When I first heard about this market, of course I wanted to go. However, it took talking to friends, some awesome Google-fu, and a little bit of wandering around to find it. To help the next me, I present directions, hours, and a website.
Open Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine, 9am-6pm. Arrive around 10:30am to allow the latecomers to set up their booths, and expect most people to start tearing down booths around 5:30pm.
- From Taipei Main Station, take the blue line (Bannan) east towards Taipei 101/Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center.
- Get off at the Zhongxiao Xinsheng Station.
- Walk east, with the National Taipei University of Technology to your left, along Zhongxiao Road.
- Hang a right (turn south) at JianGuo Road, the elevated main road.
- Walk until you see the entrance to the markets under the overpass, just after JiNan Road.
First is the Jade Market, which is claustrophobic and never-ending. South of that is the Flower Market, equally enormous but far more spacious and open-air. Finally, at the very end, is the Artists’ Market, which is a tiny, intimate market compared to the other two.
I conquered the Jade Market in one afternoon with Yvonne and Polly. My friend Doris and I spent another afternoon at the Flower and Artists’ Markets after a quick walk-through of the Jade Market. Personally, one day, from morning to night, would be enough for me to explore all three.
In Taiwan, bargaining is expected, though it’s not quite as much of a jousting match between buyer and seller as it is in, say, Beijing (which was brutal). This is good for people like me because I don’t like to bargain. I hate it. In fact, after Polly helped me negotiate with a particularly prickly seller, I paid, pointed at the woman, said, “You suck,” and left.
All pictures have a little more information – open a picture in a new tab to see a title and description.