really beautiful MONDO TAIWAN logo
(Last update to this page: 8/7/2002)

Markets are one of the really cool things about Taiwan. You can get cheap CUGGI bags (imitation GUCCI bags! Haha!) and FULL FISH (bad copy of ELLE PARIS!), eat delicious yet unsanitary food (someone I know told me it's worth the diarrhea!), and really feel Taiwanese culture at the markets.

Juice drinks

"Pearl" milk tea and other concoctions

Nakashi music (a Japanese lounge-lizard style which is quite popular with bus drivers and old people) fills the air. Vendors yell out their special prices on their "special" items. ("Abibos" sports clothes--you know, the brand with the 5 stripes!) You can bargain on just about anything and get a pretty good deal. Play Pachinko (below) for hours on end. Win a can of asparagus juice at the ring toss. Practice your archery on water balloon targets. Drink "pearl milk tea" or a variety of unusual, brightly colored juice drinks (above).
Mr. Kuo
Kuo Lao Wu's Eatery
Taichung County, Tunghai Villa
Hsin-Hsing Rd. #19

Mrs. Kuo
Mrs. Kuo's "Salty Flavor" Eatery
She and her husband (top photo) work side by side every night until ~2 AM.

I've been told by a couple of eagle-eyed visitors that the old link for more info and recipes about "pearl milk tea" is no longer valid. (Thanks to CZ and MP for the reminders.) Here's what I've found as a result of their inquiries.
Pearl Milk Tea was supposedly invented by someone at Chun Shui Tang teahouse here in Taichung (website in Hanzi). Some people use the term "bubble tea" synonymously with "pearl milk tea" (which is named so for the glutinous balls that sit in the bottom of the concoction), but what they call "bubble tea" in Mandarin (pao4 mo4 cha2) is not the same thing. It's tea which has been shaken to a foamy consistency. It may have a bit of a "head" like that on a mug of draft beer, unless you buy it in a carton at 7-Eleven. (In that case, I guess you're supposed to shake it up yourself!)
In no particular order, here are a couple of links to other websites that list some pretty simple recipes for pearl milk tea, each with slight variations. You'll have to find the one that suits you the best as well as which uses materials you can find. Try "Oriental" grocery stores in your area. Note: below links will open in new windows. (Use your browser's "find" function, and search for "Taiwanese Pearl Milk Tea" -- it's way down near the bottom of that page) (Again, the recipe is near the bottom of the page.) A "How to of the Week" from has recipes, links, lingo, and a bit of background on pearl milk tea.
Pachinko at the Tunghai Night Market
(every Tuesday, weather permitting)
What else can I see/do/eat at the night market?

Eat STINKY TOFU (if you can get past the smell!), duck heads (a gruesome sight), and "dragon eyes" (longan). Hypnotize yourself to the drone of mechanical monks (there's usually a table where they sell little Walkman-sized machines that play an infinite loop of the Buddhist "a mi tuo fo" chant). Buy pirated CDs. Experience the Mongolian barbecue. Hear many people call you a "bignose" and marvel at your ability to say "I don't understand you" in Taiwanese. You can find all this and more--at the NIGHT MARKET!

Click here to e-mail your suggestions and "night market tales" to me!

THREE (count 'em!) visitors have written asking for stinky tofu recipes! I'm working on it. In the meantime, if you even know a little bit about making stinky tofu (especially regarding the fermentation agent and time period), I'd appreciate it if you'd send me the info so I can help these desperate souls in need of a fix.
Here's what we've got so far on
Seven Steps to Creating Your Very Own Stinky Tofu:

1) Buy some hard tofu and the (chemical?) fermentation agent. (yet unrevealed--formaldehyde?)
2) Ferment the tofu. (duration unknown--my guess: wait until the neighbors suspect foul play!)
3) Deep fry the tofu in oil. A small amount of sweet basil can be thrown in a few seconds before completion.
4) Drain off the oil.
5) Serve with kimchee (pickled cabbage--Lee Kum Kee is a popular brand) and or small cucumber slices (xiao3 huang2 gua1).
6) Season lightly with vinegar (?), soysauce, and/or hot peppers.
7) Hold your nose, and dig in! Be sure to use chopsticks, dammit! It just ain't "right" to eat stinky tofu with a fork. Hahaha!

We hope to keep all our pages small, quick, simple, and user-friendly.
Please let us know if any information here is inaccurate or outdated.
If you have any suggestions, comments, complaints, or criticism,
send them to us, or wither away in complacency ! ! ! ! !

Check out these recent additions to the Mondo Taiwan website:
Sounds of Taiwan
Spot the Difference
Translations of "Western" Movie Titles