Only a ten minute drive from Zuoying High Speed Rail, Ruifeng Night Market is now the biggest and most diverse of the night markets in Kaohsiung, especially when it comes to street food. Except on Mondays and Wednesdays when the night market is closed, every day of the week sees almost one thousand stands selling everything from dolls, accessories, dog clothes, bags and fashion items, to games such as baseball, throwing rings, shooting balloons and other recreation booths. But, of course, it is the food that is the most loved of all.
The best thing about browsing a night market is the fact that you can eat while you take in the goods on offer. If you see something you like, you can stop and get in the line. For local people, the best way to enjoy the night market is to first buy a beverage and wander around the night market sipping on it. This is a brilliant solution to the hot Kaohsiung summers, when you find that you always feel thirsty. Dianxiaoer (店小二) sells a fresh milk tea (鮮奶紅茶) which makes a brilliant choice because it is made with milk produced in Kaohsiung, and coupled with deep black tea, tastes very good indeed. Then, as you continue wandering through the night market, your next stop has to be Shih Stinky Tofu (石記臭豆腐), which, although a similar product can be found all over Taiwan, is unusal for its black pepper flavor little seen in Taiwan. Its taste is not exactly spicy, but aromatic and more-ish. Continuing along the busy road, A-Ji-Shi (阿雞師) sells kebabs (串燒) with such an enticing fragrance that every passersby stops to buy a stick of grilled chicken seasoned with Korean sauce. If you don’t buy it, you will definitely regret it. Grilled clam (乾燒蛤) is a dish full of clams and basil, and is definitely a must-try, as the sweet broth is very memorable. Munich German Pork Knuckles (慕尼黑德國豬腳) are slowly baked with charcoal and then diced up by the expert chef to be sold, meaning you don’t need to struggle away with knife and fork like you would in a restaurant, but can instead wander the night market with your food in hand. But if any of these don’t tempt you, there are also luwei (braised food 滷味), salt and pepper Chicken (鹹酥雞), calamari rings (魷魚圈), oden (關東煮), candied fruit (糖葫蘆) and ice cream that you can choose among.
Many of the stalls here have more than two decades of history, and from their original placement on a chaotic roadside, they have gradually come to be somewhat ordered following the hard work of the local people in making this night market succeed. Best of all, because Ruifeng Night Market has its own dedicated space, you do not need to share the space with noisy and dangerous scooters or cars. So while it is a relatively narrow space that can easily feel crowded, at least it is a lot safer than many of Taiwan’s other night markets.