Old West Gate Market

Old West Gate Market (Xīmén Shíchǎng 西門市場) I passed by this old crumbling relic several times before I took the initiative to go in and check it out. The visible facade is on a little lane called Zhengxing Street that runs between Ximen and Haian near Minsheng Road. The building particularly stands out because it is a veritable ruin stuck in … Continue reading

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Tainan Grand Matsu Temple

Tainan Grand Matsu Temple (Dà Tiānhòu Gōng 大天后宮) The goddess Matsu is one of the most important deities in Taiwan. It’s a simple equation, really: Goddess of the Sea + Taiwan being an island = high status among worshippers. Matsu was already important among the coastal Fujianese before crossing the straight, but the perilous journey from … Continue reading

Home Decoration – Big Box Stores

Hola Home Furnishings Home Decoration – Big Box Stores I’ve never been a fan of how big box stores affect small business and local culture, but I’ve also never been a fan of not finding what I want. While Tainan doesn’t have an IKEA, you can do some pretty easy one-stop shopping at a collection of big box stores … Continue reading

Old Lin’s Department Store

Old Lin’s Department Store One of the many beautiful deserted buildings in Tainan, Lin’s Department Store has seen better days. During the 1930s it was the premiere department store in Tainan, and at the time it was quite comparable with Chu-Yuan Department Store in Taipei. As part of Tainan’s most prosperous area at the time, Moguang Ting, Lin’s … Continue reading

Fire Brigade (Old Tainan Joint Government Offices)

Fire Brigade (Old Tainan Joint Government Offices) I’ve always liked the old fire station across from Minsheng Green Park. In fact, it is second only to the Tainan Railway Station as my favorite city services building in Tainan. Perhaps I like them both so much because they are so similar. They were both built during the same decade of … Continue reading

That Soup Dumpling Place

Shànghǎi Hǎowèidào Xiǎolóng Tāngbāo 上海 好味道 小龍湯包 The classic Shanghainese morsels called xiaolongbao are often called soup dumplings due to the hot broth locked inside of the dough. However, they aren’t actually a dumplings by classification. Though they look like jiǎozi (dumplings such as shuǐ jiǎo, or zhēng jiǎo), they are actually bāozi, which are steamed buns. Though they don’t look like the big … Continue reading

Great South Gate

Great South Gate (Dànánmén 大南門) Dànánmén, the Great South Gate, is one of only two main gates left from the days when Tainan City was protected by walls. The other remaining gate is Dàdōngmén, the Great East Gate, but it is surrounded by a traffic circle and cannot be interacted with in the same way. … Continue reading

Tainan Motor Vehicles Station

Tainan Motor Vehicles Station The Tainan Motor Vehicles Station is the place to go for vehicle inspections, license plates, registrations, and of course getting your driver’s license. I am probably one of the few foreigners in Tainan who actually has his scooter license. Arguably, you can get away with not having one if you have a little luck, … Continue reading

Tainan’s Jade Market

Tainan’s Jade Market (Táinán Yùshì 台南玉市) (EDIT – The jade market has moved. I will update this post as soon as I figure out where is has moved to.) Taipei’s Jade Market is a well-known shopping experience that is highlighted in a lot of travel literature. Tainan’s Jade Market is not. In fact, I’ve found … Continue reading

Shennong Street (Beishi St.)

Shennong Street (Shénnóng Jiē 神農街) Shennong Street is the often considered the best preserved street in Tainan. It is the keystone of the Old Five Channels Cultural Zone and is among one of the must see areas of Tainan in my opinion. The street is named after Shennong, an ancient Chinese ruler who is considered … Continue reading