Richard Hunter* - State University of New York at Cortland
Night markets are important centers of cultural (re)production and consumption in Taiwan yet have remained little studied by geographers. Night markets are difficult to define because of the mix of activities that take place in a typical Taiwanese market. Yet a night market is generally understood to be a market that begins operating in the early evening wherein roughly half the vendors are selling cooked foods from stalls or push-carts. The flavors, ingredients, and styles of the cuisine at a night market are often exotic or unique. As a result, night markets draw a large number of international tourists to Taiwan and are a significant component in the region's culinary tourism. In this paper I present preliminary findings on the spatial configurations of Taiwan's night markets, their appeal to novelty-seeking tourists, and contradictions in the night market landscape. This research identifies night markets as nodes where Taiwanese cultural discourse is produced and consumed by international tourists and Taiwanese alike.