a VirtualTourist member from Houston
Tried googling this but couldn't come up with anything, what are the general hours of the night market, especially the souveniers vendors. Also, do the vendors also sell non insect based foods, like chicken, beef, etc?
We were there last March and I believe the market was open from 6pm - 9pm. We had snake and scorpion, primarily so the kids could say they had it I would say. The food isn't typical of the area, the locals scoff at it being a complete tourist trap. They had some food, seafood as I recall that wasn't too far out there, but based on our experience it would be a shame to replace an otherwise excellent meal possibility at a legitimate restaurant with the night market. Hit it for fun (it was) and head out to a proper meal would be my advise.
I would suggest this place (see link below) for an incredible meal instead of a meal at the night market (hit the night market after for fun though). It's not easy to find but it is worth it! One of our favorite spots of the whole trip. You must get in line by 5:40 however or you will wait through the first group being served and finishing before you sit down, there are only perhaps 25 seats in the whole place. This is a local joint, yes we stood out, but that was part of the fun. Being 4 of us we only were able to grab the 2 seats on the bar which opened, but some really nice folks at a table let our 2 kids share a the corner of their table with them, again without a single word shared, but a smile and a nod and all was good.
The very short daily menu is only in Chinese on a board which we couldn't read. Fortunately the culture allows for you to look around at other bowls, point and indicate you'll have the same and how many. Worked like a charm. We had some spicy chicken and noodles. No doubt the best noodles over our 16 day trip.
Oh you walk right through the kitchen on the way to seating, so cool to watch the chef and give him a thank you smile and thumbs up on the way out.
Yes the vendors also sell chicken, beef and seafood as well as various insects. But be careful as they tend to ask more money than what they write on their menus. If you check my Beijing page, you can find details about wangfujing and also other important locations. We stayed very close to that area and I discovered a very nice restaurant in that zone. If you check the details on my Beijing page, they will be very useful.
In Beijing, vendors can operate their stores as late as they want. You can even find people selling something in mid-night. If I am not mistaken, most vendor will open until 10pm, if it is public holiday or weekends, it could be until midnight....
Yes, they are many regular restaurants or fast food restaurants nearby the market. I enjoy finding food at the food court on the top floor of those fancy shopping malls at Wangfujing. Many choices and inexpensive! Most of this food court will close at 10pm.