Snake Alley

Cities & Streets

Snake Alley

Snake Alley. 2018.

Snake Alley, also known as Huaxi Night Market, is situated in the Wanhua District of Taipei – markably one of the oldest districts in the city. This is one of the only places in Taiwan where delicacies such as snake blood and meat, turtle blood and meat, as well as deer penis wine, can be sourced. It is a bustling market with a notably sinister energy – granted that the perception is enhanced by knowing what is on offer here, next to your everyday clothes and household items and trinkets.

“Snek Soup” and “Fried Snek” were some of the dishes on the menu of this restaurant, which I photographed in the market. Live snakes laze around in glass tanks where they’re selected, like crayfish, and slaughtered to be prepared for the discerning patron.

A candid scene from a surreal world. The little girl visiting with her parents is told not to stare at the foreigner while waiting for their food.