Tainan Fun Trip, the old Capital of nostalgic feeling (Chapter of attractions and delicacies)
Where can we find attractions and good delicacies in Tainan?
Anping Old Fort
which is fully loaded with Taiwanese history
No.82, Guocheng Rd. Anping Dist., Tainan City
Admission fee:50 NTD
Opening hour: A.M. 08:30 - P.M. 05:30
It is said that the Anping Old Fort was constructed by the Dutch in the middle of 17th century, it was named as “Fort Zeelandia” at the time. You can see a lot of historical footprints of the war fought for reclaiming Taiwan. The Fort was restored as historical monument and became the most epitomic attraction of Tainan.
The Central stairway of Anping Old Fort
Anping Old Fort once was the fortress of the Dutch, it took 10 years to complete the whole fortress. Although the fortress was the center of the Dutch colony during 1642~1661, however, after it is recovered by the Qing Dynasty, they kept using the Anping Old Fort as the center of managing the entire Taiwan.
Anping Old Fort Monument
There are always many people line up in front of the stone monument that is engraved with ’Anping Old Fort’ wording to take pictures. So, we know that the best spots to take shots are at the Central Stairway and in front of the monument!
In front of the Anping Old Fort monument
There are also canons used by the Qing Dynasty displayed around Anping Old Fort. Looking at the mottled old canons, we seemed to experience the ups and downs of past.
The 17th century canon
Anping Old Fort is very near to the coast line of Tainan, surround by flat and even ground. There is a feeling of soothing and relaxing after climbing up the central stairway to overlook the entire Tainan City.
The panoramic view of Anping Old Fort
After strolling around the whole fortress, it is not difficult to understand why the Dutch wanted to construct a fortress at this location. Even now, the Anping Old Fort is still the important landmark of Tainan
The central office building of the Anping Old Fort
There are historical showroom and souvenir shop in the office building, after seeing the ground level, you can climb up to the second level for a look and then go out from the back door.
The stairway leads down to the back door.
The observation platform
The total dimension of the Anping Old Fort is not too large as I imagined, this is better. I can take my time to explore the traces of history hidden under every corner of the fortress.
Looking up to the Anping Old Fort from the back door
Just like every fairy tale; all has a tree house
Anping Tree House
Opening hour: 08:30am ~ 05:30pm
Entrance fee: 50 TWD
Address: No.108, Gubao St. An-ping Dist. Tainan city
Website: Cultural Affairs Bureau
Anping Tree House is one of the must go locations in Tainan. The Tree house is just as its name sake, it is a house covered almost entirely under the tree. It is said that the Anping Tree House was a salt warehouse. It is over-grown with lush trees inside and around the whole house. If you don’t look carefully, you might think that the house is constructed inside the tree intentionally.
The entrance of the Anping Tree House
On the way to the Anping Tree House, I have walked past memorial hall of the famous calligrapher Mr. Chu, Jiu-Ying, who lived in the end of 19th century, and also Tait & Co. Merchant House that were trading salt in the Japanese rein era.
The ticket house at the front gate
The house in the back of the ticket house is the memorial hall of the calligrapher Mr. Chu Jiu-Ying, and the white two-story villa is the Tait & Co. Merchant House. These two houses are opened as memorial halls for the public.
I can see the traces of the locals who are making great effort to maintain the original appearances of the Anping Tree House. Whether it is the signs or the displayed objects they are not feeling too abrupt inside of the tree house at all.
The inside of the Anping Tree House (1)
After walking into the Anping Tree House, I found that everyone just kept pressing shutter without even uttering a word. Even myself was doing the same unstoppably. Those branches growing alongside the wall and the branches flowing down from the ceiling, every scene you see seemed that we are inside some kind of scene of a movie.
The inside of the Anping Tree House (2)
And you can see families or lovers who came to visit posing a thousand funny postures to take the picture in the tree house.
The inside of the Anping Tree House (3)
Roof top of the Anping Tree House
Simply looking at these tree branches striving to grow and the mosses on the wall, do you know how long time and years flew by?
