Taiwan’s unique southwest coastal towns provincial facade, and the roads are free from the hustle and bustle, there are no fast-food chains found around here. . .

TAINAN Take a stroll down memory lane and savour the taste of olden-past

Traveling Tainan, as if I am a time traveler stepping back in time through a time tunnel. Around each corner is a historical building, with a rich cultural heritage and monument.

If given two choices, in my heart of hearts I have already chosen, for Taiwan’s unique southwest coastal towns provincial facade, and the roads are free from the hustle and bustle, there are no fast-food chains found around here. Unable to stop myself from just walking and exploring, stopping once in awhile just draw-in deep breath, constantly munching, people watching or just even speaking to the smiling faces of local residence . . . . . .

TAINAN. Is rich in colours, as well as in taste

Tainan has always been a choiced destination for visitors visiting Taiwan, indeed it is a good place to explore. Not only are the food and snacks that draws people here, but it is also the places of interest,the beautiful attractions which captures the heart of tourist which is the deciding point for them to spend their time here!

There are many places of interest in Tainan, as well as many local street snacks found at every corner. Ancient Chinese Temples are awaiting to be explored. A rich inheritance of ancient monuments, some are even found to be more than a century old, the local people here does not seems as if they reminisce these,could it be because they have been living in a time-lapse era? Peacefully going about life just like it had in the past?


When visiting Tainan, take a slow stroll along the old streets, this is the way to experience the cultural essence of Tainan; walk into the old shops, and live in their old houses,in order to fully understand its culture. In recent years,there are some renovations to these old houses, artists have flock to the town,turning the walls of these old houses into their ideal canvas of imagination. In keeping with its rich history, they have left the candle burning with interesting stories of people. Many moving back here to take a step back and relax.

Hai’an Road

Hai’an road was originally one of the old streets, but as a few artist got together and hashed out some ideas on the old buildings around.Going through the transformation at the hands of a few artists, their works each distinctly different, has helped give a new facelift to the street, while preserving the ancient buildings. At night the street itself is transformed into a pulsating nightlife, with hipsters cafe and pubs as well as live music.

Chuang Mei Theater

The theater Tainan’s oldest second-run movie theater, has an old American art deco influence, located near West Central District, Tainan City where other old and historical buildings can also be found. It has once witnessed the rise and success of Tainan’s old street. With a historical background spanning 70 years. The theater was frequented by famed director Ang Lee while he was a high school student in Tainan. The theater itself has been completed in 1950 by the founder,it was taken over in 1969 by Wu Yiheng and renamed as Chuang Mei Theater, passed on to his son Wu Chun-cheng, who still maintains the art of hand-painted movie billboards by artist Yen Chen-fa, the old school ticket booths, snack counter, and the old signs that read “air raid exit” or “remove hats” have been maintained.

Even sitting down in the theater without any movie playing, is still an experience to be savoured.

Ten Drum Culture Village

Originally known as Rende Sugar Mill, the warehouse experience a slow decline in businesses following the slowing down of the sugar industry and ultimately cease to operate. A local performance and educational troupe, called Ten Drum Art Percussion Group (十鼓擊樂團), renowned for its innovative yet authentic approach to folk culture adopted this space as its homebase. Over the years it has attracted not only local tourists, but also those who were visiting from abroad. To view live performances, as well as to immerse in the culture and its creativity.

The entire surrounding area of the park is covered by thriving green shades, the building where the original warehouse functioning as the sugarmill has been converted into various usage, but still maintaining the original wooden structure.

Under the nurture and care of the troops, where some acting as friendly guides as well, the outdoors are turned into stunning parks! I sincerely believe with detailed planning in the garden, anything can be achieved. Seeing the proof all around, the ingenuity of turning this place around. Yes, no doubt the sun has set on the sugar mill industry here, but another transformation has taken place, the memories and importance of the sugar mill has been preserved for the generation to learn and enjoy.

Ten Drum Art Percussion Group (十鼓擊樂團), a performance and educational troupe renowned for its innovative yet authentic approach to folk culture.

Climb to the top to catch an amazing view of the sunset!

