MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

Snake Alley for Snake Blood, Turtle Meat and Chopping Massages

Snake Alley is also known as Huaxi Street Tourist Night Market and though selling similar items to other night markets we visited in Taipei, (Shilin Night Market and Raohe Street Night Market), the main *attraction* was in the name - Snakes.

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The nearest MRT was Longshan Temple and to get to the actual Snake Alley or Huaxi Street, which was a roof covered avenue, we passed through some local streets in the early evening, already lined with stalls selling snacks, clothes and accessories.

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The alley was marked at either end with an ornate gate bearing its name and its straightness allowed us to look down its full length before entering. It seemed a little bare of customers considering how busy other night markets we visited were.

Anyhow, upon entering, it wasn't long before we came across the infamous snake restaurants boasting serpent tanks and sales people, outside hawking their dishes in mandarin. Snake blood?

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Below, one chap sat behind his restaurant front desk, whilst a video featuring himself taking apart snakes played above him. He didn't need to speak - the display of blood-dripping snake skins hanging next to him spoke a thousand words!

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Moving along, another restaurant serving *specialities* had laid out a tray of freshly slaughtered shell-less turtles, piled high and upside-down, in order to entice hungry diners in. Err - we considered ourselves full at that point.

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Further down Snake Alley, we also came across a parlour offering threading - an ancient form of hair removal using a thin piece of cotton to pluck out the facial hairs.

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And a girl having a chop massage. I kid you not. This woman lying under the blanket is enjoying the pressure applied by two woman speedily chopping down on her with these large Chinese-kitchen style knives.

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More photos of the Snake Night Market on Flickr


This entry posted in : Culture. Shopping. Taiwan. Tourism.

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