Shilin Night Market (士林夜市) is a night market in Shilin District, Taipei, Taiwan, and is often considered to be the largest and most famous night market in Taiwan. It is also one of the most famous night markets around the world and it will be appearing in Singapore over two weekends, from April 19 to 21 and April 26 to 28 at The Grounds@Kranji at the Singapore Turf Club.
Spanning across an event space of 200,000 square feet, the night market features over 300 Taiwanese and local F&B stalls, artisanal product retailers and partners booths.
The event is organised by Invade, the same guys who brought in Thailand’s Artbox into Singapore. If you are thinking of heading down to Shilin Night Market, here’s our survival guide which you should read before going. We braved the queue and the rain on the first day noon to bring you these tips and hope they will be useful to you.
1. Where the hell is The Grounds@Kranji at the Singapore Turf Club?
Please note that the Shilin Night Market is near to SINGAPORE TURF CLUB and NOT TURF CITY. We encountered several people who went to the wrong venue, including taxi drivers and PHV drivers. Turf City is in Bukit Timah while Singapore Turf Club is at Kranji.
The Grounds@Kranji is located next to the Singapore Turf Club where people go bet on race horses. You can get there via:
Train – Kranji MRT (NS7), Exit A
Bus – SBS 160, 170, SMRT 178, 925, 960 and 961 stops along Woodlands Road opposite Kranji MRT station and in front of the Kranji MRT station
Taxi – the taxi drop-off point is located within close proximity of the entrance to the Upper Grandstand
Shuttle Bus – Klook is providing shuttle bus service from Bugis – Tan Quee Lan Street and tickets are available for purchase in the app.
2. Carpark is ample and reasonably priced
Yes, the location for this night market is a little ulu compared to Artbox which is held at Marina Bay. However, for those who drive, one good thing is that there are ample parking lots which are also reasonably priced (S$3 per entry), compared to the Marina Bay area where parking is exorbitantly priced and limited.
However, our advice is NOT to drive because the traffic control was not smooth on the first day, resulting in a lot of delay getting in and out of the carpark. It took us around 15 minutes to get in and over an hour to get out due to the jam.
3. Be prepared for wet weather
For some reason, every time Invade runs a big event of this scale, it tends to rain on the opening day. It rained on the opening days for Artbox in 2017 and 2018; it rained again for Shilin Night Market opening today.
Most of the event space is not sheltered and as such, you will be horribly drenched if you do not prepared for the wet weather. Make sure your shoes are waterproof too as the ground can get a little muddy.
4. Try not to go to the toilet
The toilets are hidden behind the Tokidoki x Gongcha pop-up store. They are clean and spacious, but there are hard to find if you get lost in the crowed and there are also limited cubicles for the massive crowd the event is drawing in.
We would advise you to visit the toilet before the event and try not to drink too much water. We know it’s tempting to try every single Taiwanese bubble tea store at the event, but think of the toilet situation as well.
5. Experience more, queue less
We really dislike queuing. We have the same advice here to experience more, queue less, as per our advice given for those visiting Jewel Changi Airport.
Singaporeans are truly crazy about food and the food stores at the event are the most popular ones drawing the longest queue – especially the stores from Taiwan like Hot-Star and Bober Tea. If you want to patronise these stores, be there early when they open at 3pm to be among the first in the queue.
Otherwise, the trick is to go with a big group of friends and divide and conquer with the queues – assign a person to queue and buy for the whole group for each of the stores and then reconvene to eat together.
6. Shop, Play and have Fun instead of just Eat and Drink
The event has four different experiential zones “Eat, Shop, Play and Fun”. Singaporeans are all flocking to the Eat zone.
We would recommend checking out some of the interesting stores at the other zones instead to avoid the crazy crowd.
In the Shop zone, highlights include Taiwanese retailers like MOOD’s sneakers cleaning products; home decor retailer Weourus and Pickers, a retailer specialising in selling retro jewellery and decorations.
In the Play zone, there are over 60 arcade booths, with gameplay starting from just S$1 at some of these booths.
You can also hang your wishes on lanterns at the Make-A-Wish station or sing to your heart’s content at the self-service Power KTV karaoke booths.
In the Fun zone, this is where you go to snap selfies and your Instagram shots. Backdrops include a lantern wall and arch featuring hundreds of red lanterns.
There is also a section devoted to live music and performances which is free of charge as well as movie screening after 6pm each day by Popcorn Singapore.
7. Visit the world’s first Tokidoki X Gongcha Bubble Tea Funhouse
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Heading down to the Shilin Night Market pop-up store this long weekend? We braved the rain and queue today on the first day noon and the highlight attraction is probably this #tokidoki x #gongcha fun booth where you get to customise your own bubble tea for $6 with unlimited toppings and flavours. The queue is long, but still shorter and moves faster than the Taiwanese brand food stores. #shilinnightmarket #shilinsingappre #bubbletea @gongchasgofficial @tokidokibrand
Bubble tea chain Gong Cha and Japanese-inspired lifestyle brand tokidoki are taking things to the next level at the highly anticipated Singapore Shilin Night Market by launching the world’s first Bubble Tea Funhouse.
There are several limited drinks available at $6.50 each or you can customise your own drink at $6 with unlimited toppings and flavours in the funhouse. The queue here is shorter than the ones at the Taiwanese food stalls and we would recommend a visit to this booth as we found this to be the most fun experience at the event.
For $6, you get to customise your own bubble tea, play inside the bubble tea ball pit, draw and colour on the wall mural plus take lots of fun photos and videos inside the built-for-Instagram funhouse.
8. It’s prettier at night, but the crowd is also thicker
The name of the event is Shilin NIGHT Market, so obviously, a lot of the decors are built for the night. The place looks very different in the night when all the lanterns and light installations are lit up. However, the crowd is also at its thickest in the evening as most Singaporeans would want to avoid the afternoon sun.
If you are prepared to brave the thickest crowd, you can get much better shots when you visit the market at night.
That’s it from us!
Have fun at Shilin Night Market!