Xinhua (Sinhua) Old Street

Xinhua Old Street (Xīnhuà Lǎo Jiē 新化老街) Throughout Tainan City you can find Japanese-era shop houses with Baroque-influenced facades. This was modernity to Japanese architects and the style spread throughout the region. While these buildings are randomly scattered throughout Tainan City, in Xinhua Township there is a two or three block stretch where almost every building follows … Continue reading

Shuixian Temple (Water Fairy Temple)

Shuixian Temple (shuǐxiān gōng 水仙宮) Tucked away in Shuixian Temple Market is a tiny gem of a temple and a real piece of history. Located at the head of Shennong Street, this temple was a control center for much of the on-goings of the Five-Channels Area during the Qing Dynasty. When this was a busy port area … Continue reading

Official God of War Temple (Sacrificial Rites Martial Temple)

Official God of War Temple (Sì Diǎn Wǔ Miào 祀典武廟) The Official God of War Temple is the one with the long, red-ochre wall that’s across from Chikan Lou. That’s the feature that I always think of when it comes to this temple. It’s rare to have the side of a temple fully exposed, and few of them have so nice a … Continue reading

Fuzhong Street

Fuzhong Street (Fǔzhōng Jiē 府中街) Just across Nanmen Road from the Confucian Temple, you will see a large stone arch. It is the Pan Gao Stone Arch ( 泮宮石坊), which was built in 1749 and once served as an entrance to the temple. It is now the entrance to Fuzhong Street, a European-style pedestrian street that makes for a nice … Continue reading

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

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’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

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