the cities don't truly come alive here until nightfall. the days are so steamy, it makes sense. the sun sets. the lights go up. and the people flood the streets, wandering the open shops and strolling through the night markets.
the night markets are... an experience. packed with people. roasting hot. stall after stall of new foods and strange smells.
crispy fried squid on a stick. comes in 8 different flavors. [the boys tried curry]
there are stalls with clothes and shoes and jewelry and trinkets. there are stalls with fresh fruit smoothies and shaved ice and rice noodles. there are stalls with boxes of children's toys that look like they might actually be from the late 80s. [or maybe just knock offs of something from the late 80s.]
and then there are stalls that have tall, tall towers of tasty dumplings. yep. those are round wooden baskets stacked sky high full of dumplings, steaming hot all the way up.
that's when we stop to eat. to feast. dumplings and pork buns and hot + sour soup with rice noodles. and all for dirt cheap. a basket of 10 dumplings cost 30NT. which is the equivalent of $1. ONE DOLLAR. the five of us ate until we were stuffed and the bill was less than $10 US. ridiculous. and awesome.
these are steamed pork buns. imagine that someone wrapped a meatball in bread dough and the cooked it by steaming instead of baking. [most definitely not gluten free.] but they were delicious, or so I was told.
and... dumplings. incredibly delicious pork dumplings. also not gluten free. but so tasty I ate them anyway [and suffered a stomach ache for it.] what can I say? woman cannot live on rice noodle alone.