty of tables and chairs there, so you can sit with your friends, chat, and people-watch while eating the food you bought.
Clothes, cameras, handicrafts, pets: Liouho has everything that a night market should. It’s most famous for its food. Salty rice balls, oyster omelettes, tofu pudding, and many other Taiwanese dishes can be found there. Have you ever eaten snake? Liouho has several snake restaurants. I thought it was a little scary, so I decided to try it some other day with friends. That day, I had an oyster omelette, corn, and Taiwanese sushi, and I drank a milk tea. I went home full and happy. Because Taiwanese food is much cheaper than Japanese food, I didn’t have to pay much, either.
I’ve heard students clean the streets of the market in the morning. That seems miraculous. The market is a great place to learn about the joy of Taiwanese life. Let’s go there and eat snake together!