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How to find your way in a market

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

Visiting an all-Taiwanese market is quite something. Different foods, smells and flavours. And all the Mandarin you hear around you! I just love it!


When I first visited Beitou market I was overwhelmed. The market stands are placed all over some streets close to a busy road. You often see scooters just drive on the market and sometimes even a small truck or car passes by. Everyone steps aside for a second and continues their shopping when the car passed by.


On the market you can find a lot of different stands. There are about 10 fruit and vegetable stands at Beitou market, all with somewhat different prices. There are quite a lot of meat and fish stands as well. You can also buy cooked, baked or fried food, for example the very popular fried noodles and fried rice and scallion pancakes.

Next to all the food stands they also have clothing stands, stands where you can buy anything you need in the kitchen and karaoke microphone stands (yes, for real, a place where you can only buy microphones for the karaoke). And if you think that's it, you're wrong. In the smaller streets of the market you got a bakery, jewelry store and bicycle store.


Finding your way in the market can be a challenge. The market is often chaotic and crowded. And on top of that there are a lot of stands that don't have price tags on their products; and if they do, the price tags are often in Mandarin. So good luck with that :).


Here is a list of the words and sentences you absolutely need to learn in Mandarin. It makes shopping at the market so much easier.

片 - piàn - per piece

斤 - jīn - per 600 grams

公斤 - gōngjīn - per kilogram


谢谢 - Xièxiè - thank you

這個多少錢?- Zhège duōshǎo qián? - How much does this cost?

The stand owner will probably respond with some numbers in Chinese:

一 - Yī - 1

二 - Èr - 2

三 - Sān - 3

四 - Sì - 4

五 - Wǔ - 5

六 - Liù - 6

七 - Qī - 7

八 - Bā - 8

九 - Jiǔ - 9

十 - Shí - 10

百 - bǎi - 100

千 - qiān - 1000


十三 means 13

三十 means 30

百 means 300

三十 means 330

And so on...


#shopping #placestogo #mandarin

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