Taiwan’s No. 1 foodie central was once the gateway to the history of the island
Once colonized by the Dutch in 1960’s and ruled by Japan for 50 years, the historical city is a cultural hub with temples, fortresses and heritage architectures scattered around the city. With its location on the southwest coast of Taiwan and easily accessible ports, Tainan has become a perfect gateway to the sea, trades and diversity.
Although most of the fortresses built by the Dutch had been destroyed during Taiwan’s Japanese era, the ancient Anping Fort remains immovable as of today and continues to welcome visitors daily. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children. Anping is also among one of the most popular tourist destinations in Tainan with plentiful activities to do. Grab some shrimp chips and tofu pudding while strolling down the old streets and visit the nearby abandoned warehouse – Anping Tree House.
Tainan is arguably the city with the highest density of temples and historical sites in Taiwan. Confucian Temple, Fort Provintia, Wu De Temple, Koxinga Shrine, and Eternal Golden Castle, just to name a few, are all interwoven with the contemporary architectures and bustling streets of Tainan, making it a perfect destination for history buffs. For those who like shopping, Hayashi Department Store, Blueprint Cultural & Creative Park, Confucian Temple Shopping District are all great places to pick up some souvenirs.
A visit to Tainan will be regretful without a taste of its well-known street food and family owned restaurant specialty food. Shrimp rolls, danzai noodles, steamed meatballs, beef soup, coffin bread and winter melon tea are just some among the most coveted local cuisines by foodies, visitors and locals alike. Best places to taste street food are Xiao Bei Market, Yong Le Market, Flower Night Market. Be ready to line up and it will be well worth the wait.
In summer time, there are all kinds of festivals taking place throughout the city, including summer music festivals, seafood festivals and foodie festivals that pique all kinds of interests. The list of things to do in Tainan is endless.
If you are traveling from other major cities, take the high-speed train and there will be shuttle buses that’ll take you to the city center. Visiting from adjacent cities, simply hop on the railway train and journey though the view of rural Taiwan while heading to Tainan.
Once you are there, the best way to get around the city is to follow the route of the city tour bus. In 2018, the double-deck Tainan Sightseeing Bus was introduced to double up your experience. With Taiwan train station as the starting point, it will take you through all the historical sites, night markets, cultural establishments, parks and ports, etc. Choose from 3 different routes to determine the kind of experience you are seeking for. Daily pass is priced at $16 while 4 hour pass is available for $10; promotional prices are also offered if you are traveling with children and elderly. Taiwan Tourist Shuttle is a cheaper option with less than a dollar per ride if you are on a budget.