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July 8, 2014

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Districts give night market a thought after park’s success

SEVERAL districts in the city including Jiading, Fengxian and Qingpu have expressed interest in setting up night markets following the success of Jinjiang Amusement Park which recreated Taiwan’s famous Shilin Night Market.

No details were available yet but the Taipei Shilin Tourism Development Association said it was holding talks with them.

The Jinjiang Amusement Park has been packed with people at night after the food market was introduced over the weekend despite complaints about chaos and the quality of foods.

Huge crowds were seen outside the ticketing booths of the park around 5:30pm yesterday, with queues reaching the driveway.

The park operator kept reminding visitors that the market would remain open until the end of August in an effort to cut down on visitors.

A couple said they spent more than an hour waiting for a ticket, and another hour to  buy food, which, they said, was a bit of a disappointment.

On Saturday night, the first day of the market’s opening in the park, it received more than 15,000 people compared to about 1,000 visitors per day on weekdays and 5,000 per day on weekends. During holidays, the park receives about 10,000 people on average.

The whole food street in the park has about 30 stalls, with some of them attracting long queues. Food and drinks on some stalls were sold out after  just two and a half hours.

A local visitor, Li Yi, said she stood in front of an ice cream stall only to be told the power system of the booth broke down midway.

“I had to leave because I had no idea when it would resume,” she complained.

She was put off by the long queues in some of the stalls, with some of them missing out on their choice of food despite waiting for a long time.

On Sunday night, the park still received more than 15,000 visitors.

Temporary workers

On restaurant rating website, many netizens complained about tasteless food sold in the market. Others said the cooks were not from Taiwan, but temporary workers from Shanghai and northeast China.

Others complained of chaos as people started jumping the queues.

Better management was expected as the Shilin market in Taiwan is clean and maintains a good order, a netizen said.

Admission is 20 yuan (US$3.20). The market in the amusement park opens from 5pm to 10pm, and will last until August 31.

There has been a long discussion over whether night markets should be allowed after a crackdown on the popular Pengpu night market in Zhabei District last year.

The market was blamed for massive traffic congestion forcing buses to make a detour, while neighborhood residents complained about noise. But many said it was part of the city’s culture and the food was tasty.

Shanghai is exploring building its own version of Taiwan’s famous Shilin Night Market, authorities said earlier.

Shilin night market was also introduced in Wenzhou, neighboring Zhejiang Province and Chongqing City late last year.


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