Tongpanqian Cemetery

Tongpanqian Cemetery (Tǒngpánqiǎn Mùyuán 桶盤淺幕園) Tainan holds much of Taiwan’s oldest history, and it should therefore surprise non that it also holds one of the most historic cemeteries. The Tongpanqian Cemetery in the south district of Tainan is the city’s largest and contains many notable graves. These include the oldest Ming dynasty grave, the tombs … Continue reading

National Cheng Kung University

National Cheng Kung University (Guólì Chénggōng Dàxué 國立成功大學) Many foreigners arrive in Tainan as either a student, guest lecturer, or visiting faculty at  National Cheng Kung University; however, the school also holds interest for those outside of the academic world. Like many universities, the campuses of NCKU are full of culture, history, and nice places … Continue reading

Kaiyuan Monastery

Kaiyuan Monastery (Kāiyuán Sì 開元寺) One of the most beautiful and historic temples in Tainan is also one of its least known due to its remote location. This historic place is reportedly the oldest monastery in Taiwan, and was the home of the Zheng family towards the end of their reign on the island. Today … 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

Beiji Temple

Beiji Temple (Bēijí Diàn 北極殿) Commonly translated as the “North Pole Palace” or “Arctic Palace,” Beiji Temple is Tainan’s premier place of worship for honoring the Emperor of Mysterious Heaven, known as Xuán Wǔ (玄武) or Xuán Tiān Shàng Dì (玄天上帝). The temple is one of Tainan’s oldest, dating back to the arrival Zhèng Chénggōng … Continue reading

The Zheng Ancestral Shrine (Ancestral Shrine of Koxinga)

The Zheng Ancestral Shrine (Zhèng Shì Jiā Miào 鄭氏家廟) Much is made of the achievements of the national hero Zheng Chenggong (鄭成功), also known as Koxinga. He defeated the dutch and established the first Chinese kingdom on the island of Taiwan, and thus he has his own shrine dedicated to his worship in Tainan. However, … Continue reading

Tait and Company and the Anping Treehouse

Old Tait & Co. Merchant House The expulsion of the Dutch from Taiwan in 1662 was not the end of European traders in Taiwan nor in Anping, but it took an Opium War to officially open the doors to trade. Anping was one of the four harbors opened to foreign trading on Taiwan as per … Continue reading

Luermen Matsu Temple

Luermen Matsu Temple (Lùěrmén Tiānhòu Gōng 鹿耳門天后宮) The Matsu Temple at Luermen supposedly marks the spot where Zheng Chenggong (Koxinga) made his landing to attack the Dutch settlements at Fort Zeelandia and Fort Provintia. According to legend, the Goddess Matsu aided Zheng in his landing at Luermen. The Dutch had sunk obstacles along the shore … 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