By Mabel Collins
Nestled in the southern part of Taiwan, Tainan City is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. As one of Taiwan's oldest cities, Tainan has played a pivotal role in the island's development. Its ancient temples, historic sites, delicious cuisine, and warm-hearted people make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Taiwan.
It’s time to delve into the rich heritage and culture of Tainan City, highlighting its historical significance, vibrant traditions, and the experiences that await travelers.
Tainan Taiwan Historical Significance
Tainan City boasts a history that spans over three centuries, making it one of the most historically significant cities in Taiwan. It was founded by the Dutch East India Company in 1624 and was initially named Fort Zeelandia. This early Dutch presence left an indelible mark on the city, and you can still find remnants of their occupation, such as the Chihkan Tower (Fort Provintia), which was once their fortress.
One of the most notable periods in Tainan's history was its role as the capital of Taiwan under the Qing Dynasty, from 1683 to 1887. During this time, Tainan flourished as an administrative and cultural center, leaving behind a wealth of historical and architectural treasures that continue to captivate visitors today.
Things To Do In Tainan For Travelers
Visiting Historic Temples
Tainan is often called the "City of Temples" due to its abundance of religious sites. Start your exploration by visiting some of the city's most renowned temples, such as:
Longshan Temple: Known for its exquisite architecture and intricate carvings, Longshan Temple is a must-visit. It's a place of worship for locals and a serene spot for tourists to admire.
Koxinga Shrine: Pay homage to the Ming Dynasty hero Zheng Chenggong at this beautiful shrine. Explore the tranquil gardens and learn about Zheng Chenggong's role in Taiwan's history.
Chihkan Tower (Fort Provintia): This historic site houses a temple and a museum. Explore the ancient Dutch-era fort and the beautifully preserved temple within its walls.
The gate of Longshan Temple
Stroll Through Anping Old Street
Anping Old Street is a historic district that captures the essence of old Tainan. Picturesque cobblestone streets are adorned with charming shops, traditional dwellings, and enticing street food vendors.
Anping Fort (Fort Zeelandia): Anping Fort, also known as Fort Zeelandia, is a historic stronghold in Tainan City, Taiwan, with roots dating back to the Dutch colonial period (17th century). This well-preserved fortress played a pivotal role in Taiwan's history and now stands as a significant cultural and historical site, offering visitors a glimpse into the island's colonial past.
Sample "Coffin Bread": Don't miss the opportunity to savor the famous "coffin bread" at one of the street vendors. This unique Taiwanese snack is a culinary delight.
Visit Anping Tree House: Once an abandoned warehouse engulfed by banyan trees, the Anping Tree House is now a fascinating place to explore. It offers a glimpse into the coexistence of nature and architecture.
The lively souvenir shop in Anping Old street
Indulge in Tainan Cuisine
Tainan is renowned as Taiwan's culinary capital, and a visit here wouldn't be complete without savoring its delectable dishes. Sample the following Tainanese specialties:
Danzi Tainan Noodles: Danzi noodles are a beloved Tainan specialty with the taste of savory and aromatic flavors. This local delicacy features tender noodles topped with a delectable mixture of minced pork and a rich, flavorful sauce, making it a must-try dish for anyone exploring the culinary delights of Tainan City.
Milkfish Porridge: Delight in the subtle flavors of milkfish in a comforting and soothing porridge.
Shrimp Rolls: Savor the crispy goodness of shrimp rolls, a popular local snack.
One of the famous Tainan noodles - Danzi
Immerse Yourself in Tainan's Cultural Heritage
Tainan is not only rich in history but also in culture. Discover the city's artistic and cultural side:
Chimei Museum: Home to an impressive collection of Western art, musical instruments, and historical artifacts. With its stunning architecture, beautifully landscaped gardens, and diverse exhibits, the museum offers visitors a rich and immersive cultural experience.
Shennong Street: Wander down this picturesque street lined with historic buildings, art galleries, and artisan shops. This charming street is a cultural treasure, offering travelers the chance to explore the culture and take a glimpse into Tainan's rich heritage.
Tainan Opera: Experience the unique world of Tainan opera, a traditional form of Chinese theater that originated in Tainan.
Shennong Street has an antique and vintage vibe
Embrace Tainan's Natural Beauty
Beyond its urban charm, Tainan offers natural attractions and serene landscapes:
Taijiang National Park: Explore the picturesque beauty of Taijiang National Park, which includes the historic Anping Canal. Visitors can enjoy boat tours along the historic Anping Canal, watch diverse bird species, and explore the park's wetlands, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
Guanziling Hot Springs: Relax and rejuvenate in the natural hot springs of Guanziling, known for their therapeutic properties. By its very nature, this place has become one of the most popular destinations for most tourists.
Try to explore more the beauty of Taian city
As you explore ancient temples, savor delicious Tainan cuisine, wander through historic streets, and immerse yourself in local traditions, you'll discover the enchanting essence of Taiwan's oldest city. Tainan invites you to embark on a journey filled with wonder, flavor, and unforgettable memories.
Tainan Travel Guide That Travelers Should Keep In Mind
Tainan enjoys a subtropical climate, making it a year-round destination. However, the best time to visit Tainan is during the fall (October to November) when the weather is pleasant and comfortable. Spring (March to May) is also a great time to explore Tainan.
Currency and ATMs
The currency used in Taiwan is the New Taiwan Dollar (TWD). ATMs are widely available throughout Tainan city, and credit cards are accepted in most establishments, but it's a good idea to carry some cash for local purchases.
Mandarin Chinese is the primary language spoken in Tainan. While some locals may speak English, having a few basic Mandarin phrases or a translation app can be helpful.
Travel To Tainan
1. By Air:
Tainan Airport (TNN): Tainan has its own airport, Tainan Airport (TNN), which primarily serves domestic flights. You can fly into Tainan Airport from other major Taiwanese cities like Taipei and Kaohsiung. From the airport, you can easily reach the city center by taxi or shuttle bus.
Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE): Many international travelers prefer to arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) in Taipei, which is the largest international gateway in Taiwan. From there, you can take a domestic flight to Tainan Airport or opt for other transportation options to reach Tainan.
2. By High-Speed Rail (HSR):
The Taiwan High-Speed Rail (HSR) system connects major cities in Taiwan, including Tainan. You can take the HSR from Taipei or Kaohsiung to Tainan's HSR station. The journey is fast and comfortable, making it a popular choice for travelers. From the HSR station, you can use taxis or local buses to reach your destination within Tainan.
Travel to Tainan is easier thanks to the transportation development
How to travel from Taipei to Tainan?
To travel from Taipei to Tainan, you can take one of the following options:
High-Speed Rail (HSR): The fastest and most convenient option, taking approximately 90-120 minutes from Taipei to Tainan HSR station.
Train: A more economical choice, taking around 4-5 hours from Taipei to Tainan by regular train.
Bus: Long-distance buses are available, with a travel time of about 5-6 hours.
Domestic Flight: You can also take a domestic flight from Taipei's Songshan Airport (TSA) to Tainan Airport (TNN), which takes about 1 hour.
Rental Car: For flexibility and exploration, you can rent a car and drive from Taipei to Tainan in approximately 3-4 hours.
Do you want to visit Tainan City now? The first thing you must do is prepare a valid visa. Apply for a Taiwan e-visa right away to experience daily life in Tainan! Taiwan Immigration Services is here to help you to go through the visa procedure without any difficulty. We will prepare and standardize your required documents to fit with the e-visa requirements. Don’t hesitate to contact us and solve your problems and concerns. Travel is an interesting thing, let us make your journey easier!