Our Guide to Tainan 臺南懶人包
Tainan is the oldest city in Taiwan and was the capital of Taiwan for over 200 years. It is also said to be the culinary capital of Taiwan, with many traditional Taiwanese snacks that originated here. Surrounded by historical sites, from the Dutch, Koxinga, and Qing Dynasty, it is a great place to enjoy Taiwan's interesting history and its delicious cuisine.
Below I will list out some of the best places in Miaoli that I have visited. I will be sure to update this blog as I visit more places later.
How to get around in Tainan?
As always, we recommend renting a scooter as the best way to see Taiwan. Getting around in a car is also a convenient option as there is plenty of parking pretty much everywhere in this less crowded county. However, you can also a great deal of Tainan by taking the train, inter city bus, local bus, or bicycle (T-bike rental).
When to go?
Tainan is great year round, but it can get a little hot in the summer, and Typhoon season and heavy rain season lasts from about May to October. If you are afraid of the heat and rain then you can visit during winter when the temperatures are mild and the climate is dryer.
You can see a map of all the places that we will visit in this blog below:
Places we will cover in this blog:
Let's get started!
Anping Fort (Zeelandia) 安平古堡
Tainan Anping Fort (aka Fort Zeelandia) is an ancient fort in Tainan City that dates back to the Dutch rule of Taiwan. The fort sits right next to Anping Old street, making it a great place to understand Taiwan's culture and at the same time get some of the best snacking at the culinary capital of Taiwan...(read more)
Anping Old Street 安平老街
Tainan's Anping Old Street (aka Yanping Old Street 延平老街, or Taiwan's First Steet) is said to be the oldest street in Taiwan. Right next to Anping Fort and surrounded by many other historical sites, as well as the center of the culinary capital of Taiwan, it is a great place to enjoy Taiwan's interesting history and its delicious cuisine...(read more)
Anping Tree House 安平樹屋
The Anping Tree house is a former salt warehouse in Tainan, dating back to the Qing Dynasty. The building is now completely covered in banyan trees, hence its name as the Anping Tree House. It is a special historical monument and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tainan. The house is completely covered in mangrove roots, making it look like the walls, roof, and floor are actually made from a living tree...(see more)
Tait & Co. Merchant House 原英商德記洋行
The former Tait & Co. merchant house is a well preserved residence dating back to the Qing Dynasty. Besides enjoying the era architecture, one can also enjoy historical exhibits inside the building. It is definitely worth a stop on your trip to Tainan...(see below)
Eternal Golden Castle 億載金城
Tainan's Eternal Golden Castle (also known as Erkunshen Battery 二鯤鯓砲台) is one of the best preserved Qing Dynasty era forts in Taiwan. It features a moat, large walls, huge era cannons, and live canon firing at certain times in the day. It is definitely worth a stop on your trip to Tainan... (see more)
Chikan Tower (Fort Provintia) 赤崁樓 (普羅民遮城)
Chikan Tower (aka the former Fort Provintia 普羅民遮城) is one of the most fascinating historical buildings in all of Taiwan. Originally built as a fort by the Dutch in the 1653, it was later made into two Chinese temples. Now it is a popular place for students to pray for good grades...(see more)
1661 Tainan Warship Museum (1661台灣船園區)
The 1661 Tainan Warship Museum features a full scale replica of a Taiwanese boat built in 1706 (picutred above) by Koxinga. With these ships, he was able to capture Taiwan from the Dutch. Price: 50 NT per person.
Deyang ship destroyer Exhibition Hall 安平定情碼頭德陽艦園區
Take a tour of one of Taiwan's decommissioned battleships here, just a short walk away from the 1661 Tainan Warship Museum. Price: 80 NT per person.
