Tainan is an incredible city that sits close to the south-west coast of Taiwan. It was once a capital city, which explains the incredible number of shrines, temples and ancient buildings here. Going to Tainan is like stepping back in time. It’s known for being one of the oldest cities in the country.
Tainan was also the last independent outpost of China’s Ming dynasty, so it has a rich history just waiting to be discovered. In fact, it hasn’t changed that much since then, though it might be a little more commercial than it once was. Sections of Tainan were designed to help visitors get around, plus there are signs in five different languages, new buildings and coffee shops visitors can relax in.
The oldest parts of Tainan are on the western side of town, right by the sea. Visit Anping as well as the Koxinga Shrine and Confucius Temple. They’re all stunning historic sites. You should also visit the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastery; it’s one of the largest Buddhist organisations in the world and it’s a great place to immerse yourself in this way of life.
History buffs will love Fort Zeelandia; it was built in the 17th century by colonial Dutchmen. There are also a few traditional night markets that take place on the streets of Tainan. They’re an explosion of tastes, colours and smells and one of the best places to try local dishes; marlin soup and papaya milk are some of our favourites.
Religion and faith permeate all of Tainan. More gods are worshipped here, more festivals are put on and more rituals take place here than in any other place in Taiwan. Even if you’re not religious, you can appreciate this strong belief and tradition the locals have here. They’ve dedicated their lives to preserving their ancient culture, however they present it in a peaceful, unobtrusive and matter-of-fact way. Taiwanese traditional culture thrives here, and it’s what makes Tainan so special.
Plan your trip to Tainan today.