Location: Neiwei Flea Market, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Neiwei flea market (內惟跳蚤市場) is one of the bigger second-hand markets in Kaohsiung, the other being the Shiquan Road flea market (十全跳蚤市場), which I’ll cover in a separate post.
The main entrance to the market is on Juiru 4th Road (九如四路), but I found parking for my scooter in one of the side streets so I entered the market from there. The market is a giant rectangle with small shops lining the outer walls on the right and back. The rest of the area is split between makeshift shops and stalls with their stuff spread out on mats.
I had entered at the back corner, and immediately I met two old guys chatting in a shop. I stopped to look at some of the calligraphy and artwork hanging on the wall and started to talk to them.
After they made me play guess-our-age, 75 and 85, for the record, the owner showed me his tai chi book. He jokingly told me that they practice proper tai chi, not like a lot of the fakers you see out in the parks.
The market is full of various statues of Buddhas and Daoist gods, mixed in with plates, pots, vases and all things common at second hand markets.
I love to look at retro stuff in these markets, like old records, books, and there’s no shortage of that stuff here.
I came across one shop that was full of all old memorabilia so I stopped to chat to the owner. He was an artist and collector of all things retro. He told me that he used to paint the big advertisements on the sides of buildings, before printing and billboards took over.
He had a collection of old Japanese movie magazines so we flicked through and pointed at the people we knew in a mix of English and Chinese. There was an article about The Good The Bad and The Ugly, so I’m guessing the magazine was from the late 60s.
The shop owner was eager to show me an unfinished portrait of a Japanese movie star he was painting. I don’t have much experience with Japanese cinema, but it could be an older Toshiro Mifune, the star of Yojimbo. (If I’m wrong please correct me!)
All of the people I met at the market were really nice and didn’t mind me taking photographs of their stalls and goods. One person did stop me and ask what I wanted to photograph before letting me, but no one objected.
I arrived early afternoon, around 1.30pm and left around 3.30pm when people were in the process of packing up. The morning might be a better time to experience the market when it’s busy, as in the afternoon the adjacent street market (mostly food, fruit, and vegetables) picks up, possibly drawing people away from the flea market.
The Neiwei Flea Market is open Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 5pm and is located at 1488 Jiuru 4th Street, Gushan District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (高雄市鼓山區九如四路1488號).