Tainan Travel Guide
Chinese Name: 台南市 (tái nán shì)
Area: 2,192 square kilometers (846 square miles)
Location: in the southwest of Taiwan Island, southeast China
Administrative Division: 37 districts
Area Code: 88606
Zip Code: 700
GDP (2019): CNY 285.2 billion (USD 41.3 billion)
Taiwan’s Oldest City & Once Regional Political Center in the Qing Dynasty
Tainan is located in southwestern Taiwan, bordering Chiayi County to the north and Kaohsiung City to the south. If you want to explore the history of Taiwan, just visit Tainan. As the earliest developed city in Taiwan, this ancient city has a history of hundreds of years. It was the administrative center of Taiwan during the Qing Dynasty (1636 - 1912). So the city is full of ancient buildings. Anping Fort and Chihkan Tower are must-see attractions. Take a closer look at these monuments and understand the Tainan culture which accumulated over the centuries. Tainan also has a charming coastal scenery. Visitors can view birds at Sicao Wetland Protection and have fun at Ciaotou Beach Park.
Attractions - Things to Do
Chihkan Tower, located at West Central District, was first built by the Dutch in 1650. Then it became the executive body of the highest organ of Taiwan in 1661. Now it is not like what it used to be. Two Chinese traditional buildings - Wenchang Pavilion and Temple of Sea God with red tiles and cornices - are landmarks of Chihkan Tower.
The Confucius Temple was first used to memorize Confucius. Early in the Qing Dynasty, almost all the children in Tainan began to study in it. What’s more, the buildings here are all magnificent and grand. Every September 28th, the Confucius Temple Culture Festival is held.
Matzu is a guard goddess on the sea as well as an all-powerful goddess for the Taiwanese. Almost all of them believe in her. Thean Hou Temple, built in 1684, was a royal residence. Afterwards it was used to worship Matzu and was the first Matzu temple constructed by local authorities. The statues and the sculptures in it were all constructed by famous craftsmen.
Anping Fort at Anping District was built in the Dutch colonial period (1624-1662) and destroyed in the Japanese colonial era (1895-1945). Only a wall built with red bricks remains and what we see now is a new castle constructed by the Japanese. At dusk, the sun and the castle enhance each other’s beauty, so watching the sunset here is really an enjoyment.
Eternal Golden Castle is a square red brick building built in 1876. The hollow in the middle was used for training the army. There is an emplacement on it which is the first western-style emplacement of Taiwan.
Sicao Wetland Protection Area, located at Annan District, is famous for its abundant natural ecological resources and birds’ habitats. It has an overwater forest and mangroves and is called “Small Amazon”. You can drift on a raft to feel the beauty of the nature.
Ciaotou Beach Park is at the west of Tainan and the south of Four-Grass Bridge. There are many forests and beaches for people to spend their spare time.
Guanzihling Mud Hot Spring is one of the four most famous hot springs in Taiwan. It is located at Baihe Town and was caused by an earthquake. The water is dark gray with minerals and mud of underground rock stratum in it.
There are many other attractions worth visiting in the county, including National Museum of Taiwan Literature, Yushan National Park, Koxinga Shrine, Anping Tree House, Gubao Ancient Street, National Cheng Kung University, Chimei Museum, Chigu Salt Mountain, Shennong Street and Taiwan Prefecture Town God's Temple.
How to Get to Tainan
You can only fly to Tainan Airport from Hong Kong and there are just a few flights, so a better way is to arrive at Taoyuan Airport or Kaohsiung International Airport, then take the train or bus to reach the county. If you are in Taiwan, you can take the train from many cities to get there such as Taipei, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi and Kaohsiung. The train from Kaohsiung costs TWD 82-106 and takes approximately 30-50 minutes.
It is very convenient from Tainan Railway Station to these scenic spots by shuttle bus. Renting a motorcycle is also a good choice and costs approximately TWD 250-500 for a day.
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Tainan Travel Tips
History: Tainan is a famous ancient city that used to be the capital of Taiwan in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Thanks to modernization, ancient official residences, temples and time-honored western-style architecture scatter among new and tall edifices. Thus visiting historic sites in mansion forests will impress you the most. It is situated on the southwest coast of Taiwan Island, covering an area of 68 square miles (176 square kilometers).
Food & Nightlife: Tainan is not only famous for its history but also its snacks. The most popular foods are Dan-Tsu Noodles, rice dumplings, coffin breads, Taiwanese bride cakes, oyster rolls, shrimp rolls and eel noodles. These snacks can be found at Anping Fort, Chihkan Tower, Yongle Market, Guohua Street and Youai Street. What’s more, large or small night markets are also good places to enjoy delicious food. The Flower Night Market attracts a lot of people that it can get very crowded. Dadong, Bridge, Yongkang Yongda, Wusheng, Xiaobei Success and Xiaobei Tourism Night Markets are busy too. You can go to Gubao Ancient Street to buy some special products like Gong sugars, oolong teas and pineapple cakes.
Tainan Airport Passenger Center: (+886) 6 3359209
Tainan Railway Station Tourist Service Center: (+886) 6 2290082
Hsinying Railway Station Tourist Service Center: (+886) 6 6378821
High Speed Rail Tainan Station Visitor Center: (+886) 6 6008338
There are many post boxes on the streets. Send letters or postcards internationally via the red boxes. Green boxes are for internal, national post within Taiwan only. A stamp costs a maximum of TWD 12.
Success Road Post Office: (+886) 6 2267962
Address: No.6, Success Road
Anping Post Office: (+886) 6 2235402
Address: No. 149-1, Anbei Road