Locally created night markets in Singapore (known fondly as Pasar Malam) have their own charm, but there’s something about the stunning Taiwanese renditions that never fail to draw tourists and locals alike. From their huge variety of authentic street food to various fashion knick-knacks, you can find nearly anything under the sun (or moon, in this case) when you’re at one such market – and none are quite as famous as the Shilin Night Market in Taipei.
Craving some street food already? Good news is that you don’t necessarily have to whip out your passports – the famous night market concept will be coming to us instead. This April, The Ground @ Kranji in Singapore Turf Club will be transformed into Singapore’s very own rendition of the Shilin Night Market for two weekends.
Stylised as Shilin Ye Shi and organised by pop-up creative market Artbox curator Invade, over 300 Taiwanese and local F&B operators alongside a plethora of artisanal retailers will take over the space to create a 3,000 capacity area with four distinct themes: 吃, 逛, 玩, 樂 (Eat, Shop, Play, Fun).
Here’s what you can expect from each zone.
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Of course, it’s no surprise that the pop-up market is – first and foremost – a haven for the self-proclaimed foodie. In addition to the usual suspects of chicken chop and bubble tea, Taiwanese brands will also be introducing all-new, exclusive options to Shilin Ye Shi.
Chicken specialist Hot Star will debut a Sichuan Mala-flavoured chicken chop for spice junkies, while bakery Kazo will have two special cream puff flavours just for the festival. Not to be missed is bubble tea fans’ beloved Gong Cha, where customisable options through a Bubble Tea Funhouse will be introduced for the first time.
Other vendors include Huo Yan Shai Zi Niu (flame diced beef cubes), NUA Singapore (deep fried milk), Taiwan Waffle, Rice and Fries, Milk Bro and more. Food and fun are sure to be hand-in-hand at Shilin Ye Shi, so come down hungry!
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Frequent night market shoppers know that some of the best deals can be found at such places, so Shilin Ye Shi has made it a point to bring in a handful of artisanal retailers from Taiwan.
Boutique brands such as accessories specialist Penguin Hand, fragrance company MIHER and shoe cleaner MOOD will be making an appearance – MOOD will even give all visitors a complimentary express shoe cleaning so they can wander the market in squeaky-clean kicks. Meanwhile, our homegrown labels won’t be outdone – our highlights are definitely handmade pouches and bags of the eco-friendly kind from Amusse and Cocoonese.
And shopping comes with its own contest too! By buying the creatively packed food and travel essential packages from travel booking platform Klook, you stand a chance to win a trip to Taiwan – just remember to snap a picture with these products and share it!
Possibly a little different from what you’d expect at a Taiwanese night market, 60 arcade games will be available in the Play zone for your gaming pleasure. Human claw machines and carnival games presented by The Arcade People will be complemented by POWER K’s eight KTV booths for the avid performer in you, along with open-mic sessions scattered throughout the weekend.
In a mystical twist, fortune teller booths will also be around for the curious – and if you’re not into that, drop by anyway to make and hang wish lanterns at the Make-A-Wish work-stop.
So what’s the difference between the “Play” and “Fun” themes? Instead of games, the “Fun” zone is made to entertain audiences through performances, movies and artsy photography spots. Be regaled by local singers – multilingual band Too Much Drama and bilingual singer-songwriters Ruth Kueo and Yokez – as they bring their melodious tunes to the stage throughout both weekends. As the night sets in, movie lovers can indulge in film screenings by local movie app Popcorn Singapore from 6pm on each day.
And it’s not a festival without a bunch of Insta-worthy spots to spruce up your feeds. From the 10,000 square feet lighted windmill forest by Lanternfest Creative, to the Streets of Taiwan art mural illustrated by Taiwan-based artist Debby Lin, there are plenty of photo-ready areas for you to snap away – and show off your new purchases from the extensive night market!
Shilin Ye Shi Singapore runs from 19 to 21 April and 26 to 28 April 2019 (3pm to 11pm) at The Grounds @ Kranji, Singapore Turf Club. For more information, visit www.shilin.sg!