About This Site

About the Author

I’ve been living and working in Taiwan since August of 2007, and have been living in Tainan since November of 2008. It only took one visit from Taipei to know that this was where I wanted to live. While I don’t claim to be an authority on the city of Tainan, I thought I would share my explorations with those interested in what goes on here.

For more information, I have a personal website link. Otherwise, I can be contacted at tainancityguide@gmail.com

About This Site

This blog is a one-man operation done during my spare time. I have no editors or fact-checkers. While I try to make sure my information is correct, I only have so much time to dedicate towards research. Sometimes information about Tainan available in English is inconsistent and sparse if it’s available at all. I do my best to sort through the Chinglish and inconsistencies, but that’s all I can do. If you note any incorrect information, please bring it to my attention.

In regards to names of places and streets, I have flip-flopped around on various spellings, but have decided to generally stick with hanyu pinyin spellings. I made my final decision when Google Maps changed to pinyin. However, this is not consistent with the actual street signs in Tainan, which mostly uses tongyong pinyin, which is a romanization system that is quite particular to Taiwan (and these days only southern Taiwan). I apologize if there are any problems due to this inconsistency, but I have to choose one or the other and typing both all the time gets messy.

My opinions, especially regarding restaurants, are just that. There is no accounting for taste.

If you wish to submit your own postings on Tainan City, or have recommendations for places you’d like to see me do a post on, please visit the Submissions page.

Comments
44 Responses to “About This Site”
  1. Hanjié says:

    Welcome to Tainan, and thank you for sharing great stuff here. Can I link your site to my blogspot?

    Looking forward to your future articles.

  2. tainancity says:

    Hanjie, I like your blog, too. Nice photography. You’re certainly welcome to link to my site. I will link to yours, too.

  3. Scott says:

    Nice big, wide photo of the City God temple!

    here a few of mine:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21506490@N00/sets/72157594172826399/

    If you like to take photos, you oughta join these friendly folks. They usually have meet-up somewhere around Tainan every month or so:

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/tainanmu/

    • tainancity says:

      Hi Scott,

      I used my Xpan for the shot of the City God Temple as well as a few others on this site. However, many of the shots are just done with my digital point and shoot as it’s much more convenient.

      Your pictures look really good. You’ve got some shots of buildings I haven’t seen. Good exploring in Tainan.

  4. itaiwanese says:

    Hi,
    I just discover your blog, is really interesting.
    I want to give you one suggestion.
    I like that you put the map for each article but is only a screenshot and is not possible to navigate.
    If you want to put a interactive map with all the Google map features is very simple, let me explain ho to do.
    First you go on Gmaps, and zoom on the position of the place, after that on the right top corner there is some option such as print, send and link.
    You click on link and they will appear two options, copy the second one (for HTML website) and paste at the end of your articole, after you save the page, you will find the interactive map in your blog.
    In this way will be easier for the peoples to reach the place from the position they actually are.
    Hope will help!!!

    Ciao

    Riccardo

    • tainancity says:

      After not getting this to work for quite a while, I realized that wordpress won’t let me use this kind of media without upgrading. It deletes anything with (iframe) html coding as soon as I try to save it. I will consider upgrading in the future, but for now I like my little screenshot maps.

      • Arnaud says:

        What about making a link so that when you click on the map you go, if possible in a new window, to google maps?
        That would be useful. Anyway, I can still type the address in google maps.
        Thanks for youblog

      • tainancity says:

        Yes, that seems to be a desired feature. I find Google Maps is very inaccurate when it comes to Tainan addresses. I don’t know if anyone else has had the same problem, but for many addresses I tried putting in, it comes up with the wrong place. I decided just to cut out the map and put an arrow so that I didn’t have to mess around with their inaccurate arrows. As I I’ve said before, I can’t imbed a google map unless I upgrade with wordpress and start paying to provide people with information. A link is possible, but the arrow may be pointing to the wrong place.

  5. Hanjié says:

    Hey Karl,
    Can you also add a RSS for your site?

  6. Gorgeous photographs. Love the panos.

  7. Fili says:

    Enjoy this blog very much.

    Would be happy to chat with you, if possible. How do we get in touch with you?

  8. Lorelei says:

    Just found your blog and really love the photos and articles and info!

  9. jl says:

    Just found this site and love it. It’s endlessly helpful for someone like me who wants to really get to know this city but is still working on her language skills. :) Thanks so much.

    ps. I like the little orange arrows. Searching an address in google maps for the general area is easy enough, but that doesn’t mean the little pink arrow is being honest with me!

  10. Jennifer says:

    Hello, I’m finding your site really helpful and easy to navigate. I am new in Tainan and have been here for 1 month. I am finding it really hard to meet fellow english speakers, any suggestions apart from randomly pouncing on people in the street ?

    Thanks
    Jennifer

    • tainancity says:

      I’m sure there are lots of young men riding bikes and wearing white shirts and name tags who will befriend you if you spend a little time on the street. But if you’re not interested in becoming a Mormon then you might want to try the bars. Places like the Armory, Willy’s, and Tin Pan Alley are community hot spots for foreigners. The people there are generally open to making new friends. You could also keep an eye on the Tainan Bulletin for activities that are going on. You could try posting a language exchange ad to make friends with Taiwanese who speak (at least a little) English. Pouncing works, too, but you have to be quick.

  11. Taiwanxifu says:

    I had to laugh at your last reply … I studied at Chengkong University in the late 1990s and pretty much got befriended by a nice young Mormon guy when I was out at the bank one day. A bit naive really … didn’t quite realise who he was until he started diligently taking down my contact details.