The back wall of the Anping Tree House (1)The back wall of the Anping Tree House (1)
It is said that since Anping Tree House is always under the shade, it is very cool during any season of the year. But because Tainan is in the south, hence the temperature will always be higher than Taipei due to the latitude. You can find the road map of the tree house everywhere, so it’s quite convenient to walk through the tree house with the help of the map.
Sunshine spilling through the tree branch is incomparably comfortable. Simply walking in the tree house, it seems that the breath of the shade is tickling on your skin, is there any other forest walk more comfortable than in this Tree House?
There is a steel observation platform behind the Tree House following the road map. From the opposite side of the observation platform, you can see the canal that was constructed during the prosperous trading period. But now the port and pier are all covered with flowers and grasses, therefore we cannot see the old facilities any more.
The observation platform behind the back door of the Anping Tree House
Look toward the Anping Tree House from the observation platform
There is a small wooden house behind the court yard of Anping Tree House with a sign indicating that it is the “Tree House Café”.
Tree House Cafe
When I walked near the Cafe, I saw that everyone is eating ice cream. Really, almost everyone is holding an ice cream cone. They have two different flavors and it is 80 NTD each.
The milk coffee ice cream of the Tree House Cafe
Menu of the Tree House Cafe
Aside from the ice cream, if you want to order some other drinks, you must order in the Café. They serve coffee, tea and all varieties of drinks. I noticed beer made from Taiwanese tea when I entered. They have various kinds of homemade beer and I requested them to recommend a bitter beer.
The homemade beer of the Tree House Cafe
However, I felt my face turned red immediately after just one sip, maybe because it is 9-degree alcohol concentration? (I will not post the picture of me drinking the beer.)
Various kinds of beers of Tree House Cafe
They have a section selling souvenir and you can walk in to have a look with your drink in hand
The souvenir area of Tree House Cafe
The first market of Tainan
Anping Old Street
Anping Old Street comes from the homophonic of Yanping Road. Anping Old Street is very near to Anping Old Fort and Anping Tree House, so I have arranged to visit these 3 places in a day.
The entrance of Anping Old Street
The pedestrian crossing to the entrance of Anping Old StreetStreet view of the Anping Old Street
There are traditional houses of Taiwan in Anping Old Street, I extremely recommend that every tourist should walk into the alleys of the old street.
The alleys around the Anping Old Street
Anping Old Street is very interesting. I have seen a bubble tea shop and the shop keeper is cooking the tapioca. He was simply presenting the process of making bubble tea to strangers without trying to hide anything, may be because the shop keeper has a lot of confidence for his raw materials and tastes of the drinks he sells? After all, things taste most delicious freshly made, and no exception for the freshly made bubble tea. I have bought one and tasted, and the texture of the tapioca truly felt different from other places.
The freshly cooked tapioca
Look at these huge eggs! They are not chicken eggs and not Ostridge eggs either! The shop keeper said it is the goose eggs, and this is the first time I have ever seen a goose egg. It is about 4 or 5 times bigger than chicken eggs. Even Taiwanese passersby felt amazed and everyone said that these eggs are just too big.
The shop keeper of goose eggs
I was curious enough to buy one to taste, it’s not much different from chicken egg. Maybe the taste of egg yolk is not so rich as chicken egg? But it’s just too big that although both of us ate with great effort, finally we just could not eat the rest of 1/4 of the egg. If you love steamed egg and eat much harder than we did, maybe you are able to eat it all.
The steamed goose eggs
The pork jerky sold in Anping Old Street is very different from other places, starting from its thickness. After we tried some, we found that the pork jerky has a taste of handmade ham. Processed meat cannot even come close with its special flavor. And they are selling 7 different flavors of pork jerky, which includes: spicy, black pepper flavors etc. Just choose any flavor you like.
