saw this in ST life yesterday, direct link to Reuters news article here What kind of crap is this????
Taipei to clean up filthy, famous night markets – by Ralph Jennings
TAIPEI (Reuters Life!) – Taipei’s rag-tag, dirty and popular night-time food markets are about to get a lot cleaner with authorities planning roofs, toilets and zoning rules to impress the hordes of Chinese tourists expected in Taiwan.
City Hall will straighten up seven sprawling, mostly outdoor markets that bustle with crowds pushing down greasy aisles to buy oyster omelets, stinky tofu or just about anything on a stick from noisy stalls that often spill out into the street, Mayor Hau Lung-bin told Reuters.
“We want them to be cleaner and neater,” Hau said. “Our night markets are bit of a mess now.”
Night markets began earning a name in the 1960s for snacks and drinks sold by vendors, who often bark at passers-by or play loud music. Some stalls also sell clothing, shoes and handbags.
Most guidebooks for Taipei recommend visiting the markets, and many tourists go to at least one during their stay to sample the local cuisine and soak up the culture.
As tourists begin coming to once forbidden Taiwan from its political arch-rival China, Taipei wants its night markets to make a good impression, Hau said. City officials would not give a price for the upgrades.
Nearly all the Chinese tourists, who began arriving in large groups on July 4, will visit Taipei, dropping up to 20 billion Taiwan dollars ($658 million) per year in the capital, the mayor estimated.
But some tour guides said they hoped the clean-up campaign won’t go too far as visitors still want the night markets to live up to their higgledy-piggledy reputation.
“Messiness represents the culture of night markets,” said Anthony Liao, president of Phoenix Tours International Ltd which organizes trips for China tourists.
“If they totally change these into a mall, no one will visit.”
to impress the hordes of Chinese tourists expected in Taiwan – What kind of fuckity fucked up reason is that? Don’t these people know the messiness and greasiness and crowd-pushing is CHARACTER!? If these tourists want clean and neat (and most likely they’ll still mess up the spanking clean toilet seats with dirty footprints and hack and spit everywhere, anyway), they should go to one of the numerous shopping malls available.
Taiwan’s night markets are like the holy grail of night markets all over the world!! Leave the night markets alone!!!! Save the night markets!!