Taiwan's Night Market Entrance Signs and Gates

The Raohe St. Night Market in Taipei.
Taiwan's night markets are places that bustle with activity at night. Thousands of shoppers crowd through these markets at night, browsing through the stalls and shops, or just dropping in to get a midnight snack. To indicate that the night markets are open and to mark their location, it's only natural that a sign or gate be present at the entrance. Many of these signs and gates are very colorful, and at least one is a national icon!

Here are some of Taiwan's most famous night market gates and signs:

1.) The Raohe Street Night Market Gate. The Raohe Street Night Market in Taipei is Taiwan's first night market and a famous tourist hotspot in the city. The dazzling gate built over the market's entrance is a tourist attraction in itself! The gate is a famous landmark in Taiwan that marks the nightly opening of the market. It is located over the main entrance and is built in the traditional Chinese paifang arch style. The gate also happens to be adjacent to the Ci You Temple, which is located next door to the market.

On this gate are two signs depicting owls. This owl happens to be the night owl, which is the mascot of the Raohe St. Night Market! The meaning is very obvious!

The Miaokou Night Market entrance sign.
2.) The Miaokou Night Market Entrance Sign. While it may be much more famous for its yellow lanterns that decorate the interior of the night market, the Miaokou Night Market in Keelung has a very unique sign hanging over its main entrance! Unlike other night markets elsewhere in Taiwan that have a traditional paifang entrance gate, this one has a neon gate image hanging over the image along with some traditional Chinese symbols such as "eye coins".

And beyond the gates, as we can see in the picture on the right, are the famous lanterns themselves, illuminating the night market and its many stalls!

The Ruifeng Night Market.
3.) The Ruifeng Night Market Sign. Kaohsiung's biggest night market is without a doubt the Ruifeng Night Market. This market is much like a carnival or fair rather than a traditional Asian night market and often stays open through the wee hours of the morning.

The sign that marks the entrance of this market (right) sets the tone of the market very well! It's a charming sign depicting, appropriately enough, the name of the market superimposed against stars in the night sky!

The Huaxi St. Night Market gate.
4.) The Huaxi Street Night Market Gate. In Taipei's Wanhua district is Taiwan's oldest tourist attraction: The Huaxi Street Night Market (Huaxi Street Tourist Night Market). Also known as "Snake Alley", the Huaxi night market is famous for its stalls that sell snake delicacies such as snake soup, snake blood drinks, and so on.

The entrance to this long passageway of stalls is marked by a giant paifang gate that is yet another Taipei tourist icon. This gate features the trademark inset sign identifying the night market!

5.) The Xingnan Night Market Sign. As far as entrance signs go, this one isn't quite as spectacular as the others I've mentioned in this post, but it is a traditional sign and has a brillant blend of eye-catching colors! This sign can be found at the Xingnan Night Market, which is located in Taipei's Zhonghe district.
The Xingnan Night Market.
If you know of any other entrance signs or gates not mentioned in this blog post, please share them with us and tell us more about their brilliance! Oh, and for more about Taiwan's night markets, be sure to check out:

-http://mykafkeasquelife.blogspot.com/2010/01/list-of-night-markets-in-taiwan.html (Blog entries from the blog My Kafkaesque Life about the night markets of Taiwan.)
-http://www.raohe.com.tw/e2-1.htm (English homepage of the Raohe St. Night Market.)

(Image Attributions: Raohe St. Night Market Gate: Fauzty. Miaokou night market: Bigmorr. Huaxi night market entrance: Deadkid dk. Ruifeng Night Market: 祥龍. Xingnan Night Market: 阿貴 All images used via Wikimedia Commons.)


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