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  • The city of Tainan rises from the southwestern coastal plains of Taiwan.

  • Less than two hours by bullet train from the capital Taipei

  • and just 110 miles off the coast of mainland China,

  • Tainan is a city of many names.

  • Tainan is the country’s oldest city,

  • and is often called The Birthplace of Taiwan.

  • Just as the tides have continually reshaped the city’s environment,

  • so too have the waves of conquest and migration defined Tainan’s culture.

  • Start your Tainan journey in the historic quarter of Anping.

  • In 1624 Dutch traders established a fort on this sandy peninsula.

  • Less than four decades later Chinese forces drove the Dutch from the island forever.

  • Wander the fort’s ramparts, and the nearby ruins

  • of a merchant house held together by banyan roots,

  • the perfect metaphor for a city that embraces its past.

  • Closer to the city center rises Chihkan Tower,

  • Taiwan’s first official seat of power, and today,

  • the keeping place of many of the city’s earliest records and treasures.

  • Tainan is not just a city that preserves its history,

  • this is a city that reveres traditions as well,

  • especially the spiritual.

  • With over 2000 temples and shrines,

  • Tainan is also known as The Kyoto of Taiwan.

  • Tainan’s temples are places where ritual and daily life intertwine,

  • from residents quietly praying for guidance,

  • to festivals noisy enough to wake the gods.

  • Just across the road from Chihkan Tower is the Sacrificial Rites Martial Temple.

  • Pay your respects to Guān Gong,

  • the patron saint of soldiers,…then pause for a while,

  • beneath the shade of temple’s 300 year-old plum tree.

  • Pass through the gates of the Confucian Temple,

  • just as students have for over three and a half centuries.

  • Created as Taiwan’s first center of higher learning,

  • the temple remains a touchstone for students who still come to pray for exam success.

  • Although Tainan ceded its political power to Taipei well over a century ago,

  • the city remains a powerhouse in one of life’s most important aspects,

  • food!

  • This is where the city’s Indigenous, Dutch,

  • Japanese and Chinese heritages all come together.

  • Forget chic restaurants and fancycor,

  • the best food here is found on the streets.

  • Follow the aromas that drift through the city

  • like the proud ghosts of past generations of Tainan cooks.

  • The servings are small and affordable, so you can try everything.

  • Tainan is like one big travelling feast,

  • which is why the city is also called, The City of Snacks!

  • One of the best places to sample Tainan specialties,

  • like its legendary oyster omelets, is at its markets.

  • Tainan offers over two dozen night markets,

  • but none quite compare to the sheer size,

  • color and energy of the city’s favorite, the Flower Night Market.

  • When it’s time to work off all those small eats,

  • the city has plenty of places to stretch out.

  • Lose yourself amid the bridges, pavilions and ancient trees of Tainan Park.

  • Or, explore the ancient shipping channels and mangrove forests of Taijiang National Park,

  • right in the city’s backyard.

  • These wetlands are a poignant reminder that life is forever shaped by time and tide.

  • They are a reminder too, that to endure, we sometimes need to bend a little in the stream.

  • Which is why Tainan is also known as The Phoenix City.

  • For despite its turbulent history,

  • the city continues to rise as a proud custodian of the past,

  • amid the swirling neon currents of today.

  • Locals love to say,

  • Taipei is Taiwan’s pocket, but Tainan, is the country’s heart. “

The city of Tainan rises from the southwestern coastal plains of Taiwan.

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Tainan Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

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    綾羅飄起 posted on 2015/04/24
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