Traversing the world’s markets has got to be one of the most interesting and fun things for me. Some people just hop in and hop out – never really realizing what they’re passing by. Some people like to go, sit down and eat. Others enjoy them for the aromas, sounds and variety in its many forms. Others still go to sell goods, to talk shop or even perform for the masses.
I like to go for all of these reasons – well, probably not to sell things or perform.
I like to take it all in. I am there for the experience. And no matter how many times I go to the same market, I always meet new people, discover new foods or learn something new and interesting about the culture. It just never fails to be a cool experience.
To date, I’ve bought the most amazing things I’ve ever seen at various Asian markets. I’ve bought (and eaten) everything from tarantulas and snakes to bugs and alien-looking fruits. I ate sewer rat at a market in Indonesia. I picked, cooked and ate a guinea pig at a market in Peru. I even bought a squirrel – I’m not kidding; I bought a squirrel at the Jatujak market in Bangkok and kept it as a pet. But all this is nothing compared to what I’ve passed up.
On any given day, you can buy a cobra, an asp, a viper or any number of other deadly snakes at markets in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. You can buy all the newest pirated films, music and software that’s been hacked and unlocked. Fashion items from Gucci and Lauren to Elle and others. There’s just no limit to what you can find in markets.
And the Kaohsiung market is no different.
In Part Four of my latest film, Travel Geek: Documentary Taiwan, I dive right in and take viewers for a spin through one of the country’s biggest and most mesmerizing collections of food vendors, stall restaurants and niche workers.