Back Alleys – Part 2

Back Alleys – Part 2 In part 2 of exploring the back alleys of downtown Tainan, I went into the areas north of Minzu Road. In particular I explored the Zhen Bei Fang Cultural Zone, which is one of the best preserved neighborhoods in the city.

Back Alleys – Part 1

Back Alleys – Part 1 Many people come to Tainan hoping to see old houses and a lifestyle that’s a throwback to yesteryear. A quick view of the downtown buildings will leave them disappointed. However, tucked in behind the five story facades of the downtown buildings is a whole other world that may just draw … Continue reading

Confucius Temple Cultural Park Tourism Center (Old Tainan Forestry Office)

Old Forestry Office

Confucius Temple Cultural Park Tourism Center On You Ai Street behind the Confucius Temple, Wude Hall, and the National Literature Museum, there is a small Japanese colonial-era building that was once the offices of the forestry department. It is a well-preserved building and has been recently made into the Confucius Temple Cultural Zone Tourism Center. … Continue reading

Old Tainan District Courthouse

Old Tainan District Courthouse (Táinán Dìfāng Fǎyuàn 台南地方法院) Compared with the new courthouse on Jiankang Road in Anping, which is a modern building that looks large enough to employ half the city, the old courthouse seems antiquated and small. That wasn’t the case when the old courthouse was built. It was an immense and modern … Continue reading

Chikan Peddler’s Noodles

Chikan Peddler's Noodles exterior

Chikan Peddler’s Noodles (Chìkǎn Dànzǐmiàn 赤崁擔仔麵) Tainan is famous for its xiaochi.  Xiaochi literally means small eat and is usually translated as “snack food,” but it’s not really snack food in the way westerners think of snack food. It’s more like tapas. Traditionally this food has been served from night market stalls, vendor carts, and … Continue reading

Quail Quiche

Quail Quiche (Ānchún Xiánpài 鹌鶉鹹派) If you miss the taste of delicious quiche tarts or the chicness of European style cafes, then Quail Quiche may have your cure. Located in an old shop house just a stone’s throw from the giant white horseman statue at the Koxinga Shrine, Quail Quiche improves its neighborhood with a … Continue reading

Japanese-Era Shop Houses

A Japanese-era Shop-house

Japanese-Era Shop-Houses Tainan has beautiful historic temples and attractive modern sky-rises, but through most of the city, the clutter of signs, shop-houses, and apartments are pretty unappealing to the eye. Lets face it. Much of what was built in Tainan from the fifties through the eighties is nothing short of ugly. Most apartments and shop-houses … Continue reading

Old Union Hall and Wu’s Garden

Old Union Hall and Wu’s Garden (Yuán Táinán Gōnghuìtáng 原台南公會堂) Tucked into the middle of the city is the former garden of a wealthy 19th century businessman named Wu, and upon its grounds is the old Union Hall where town meetings were held during the Japanese period. The garden and hall were built for separate … Continue reading

Narrow Door Cafe

Narrow Door Cafe (Zhǎi Mén Kāfēi   窄門咖啡) There is a wonderful new movement in Tainan to turn old buildings into funky bars and cafes, as opposed to the previous trend of letting old buildings get torn down and replaced by nondescript new buildings that lack any history or character. In the West, we love our … Continue reading

Old Tainan Prefecture Hall (National Museum of Taiwan Literature)

Whether a tourist or resident of Tainan, it is unlikely the large European-style building on the Minsheng traffic circle has escaped your eyes. It seems a bit out of place and is so well-restored that it almost looks like it was recently built to serve as the newly conceived National Museum of Taiwan Literature that … Continue reading