Huaxi Street Night Market (otherwise Snake Alley) is a night market in Taipei. It sold snake meat and blood until 2018. It was also Taipei’s red-light district. Now it houses various night market stands and massage parlors.
I’ve lived in Taiwan for over 4 years and have been to Huaxi a few times. I compiled my experience and other information to help determine whether it’s worth visiting.
Quick Facts About Huaxi Street Night Market
|Hours||Daily: 4:00 PM–12:00 AM|
|Number of Food Stalls||Unknown|
|Closest Rail Station||Longshan Temple Station (Taipei MRT)|
|City Located||Taipei City|
|Address||Huaxi St, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108|
|Chinese Name||華西街觀光夜市 (Huáxī Jiē Guānguāng Yèshì)|
Foods To Try at Huaxi Night Market
If you decide to stay at Huaxi Tourist Night Market, here are some noteworthy foods to try:
|Steamed minced pork with pickles in broth||Wang’s Broth||108, Taipei City, Wanhua District, Huaxi St, 17之4號攤位153號|
|Boiled chicken, noodles, and pork tail||Chang Hung Noodles (昶鴻麵點)||108, Taipei City, Wanhua District, 華西街171號號攤|
|Steamed buns stuffed with pork bellies||源芳刈包 (Yuan Fang Guabao)||No. 17-2, Huaxi St, Wanhua District, Taipei City, 108|
|Sweet soup||Beigang sweet soup||108, Taipei City, Wanhua District, Huaxi St, 41號(第59攤位)|
Snake Alley doesn’t actually sell snake blood or meat.
The last snake meat restaurant shut its doors in 2018 due to a “shortage of snakes” [1 paywalled article].
The loss of the red-light district and the snake killing shows reduced this market’s attractiveness toward youth. I’ll cover the history of this area more in a bit.
But that doesn’t mean this night market doesn’t still have a charm. Wang’s Broth was a Michelin Bib Gourmand-selected restaurant in 2019 .
You’ll also find various massage parlors and Chinese medicine shops.
How To Get To Snake Alley
Take the Taipei MRT (Blue Line) to Longshan Temple Station. Leave from Exit 1 and walk around 7 minutes.
Here’s the path you’ll want to follow:
Upon arriving at Snake Alley, you’ll see a covered corridor with a sign that says “Huaxi Night Market.”
Attractions Near Huaxi Street Tourist Night Market
Longshan Temple (Lungshan Temple) is one of Taiwan’s most famous temples and takes only 5 minutes to walk to. It’s an excellent place to visit to pray for health, fortune, and luck.
It also has a glistening fountain that splashes into a pond with hulking koi fish.
At night, you’ll have a difficult time entering Longshan. But you could try another night market. Guangzhou Street Night Market. It’s about a 4-minute walk from Huaxi.
There’s the Bopiliao Historical Block. It’s a street lined with 18th-century buildings and around an 8-minute walk from Snake Alley.
Be careful when walking about the Wanhua District area. Supposedly it’s one of the most dangerous areas in Taiwan, crime-wise. I can’t find any sources to confirm this information.
I haven’t encountered anything dangerous. Other than the area having the most homeless people I’ve seen in all of Taiwan. But they didn’t approach me.
Practice caution. Taipei’s not known for violent crime, but it is for drug use. And many who use drugs are unpredictable.
History of Snake Alley, Taipei
Until the 1990s, Huaxi Night Market, often called Snake Alley, was Taipei’s red-light district.
Since the Taiwanese government outlawed prostitution in 1997, this area has become a night market . But if you look around, you can still find reminders of its past with the various pornography shops.
And you’ll see plenty of massage establishments with shop owners waiting outside you. Interpret this as you will.
Now, Huaxi Market has a handful of night market stands.