The fun part of strolling in the traditional market is that it is where you can taste their traditional delicacies that locals eat. Although some of the food looks like the food sold in the Korean traditional market, however, the taste and flavor is simply not the same. Peanut candy with herb
May be the color looks like a chocolate? But there is not a bit of chocolate contained in the bread. This is a Taiwanese bread made from dark brown sugar, it tastes like the sticky rice bread.
Dark brown sugar cake
We heard the sizzling sound of frying food and traced with the sound while walking in the old street, and happily found the tempura and fried octopus! It is very cheap, only NTD$10 per piece and we can dip any sauce we like on the freshly fried octopus. Because it is so popular that people que up to buy the tempura, so the basket above the frying pan is always empty. If you happened to pass by without seeing anything on the basket, you might not even know what the shop is selling.
The Mecca of Tainan delicacies
Location: Kouhua Street Sec. 3, West Central Dist. Tainan City
Opening hour: 24 hours (the shops opening hour in the market are all different from each other)
There are various kinds of special delicacies in the Tainan Yongle Market. Whenever it is lunch time the market will be bustled with tourists and people who work nearby, so everyone will walk shoulder to shoulder in the market. There is also one fruit and vegetable market near Yongle Market and it is not far from the famous attraction Shengnong Street.
Entrance of the Yongle MarketTV stations come for interviews constantly
Tofu pudding is a kind of Taiwanese desert mixed with tender tofu, brown sugar water and other ingridients and I heard that it is very famous and popular in Tainan. Before I came to Tainan, I have heard that tofu made in Tainan is much tenderer than other places, and the ingredients added to the tofu pudding have so many varieties, my friends told me that I must try Tainan tofu pudding.
Tofu pudding stand (the traditional ways)Tofu pudding shop (the modern shop)
Although each tofu pudding shop is not exactly the same, but they all have soft tofu pudding with brown sugar water, plus any ingredient you like to add. Since I love to taste the original flavor of food, I simply ordered tofu pudding with brown sugar water without any other ingredient.
Tofu pudding with herbal jelly and milk
The tofu pudding in each shop is different from the other shop. Some of the shop will develop their own special menu, adding seasonal fruits or egg pudding to the tofu pudding. Prices of these puddings are around NT$60-120 dollars. Of course, if you add more ingredient(s), it will be much more expensive.
Tofu pudding with herbal jelly
Although it seemed very volumous, but because it is soft tender tofu, therefore it will not be very filling. One bowl of tofu pudding for one person is quite enough. And though the flavor will change whhen other ingredients are added, but it is mostly sweet.
Tofu pudding with herbal jelly and egg pudding plus milk
If you like smooth and tender texture, I would recommend tofu pudding with herbal jelly, or tofu pudding with herbal jelly and egg pudding plus milk. And if you like sweet fruity flavor, there are always tofu pudding filled with the natural fragrance of fruits to choose from.
Tofu pudding with mango sauce
The other representative delicacy of Tainan is the “beef soup.” The place to have beef soup is not only in Yongle Market, you can see shops or stands selling beef soup everywhere in Tainan.
The beef soup food stand in Yongle Market
I heard that locals in Tainan often have beef soup for breakfast. Some of the more popular shops even sold out their beef soup before lunch time and closed the shop earlier than the estimated closing hours. The way of dining in Tainan is somewhat different from other places in Taiwan. The beef soup
The flavor is quite similar to the taste of beef soup sold in my neighborhood in Korea. I heard that if only you have fresh beef you can simply make the same beef soup. The method is to put fresh slices of beef in a bowl and pour boiling water to the bowl, and it is done. It’s almost the same as a hot pot, right? Although it is not necessarily all the same flavor in every beef soup shop, however, most shops will present you white rice to go with the beef soup. The price of small bowl of beef soup is around NT$110-130, and a big bowl of beef soup will be between NT$150-170.
Completely kept the old era appearance of Qing Dynasty
Location: Shengnong Street, West Central Dist. Tainan city
Opening hour: 24 hours
Entrance fee: none
The moment we entered Shengnong Street is like riding on the time machine and back to the other century. If the famous scene in northern Taiwan is Jiufen that appeared in the background of animation “Chi and Chihiro,” then of course the famous scene in the south of Taiwan is Shengnong Street, which still kept the atmosphere of two hundred years ago.
