© 2010 Jeff Lee

Huaxi Night Market

More commonly referred to as snake alley, Huaxi (or Hwahsi) Night Market in Taipei is one of the numerous night markets in Taiwan. Snake meat and blood is a featured ingredient in many of the restaurants here. It’s often pitched as a healing tonic or natural remedy for your ailments, even though the hawkers don’t seem to care what you are suffering from- eating snake seems to be the cure all.

Huaxi is probably not for the squeamish, as you’re sure to encounter live snakes or recently killed snakes being drained of their blood. Photography is typically not permitted at the snake restaurants, but you can usually barter for the right to take pictures if you agree to try one of the snake dishes.

Snake soup with goji berries is a relatively tame dish- the snake meat is tough and bony, but the texture and taste is similar to chicken. While Huaxi mostly caters to tourists and there are more interesting night markets in Taiwan, I would recommend visiting if you find yourself in Taipei.

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