The Halloween Christmas Store

The Halloween Christmas Store I always wonder how these stores stay afloat through the nine months of the year in which people give these two holidays very little thought. It’s especially confusing in a country where these two holidays are scarcely celebrated. But this is Taiwan. If you need a little decoration or some costumes … Continue reading

Vietnamese Food – Pho

Pho Restaurant on Yongfu In my life before Taiwan, I once let a particularly good pho restaurant influence my choice in neighborhoods to live. Regrettably, shortly after I signed my lease, that place was closed down for adding too much MSG (or maybe for health code violations). It took me almost a year, but I’ve finally … Continue reading

Kinks Pub

Kinks Pub Grandma’s house is now a bar! Just along the railroad tracks near Qingnian Road is a lounge bar that you’d never find unless you were shown by someone in-the-know. Renovated from an old home, this one-story bar really feels like you’re in someone’s old house. It’s been decorated with vintage furniture from the … Continue reading

Chikan Lou (Ft. Provintia)

Chikan Lou (Chìkǎn Lóu 赤崁樓) Chikan Lou, also known as Chikan Tower or Fort Provintia, is among the most important historic sites in Tainan City as well as all of Taiwan. It is also one of the prettiest. Two ornate stone and wood towers sit amongst the grounds of lovely gardens that include a koi … Continue reading

Breakfast Chains

Breakfast Chains In Taiwan, only convenient stores and tea shops outnumber breakfast chains. And that’s saying a lot. You’ll often see at least one per block and in certain areas you will see several grouped together, all trying to outdo the others in sales of hamburgers, sandwiches, coffee and dàn bǐng. Yes, in Taiwan, hamburgers (or … Continue reading

Tainan Railway Station

Tainan Railway Station The Tainan Railway Station is one of my favorite old buildings in the city. It has a Western look to it, seemingly colonial and well-aged by the tropical sun, but definitely modern in its day. The architectural style is eclectic, but the art deco influences dominate. It has a history of more … Continue reading

Wan Ke Lou

Wan Ke Lou (wàn kè lóu 萬客樓) A great acclimatizer for new arrivals, Wan Ke Lou has a wide offering of easy-on-the-taste-buds food that even my grandmother could find palatable. Additionally, it has clear English menus available for the many of us daunted by the Chinese menu boards. When I first moved to Tainan, I lived … Continue reading

Confucian Temple

Confucian Temple (kǒng miào 孔廟) First completed in 1666, Tainan’s Confucian Temple is one of the oldest and most historically important buildings in Taiwan. It was built by Zheng Chenggong’s (Koxinga’s) son, Zheng Jing, under the advice of city administrator Chen Yonghua. The temple served as Taiwan’s first official school. Since its inception, the temple has undergone … Continue reading