The view of Shengnong Street (1)
Did you ever see the EBS World Theme Travel that had a program named “Taiwan-once you step on the Formosa?” They have introduced Shengnong Street in its Part III program in Feb. 2018. It was filmed during day time, after seeing the video program I became very curious of how the scene of Shengnong Street will change at night time.
View of Shengnong Street (2)
Every small alley of Shengnong Street is jammed packed with people and everyone is focused on taking pictures.
Street view (3)Street view (4)
Here you can meet lots and lots of tourists from Korea, Hong Kong and Japan, besides Taiwanese tourist.Street view (5)Street view (6)
There are no modern street light in Shengnong Street, and for the sake of keeping the appearances of two centuries ago, they have hung a lot of lanterns. Under the dim lights of lanterns Shengnong Street has appeared more romantic, adding a lot more old-fashioned charm.
Take picture with the owner of antique shop in Shengnong street
(he appeared and performed in EBS World Theme Travel “Taiwan-once you step on the Formosa” Part III)
The shops in Shengnong Street are mostly selling souvenirs, household commodities and drinks. The street is not long, about 300 meters in length, and always bustling with people at every weekend.
The handmade souvenir store (1)The souvenir store (2)
There are different charms in Shengnong Street at different time, and because of the lanterns decorated in the surrounding, you can always take satisfactory picture from any angle. The souvenir store
Before we left Shengnong Street, we have found a place to dine. Luckily, we found a restaurant with special taste at the end of the street. The restaurant serves tea, handmade beer, red wine and some light meals, and there is a stand in the entrance of the restaurant selling traditional clothing. The entrance of the restaurantHandmade beer and Indonesian curry rice
I felt that black and white picture seemed more suitable for Shengnong Street. When I was waiting for service in a restaurant in Shengnong Street, I took this snap shot in black and white casually.
In the restaurant
At the day we were in Shengnong Street, people kept streaming in after 8pm. When we came out of the restaurant there were even more people in the alleys. These could be people taking a walk after dinner. The increasing stream of people (1) The increasing stream of people (2)
Please note that shops in Shengnong Street are not willing to take credit card, therefore transactions are mostly done in cash. Also, while in Shengnong Street, if you are going to a traditional market, please prepare enough cash as well.
Must go place for examinees
The Tainan Confucius temple
Location: No.2, Rd. Nanmen Rd., West Central Dist., Tainan city
Opening hour: 8:30am~5:30pm
Entrance fee: 25 TWD
I have heard that there is a place that Taiwanese must go before the important examination, and this place is the Tainan Confucius temple!
The entrance of the Tainan Confucius temple
This temple is called “the Temple of Literature” before 1665，it can be described as the mecca of education, afterwards it is called as “Confucius temple” and became the temple for honoring the “god of study.”The main hall of the Confucius temple ‘The premier academy in Taiwan’
(Means that the examinees came to pray may pass and enter the best school in Taiwan)
The Tainan Confucius temple is the first of the Confucius temple in Taiwan, so you can imagine its high literature hierarchy status in Taiwan. The day when I was there, I have seen a lot of high school students come to pray for passing their examination. And with a lot of people attending the entrance exam for collage and for national examination to be public servant that streaming on and off the temple, for those people who does not know this place, they might simply think that this is just another sightseeing attraction. The entrance of the main hall Worshiper who is writing on paper to pray for exam success
There are mainly two kinds of people who come to Confucius temple, the examinees and people who do not have the stress of examination. Whatever their purpose to come to the Confucius temple, I wish everyone who came to pray can have best of luck for their examination!
The inside of the Confucius templeIntroduction of exihibitions
Information for purchasing tickets of Tainan attractions: http://bit.ly/2v2g8XK
Information for purchasing tickets of Tainan historic sites: http://bit.ly/2v6YJNw
Information of Tainan trip: http://bit.ly/2v4bxEv