Singda Harbor Fish Market
Singda Harbor Fish Market (Xīngdágǎng Guānguāng Yúshì 興達港觀光漁市)
If you’re looking for a good deal on fish, or just an excuse for an excursion down the coast, you should head to the Singda Harbor Fish Market. On top of being a great place to shop for seafood, the market is a lot of fun and a good cultural experience.
Sometimes called the Hong Kong Tourist Fish Market, or the Jiading Fish Market due to its location the township of Jiading (茄萣) in Kaohsiung County, this market was developed to revitalize a harbor area that had fallen into disuse due to low fish stocks after over-fishing had taken its toll. This market, along with the nearby “Lover’s Wharf,” tries to follow the model of the Fisherman’s Wharf in Danshui as a trendy leisure destination. The Singda Market is a little more rustic than that, but it is certainly packed with tourists on the weekends. Busloads come through from several areas. Fighting through the crowds is definitely part of the experience.
On the weekends, the market is crowded and busy, but most of the sellers are still jovial and many don’t mind being part of snapshots. They are used to the tourists, and the tourists are the main market for the fish sales here. On sale are a multitude of fish in all sizes and manners, as well as eel, squid, octopus, oysters, crabs, shrimp, and just about anything else you can pull from the water. Some of the stalls sell seafood as snack food, battering it up, frying it, and serving it on a stick. Other stalls sell drinks, and still others are trying to make sales of goods that have nothing to do with fish. On the weekends, the action gets going around 11AM and goes on until 7 or 8PM. On the weekdays, they only set up from 2PM to 7PM.
To get there by motor vehicle or bicycle, take Highway 17 south as if you were going to Golden Beach and then just keep going. It’s about 13kms from Minsheng/Zhonghua West Road down to Jiading. For most of the way you will be on Hwy 17 along the coast and it is a very nice drive if you haven’t done it. There are many little villages along the way, as well as places to stop and enjoy the coastline, including Golden Beach. As you approach Jiading, Hwy 17 will turn inland toward Kaohsiung, but don’t turn with it. Just stay on the same road along the coast, heading towards the red and white smoke stacks. You will start to see parking places and seafood restaurants. as you come into town. Park and follow a line of seafood restaurants (and tourists) into the back street where all the fish stalls are lined up. If you go too far, the road will simply end and you’ll just have to backtrack a few blocks.