Dongdamen Night Market in Hualien 東大門夜市

Dongdamen Night Market (aka East Gate Night Market 東大門夜市), which opened in July 2015, is Hualien County’s largest night market. Hualien is Taiwan’s largest gateway to the Pacific Ocean, hence the name East Gate Night Market. The current location of the night market (between Beibin Park and Nanbin Park) was once the grounds of the old Hualien railway station.

Dongdamen Night Market
No. 50, Zhongshan Rd
Hualien City, Hualien County
Taiwan 970
6.00pm to 12.00am daily

+886 3 822 4774

How to get to Dongdamen Night Market

  1. Walk for 30-35 minutes from the train station. Once on Zhongshan Road, it’s pretty much a straight route all the way down to the night market.
  2. From the train station, take a taxi. It’s about a 7-minute drive and should cost around NT$160-$200.

Dongdamen Night Market during the day

During the day, we went to Beibin Park & Nanbin Park and walked past Dongdamen Night Market. Nothing was open, and there was no one around.

Spotted two giant statues dressed in aboriginal costumes.

Military Exhibition Park next to the night market

Dongdamen Night Market 東大門夜市

Dongdamen Night Market in the evening

When it gets dark, the night market transforms into a different place. There are game stalls, activity booths, and shops selling clothing and trinkets, but the emphasis is still on food. There is also a central plaza with live performances. What a lively ambience!

Dongdamen Night Market Map 東大門夜市

Map of Dongdamen Night Market

Over 400 vendors are spread across four major sections of the night market: Fuding Night Market (福町夜市), Aboriginal Street (原住民一條街,) Ziqiang Night Market (自強夜市) and Provincial Street (各省一條街).

Dongdamen Night Market 東大門夜市

Fuding Night Market focuses on Taiwanese local cuisine as well as non-food items such as traditional games and activities, whereas Aboriginal Street focuses on native indigenous cuisine. Provincial Street specialises in Chinese cuisine from various Chinese provinces.

The old Ziqiang Night Market was once Hualien’s most popular night market. You can expect to see familiar food stalls now that it has relocated to Dongdamen Night Market.

On the premises, there is also an ecology pond, a pavilion/lookout tower, a grass lawn, and a tourist information centre.

It’s time to eat!

Dongdamen Night Market 東大門夜市

Scallion Pancake with Deep Fried Egg 炸蛋蔥油餅

Crispy, crunchy and greasy. That fried egg literally exploded with runny yolk goodness. Delicious!

Dongdamen Night Market 東大門夜市

Boiled Squid with Satay Sauce 燙魷魚

Fresh squid that had been beautifully blanched and had a springy texture similar to cured cuttlefish. Satay sauce was aromatic but not overpowering, allowing you to taste the squid’s natural flavour.

Dongdamen Night Market 東大門夜市

Pig’s Blood Cake 豬血糕

I wasn’t expecting such a large piece of pig’s blood cake. It was made with glutinous rice coated with peanut power and chopped coriander. This was very filling, so it was best to share it with others. This pig’s blood cake was the only item we didn’t like because we weren’t used to the strong ‘bloody’ flavour. It was sticky, chewy, salty, and sweet in general. Only try this if you love pig’s blood.

Dongdamen Night Market 東大門夜市

Grilled Corn 烤玉米

There are three types of corn to choose from: 1) soft, 2) springy, and 3) firm, all of which will be charged by weight. They will ask you for your spice preference, which can be non-spicy, mild spicy, medium spicy, or very spicy. Signature Classic, Himalayan Salt & Pepper, and Vegetarian are among the flavours available.

Former President Ma Ying-jeou and Taiwanese politician Han Kuo-yu had previously come here to eat their corn. To be honest, the corn tasted very ordinary and did not impress me. We also had to wait a long time because the corn was grilled to order.

Dongdamen Night Market 東大門夜市

Grilled Mountain Pig 烤山豬肉

It had a great smoky flavour because it was charcoal-grilled. The meat was also tender, with a good fat-to-meat ratio. The fatty parts were not greasy at all, but rather springy in texture. Moreish!

Coffin Bread 棺材板

Because of its appearance, this is known as coffin bread. A thick slab of bread is hollowed out and fried before being filled with your choice of filling. It is then topped with another piece of fried bread, giving it the look of a coffin. The bread is French toast style, with a strong eggy aroma.

Dongdamen Night Market 東大門夜市

We tried both the black pepper beef and the satay pork. Both cuts of meat were extremely tender. And the sauces were delectably flavorful. There was even free flow black tea and milk tea. It’s no surprise that this place was so crowded!

Taiwanese Pink Guava 芭樂

Soft, sweet and juicy. So good!

Dongdamen Night Market 東大門夜市

BBQ Rice Cake 酥烤麻糬

This was essentially a mochi rice cake on a stick. You can then select your preferred flavour. We chose the Dirty Mochi, which was chocolate mochi dusted with cocoa powder and topped with chocolate sauce. Crispy on the outside and tender, chewy on the inside. The chocolate flavour tasted bittersweet.

Other foods available at the night market included stinky tofu, BBQ skewers, grilled scallops and all sorts of seafood dishes, bamboo rice, steaks, 狀元糕, 滷味, 炸物, 煮炒 and so much more. I also noticed a teh tarik stall, lol.

Watermelon juice is another must-try. Taiwanese watermelons are extremely sweet and refreshing! After your meal, all you need is a glass of watermelon juice to wash it all down.

Final thoughts

Even though it was very busy, Dongdamen Night Market was easy to navigate because the pathways were wide. Queues were in an orderly manner. Environment was generally clean. There were many different types of food to try and the prices were relatively fair. There were many locals but few tourists. It was definitely a lot less hectic here.

If you visit Hualien, you must go to Dongdamen Night Market! 😉

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