Tainan Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia
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Tainan Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia


The city of Tainan rises from the southwestern
coastal plains of Taiwan. Less than two hours by bullet train from the
capital Taipei and just 110 miles off the coast of mainland
China, Tainan is a city of many names. Tainan is the country’s oldest city, and is often called The Birthplace of Taiwan. Just as the tides have continually reshaped
the city’s environment, so too have the waves of conquest and migration
defined Tainan’s culture. Start your Tainan journey in the historic
quarter of Anping. In 1624 Dutch traders established a fort on
this sandy peninsula. Less than four decades later Chinese forces
drove the Dutch from the island forever. Wander the fort’s ramparts, and the nearby
ruins of a merchant house held together by banyan
roots, the perfect metaphor for a city that embraces
its past. Closer to the city center rises Chihkan Tower, Taiwan’s first official seat of power, and
today, the keeping place of many of the city’s
earliest records and treasures. Tainan is not just a city that preserves its
history, this is a city that reveres traditions as
well, especially the spiritual. With over 2000 temples
and shrines, Tainan is also known as The Kyoto of Taiwan. Tainan’s temples are places where ritual
and daily life intertwine, from residents quietly praying for guidance, to festivals noisy enough to wake the gods. Just across the road from Chihkan Tower is
the Sacrificial Rites Martial Temple. Pay your respects to Guān Gong, the patron saint of soldiers,…then pause
for a while, beneath the shade of temple’s 300 year-old
plum tree. Pass through the gates of the Confucian Temple, just as students have for over three and a
half centuries. Created as Taiwan’s first center of higher
learning, the temple remains a touchstone for students
who still come to pray for exam success. Although Tainan ceded its political power
to Taipei well over a century ago, the city remains a powerhouse in one of life’s
most important aspects, food! This is where the city’s Indigenous, Dutch, Japanese and Chinese heritages all come together. Forget chic restaurants and fancy décor, the best food here is found on the streets. Follow the aromas that drift through the city like the proud ghosts of past generations
of Tainan cooks. The servings are small and affordable, so
you can try everything. Tainan is like one big travelling feast, which is why the city is also called, The
City of Snacks! One of the best places to sample Tainan specialties, like its legendary oyster omelets, is at its
markets. Tainan offers over two dozen night markets, but none quite compare to the sheer size, color and energy of the city’s favorite,
the Flower Night Market. When it’s time to work off all those small
eats, the city has plenty of places to stretch out. Lose yourself amid the bridges, pavilions
and ancient trees of Tainan Park. Or, explore the ancient shipping channels
and mangrove forests of Taijiang National Park, right in the city’s backyard. These wetlands are a poignant reminder that
life is forever shaped by time and tide. They are a reminder too, that to endure, we
sometimes need to bend a little in the stream. Which is why Tainan is also known as The Phoenix
City. For despite its turbulent history, the city continues to rise as a proud custodian
of the past, amid the swirling neon currents of today. Locals love to say, “Taipei is Taiwan’s pocket, but Tainan,
is the country’s heart. “

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