    Thank you for putting together this site. You really help to bring alive the vibrancy of Tainan and help to make it more accessible. Tainan is truly an important historical and heritage city, and I hope your work will help to highlight more about the city.

  12. Wang says:

    Fantastic site — bookmarking.

    I lived in Tainan for a little over a year and plan to move back when I retire. For now, I just visit whenever I get the chance!

  13. M. Messina says:

    This blog has just swayed me from living in Taipei to Tainan. Excellent work.

  14. Rob says:

    any more blogs?

    • tainancity says:

      We will see if I can do some more posts. I’ve been sidetracked by my newborn son for a few months and have little time to get out and about with any focus on doing a write-up. I hope to do more posts, but I’m afraid they won’t come with any regularity.

  15. Arnaud says:

    I now understand… my blog died when my son was born

  16. Jon L says:

    Table Tennis in Tainan? A google search found something about a Tainan Table Tennis Training Arena (say that 5 times fast), but I can’t find any mention of an address. Most people I talk to say that no one plays TT in Taiwan, but the site mentions this place as the best place in Taiwan to play and train for major competition. I bought a bad ass paddle before I left the states and its just collecting dust.

    Help me please, I’d like to test my skills against some of the best (or just watch (or sell my paddle to the best (or just something)))

    thanks

    Jon

    • tainancity says:

      My assumption is that table tennis is still pretty serious in Taiwan. I know of at least one person who was sent away from his family to live in Kaohsiung to train from an early age. You might want to try the universities. There’s also a building on the corner of Nanning and Yongfu roads (not far from the Ximen Mitsukoshi) where I always see people practicing.

  17. John Lui says:

    Excellent, excellent blog. Your efforts are much appreciated!!

  18. Tamzin says:

    What a good site! Thank you so much, you’ve sold me on Tainan as my next destination..!

  19. Alex says:

    Really excellent site. I’ve been coming to Tainan for about 10 years. Studied at Cheng Da for 3 years. Its great to fill in some gaps in my local knowledge. I had no idea Tainan was home to the world’s largest stuffed dead rabbit orchestra (conducted by a squirrel). If only I had known this earlier… I love this city. The first time I arrived, all I could see was a sea of neon but now all I see is its rich character. I’ve just come back for a month so I’m gonna have to go and check out some of the places I’ve missed like the Halloween Christmas store. Thanks for the wall and old sea level maps, I wondered about those too.
    Here are my recommendations, although with your extensive knowledge, you may well have come across them
    1. There is a cute little park with a cave and a small lake totally hidden behind the Minzu Lu Far East Mall. You have to access it through the Tainan Association Hall on Minquan Lu http://goo.gl/maps/xX3tv
    2. The creepy disused theme park by the sea on Yu Bin Road in An Ping. Well worth a look. Don’t know if it has been regenerated, the last time I went there was probably 5 years ago.
    3. This one I was taken to 10 years ago and haven’t found since. I know that it was in Chinatown but beyond that I haven’t managed to find it again. There is (was) an indoor mall/market which was housed in a building that from the inside was housed under a huge model of the base of the eiffel tower (not visible from the outside).
    Happy hunting!

  20. PeiJu Huang says:

    It’s really a nice blog!
    I come from Tainan, and now am thinking to make a term project to introduce this lovely city to my classmates in US. Then, I accidentally found your website, which is really amazing, contains many useful information!
    I especially like the English translations of those historical sites that you use in your blog, quite close to the original meanings!
    Thanks for your sharing, I think this blog is much better than those official websites introducing Tainan!

    Pei

  21. Yating says:

    Your site is a great help to my class. This semester we learn “introducing Tainan in English.” Your site is the best that I have found. Thank you so much!

  22. Olga says:

    Just got back from a short visit to Tainan – thank you very much for the useful information on your site, it really helped me plan activities for the weekend. It is indeed a very pleasant city, a lot calmer than Taipei. We’ll be back again around Xmas time!

  23. Nancy Fleming says:

    Hi, Karl,

    I am truly impressed by the quality of your website, not the least your fine writing which provides depth and breadth of information, something not easily achievable. Congratulations on a terrific job!

    My husband I are visiting Tainan in January, and will rely on your guidance for a memorable visit. When we’re there, we will visit a very old (250 years) bakery that is known for Tainan steamed dumplings (see-through dumplings filled with meat and vegetables) and old-style Tainan goodies. If it is still there, I will send in a submission.

    Another place worthy of mention is the Tainan Theological College where instruction is entirely in Taiwanese, even by non-native professors! My grandmother was a student there in the late 1900’s when it was possibly the first college admitting women in Taiwan. The College is a charming replica of a small English school complete with chapel, possibly started by English Presbyterian missionaries who were instrumental in “kickstarting” medical training in Tainan. As you may already know, historically, northern Taiwan was dominated by Canadian Presbyterians, the most prominent being Dr. George MacKay whose wife was an aborigine. Imagine that story! MacKay’s book “Far From Formosa” is a worthy read.

    Thanks again for many days of delightful browsing, and learning more about Tainan today. We will definitely visit the Narrow Door Cafe.

    Nancy

    • tainancity says:

      Thanks Nancy. I’m not familiar with that bakery, so please do give a report. If anyone wants to read more about Tainan Theological College I’ve written up on the Presbyterian influence in Tainan here.

  24. taishinana says:

    I moved to Taiwan about 1 month ago. I think your blog is very useful. Thanks for sharing :)

  25. Andrea says:

    Hi, this blog is great, very useful, best source of information on Tainan that I have found. Thank you for creating and maintaining this : )

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