Tainan Confucious Temple 臺南孔子廟
Tainan's Confucius Temple (aka Taiwan's Confucius Temple) is the oldest Confucius Temple in Taiwan and the first Academy in Taiwan, dating to the Kingdom of Tungning 300 years ago. Today it is an important place for Confucian learning and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tainan...(see more)
Chen Dejyu Shrine 陳德聚堂
The Chen Dejyu Shrine, (aka Chen Family Ancestral Hall) is one of the oldest Chinese buildings in Taiwan, with almost 300 years of history, dating back to the Kingdom of Tungning, built by the then chief of staff for Koxinga. It now stands almost perfectly restored building in the middle of Tainan, a monument to former times...(read more)
Tainan City Gates 臺南的城門
Tainan was the capital of Taiwan during the Dutch Rule and Qing Dynasty, a span lasting over 200 years. During the Qing Dynasty earth and stone walls were built around the city, including 14 city gates. Today only four city gates remain, which we will explore in this blog...(see more)
Anping Small Fort 安平小砲臺
Anping small fort is a lesser fort near Anping Fort that was built in the Qing Dynasty to prevent British invasion during the Opium Wars. Now it stands as a free park to visit in Tainan.
Lin Mo-niang Park 林默娘公園
Lin Mo-niang Park is a beautiful seaside park with a large statue of the Goddess Mazu (who's name was Lin Mo-niang). Besides large grassy fields, there is also a great view of the sunset. Entrance to this park is free.
Honglou Xiaoguan 紅樓小館
The best 蛋包飯 (Rice Omelette) in Taiwan is here at Honglou Xiaoguan in Tainan. This is where I first really fell in love with Taiwanese food, The fried rice here is also amazing, filling, and half the price of Taipei.
Sorry there are not more food posts in this blog. Just go visit Anping Old Street.
Tainan International Dragon Boat Races 臺南國際划龍舟比賽
Every year during the Dragon Boat Festival around June, Tainan hosts an international dragon boat race in Anping's canals. Racers come from all over the world, usually they are rowing teams from universities. If you are not sure when to go, Dragon Boat Festival is a great choice...(read more).
Guanziling Water and Fire Cave 關仔嶺的水火同源
FIRE hot springs! What other reason do you need to visit this place? Hopefully that should be enough, because there is not much else to see besides a natural gas fire and a hot spring. It's name Chinese literally means water and fire coming from the same source (水火同源). Some have called it one of the seven wonders of Taiwan. This is a place that we have wanted to go for a long time, and the first place that we have checked off of our “secret places” list... (read more).
Tainan Sicao Green Tunnel 四草綠色隧道
Tainan green tunnel is famous for its beautiful green waterway surrounded by overgrowth to become a literal tunnel. One would think that this place was a pristine natural wonderland, but actually it is not. Keep reading. With no expectations other than seeing the photo, we visited the place with open minds. Below we have detailed our experience...(see more)
Salt Mountain 七股鹽山
Salt Mountain (aka Qigu Salt Mountain) is a mountain made of salt in Qigu District of Tainan City. It is a remnant of the now defunct salt drying industry that thrived for over 300 years in Tainan. Nearby you can also enjoy the Qigu Salt Museum. If you are a fan of salt, this is the place for you...(read more)
Tainan Snake King Zoo 台南世界蛇王教育農場
Tainan Snake King Zoo (aka World Snake King Educational Farm 台南市世界蛇王教育農場) is a private zoo in Guiren District of Tainan with many rare and exotic reptiles, birds, and big cats, and others. There is also a restaurant inside that specializes in snake and alligator meat. Despite accusations of maltreatment, the zoo is still legally operating and accepting visitors daily. You could say that the Mr. Huang, the Snake King Zoo owner is the “Tiger King" of Taiwan. And yes there is a tiger.
The farm is now for sale, so come and see the Snake King Zoo before it's gone! (read more)
Xikou Little Switzerland 西口小瑞士
Xikou Little Switzerland (aka Tianjing Whirlpool) is a glory hole above Wushantou Reservoir in Dongshan District of Tainan City. It looks like a giant bathtub drain, moving water from the waterway above down to the Wushantou power station below, making a giant whirlpool, and has become a unique tourist destination in Tainan...(read more)
Chimei Museum 奇美博物館
The Chimei Museum in Rende District of Tainan is one of the largest museums in Taiwan. It sits in the middle of Tainan Metropolitan Park, and features western style architecture and a wonderful collection of art that would be the envy of any European city, including fine art, fossils, musical instruments, weapons, antiques, and other artifacts...(read more)
Guosheng Lighthouse 國聖燈塔
Guosheng Lighthouse is the most western point of the main island of Taiwan. It looks like an electricity transmission tower and is surrounded by sand dunes. It’s deep in rural Tainan's Taijiang National Park, but it’s worth the trip...(read more)
Places we missed...
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We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.