Find out why the fifth largest city of Taiwan is still worth a visit
The fifth largest city in Taiwan may not feature as prominently as Taipei on the tourist hot list but it’s packed with a number of attractions, great food and history, making it a highly-attractive place to visit.
Formerly known as Fort Provintia, Chihkan Tower is Tainan's most historic landmark. Built in 1635 by the Dutch, the structures in the area have undergone various transformations owing to the many rulers such as the Ming, Qing and Japanese who have presided here. As such, Chihkan Tower retains many architectural aspects and influences of the Dutch, Chinese as well as Japanese in all its structures and buildings. The site is particularly beautiful at night as it’s lit up with numerous lights and coloured displays.
No.82 Guosheg Road, Tainan City.
VISIT THE TEMPLES
No other city in Taiwan has a number of temples in close proximity with one another as Tainan. Sitting within the city centre and directly opposite Chihkan Tower’s main entrance, Tainan has several prominent temples located adjacent to one another. The Guan Cong Temple however remains to be one of the most popular as it is dedicated to the most widely worshipped deity in Taiwan. The patron saint of soldiers and justice according to Buddhism and Taoism, the temple is often frequented by devotees, worshippers and especially students who often seek blessing and guidance when preparing for examinations.
ETERNAL GOLDEN FORT
Built in 1874 to shore up Taiwan's defence against the Japanese threat, the Eternal Golden Fort was engineered by the French and armed with British weapons and cannons. Over the years the Fort maintained its position as one of Taiwan's main defence perimeters but these days, the Eternal Golden Fort stands as one of Tainan's most attractive and historically significant hot spots.
No.3 Guangjhou Road, Tainan City.
ANPING TREE HOUSE
Originally a warehouse for the now defunct Taiwan Salt Company, the Anping Tree House has established itself as Tainan's most unique attractions. The abandoned warehouse has been overrun with Banyan Trees that have wrapped its roots and branches around the building, through partially ruined concrete walls and red bricks gifting it a truly unusual and beautiful sight. The Anping Tree House also houses a mini museum that traces back the history of Tainan and its many occupations and influences by foreign forces.
No.108, Gubao Street, Tainan City.
ANPING FOOD STREET
These series of narrow alleyways are populated with tiny stalls and shops that sell a wide variety of famous Tainanese treats. The stalls in the area are manned by helpful and cheerful staff and samples are openly given to visitors. Everything from freshly made rich Sticky Rice Cakes to Shrimp Crackers, Bubble Tea, Peanut Brittles and Sesame Biscuits can be found here. If you're on the lookout to savour some authentic snacks or to take home a souvenir or two, then Anping Food Street should definitely be on your Tainan City visit list.