Anping Old Fort (Old Fort Zeelandia)

Anping Old Fort (Ānpíng Gǔ Bǎo 安平古堡) The center of any visit to Anping is the old fort. Anping Fort is built on the foundations of the Dutch stronghold named Fort Zeelandia. That fort was the anchor point of early settlements in Tainan for both the Dutch and the Chinese, and much of the settlement’s history lies in Anping’s … Continue reading

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

Anping’s Old Streets

Anping’s Old Streets (ānpíng lǎo jiē 安平老街) Because Anping was the original Dutch settlement in Tainan, it has some of the oldest streets in the country. Of course, there are no 17th century houses, but these streets wind through the same footpaths where the early settlers walked. Anping stayed area distinct from the rest of … Continue reading

Temple of the Five Concubines

Temple of the Five Concubines (Wǔfēi Miào 五妃廟) Unlike urban cemeteries in Europe where you can find people sitting next to grave stones and reading books, Taiwanese people are far too superstitious to treat a grave site as a park. The very idea of entering a cemetery for any purpose other than to clean the tomb and … Continue reading

Zheng Chenggong (Koxinga) Shrine

Zheng Chenggong Shrine (Zhèng Chénggōng Miào 鄭成功廟) If you live in or even visit Tainan, it should be required that you know who Zheng Chenggong is. His name is aligned to both the city and the very foundations of Taiwan. The city’s most central street and its most prestigious university are named after him (note there are a variety of … 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