As the sun sets, the 10 Drum Cultural Village, turns into another dimension.

Looking through the glass or from the top of the building is great, you are able to view the whole place of the former warehouse.

As you look up, you will marvel at the architecture of this place!

It is not just an old sugar factory! But it is transformed into an interesting park, where many young people are attracted to drop by and explore.

Chihkan Tower

Known as one of the oldest historical sights in Taiwan, playing a significant role in Taiwan’s history. The castle was built by the Dutch, and was name Fort Provintia, the Han people called it Chikan city, and the Siraya aboriginals named the place as Sakam. The current tower is a newly built tower, a little different from the past, time has slowly erased the last traces of the Dutch fort, except you can still see some of the original brick foundations of this fort in certain areas of the site. There are remnants of the castle, Wenchang Pavilion and Haishen Temple. Three floors in height, where you can see the narrow streets of Tainan from a top. Monuments of Emperor Qianlong’s rule and achievements can be found, there are 9 Bixi steles, Bixi is depicted as a turtle with teeth, able to carry heavy stone tablets on its shell, lying on the ground with its head held high.

Chihkan Tower,one of the oldest historical sites in Taiwan.

A Tainan Fun card will take you around to places such as these!

Anping Old Street (Yanping Old Street)

25 years ago, Mr. Cai Jinan (heading the Anping Sword-Lion Square), has taken up responsibility in order to keep the image of the Sword Lion alive in the hearts and mind of the people,has taken steps in ensuring the creative and culture meaning of the Sword Lion continues, it was also said to be made as a mascot to the Anping District. Anping Sword-Lion Square often hosted cultural events and art-related activities, such as Sword Lion painting, the re-telling of the history of Sword Lion’s, a mini treasure hunt around the district to look for Sword Lions while on a bike are some of the activities that visitors can take part.

An old Anping Sword-Lion

You can spot different Sword-lion’s around Anping Street.

There is a mini treasure hunt around the district to look for Sword Lions, around Anping street!

Put on the costume and head around Anping Street for the treasure hunt!

Tainan Night Canal Tour

In the 30s and 50s of the People Republic of China, there was a shuttle ship between China and the town of Anping in Tainan. The shuttle service then ceased to function and the usage for the canal remain redundant.In December 2017, Tainan City Tourism Bureau launched an initiative of sightseeing cruise that runs along Tainan’s old transport canal. The cruise will take visitors to some of the historic city’s popular landscapes in Anping District, as well as cruising under some old bridge, remember to duck your head. As the boat cruise along, an interesting sights where fishes jump out of the water.

Taiwan Night Canal tour

Taiwan Night Canal tour, the view of the streets of Anping

Did you remember to lower your head when crossing under the bridge?

There were some fishes which suddenly jumped out of the water, causing laughter to ripple around the boat!

*Tainan Walk Around Information:

The latest way to explore Tainan from 2017 onwards is with – Tainan Fun Card (Tainan Station Pick Up) http://www.funcard.tw/en/buy.asp! This pass was created for a unique exploration of the culturally rich heritage of ancient Tainan. Easily convenient, hassle free, and you are able to get an unlimited 24-hour pass to explore the city by busses, traveling in comfort throughout Tainan. This special pass grants you access to key historical sights, for example visitors with Tainan Pass are not required to make reservations for entry of Chimei Museum, Guanziling hot spring with a unique mud spa, and the many delicious local cuisine to try. Should you have any questions, the link is a 24-hour enquiry link to assist you. This card allows you to truly experience the ancient leisure life of Tainan!

There’s no such thing as “I don’t eat” when in Tainan

Some say that Tainan’s food has a seemingly sweet note, but to some it is not sweet, this might cause you to ponder on your first experience. There are many theories, one of these is said that hundred of years ago, the people of Tainan lived in poverty. The value and status of owning sugar, is akin to owning truffle’s of today. Therefore, as long as a little sugar is added to your food, it is deemed expensive! Secondly the source of sweetness is not entirely sugar, but it comes from a local produce.

In any case it is an indisputable fact, the people of Tainan’s flair for their local cuisine which has been preserved for over one hundred years or more, shops which has been tried and tested surviving for decades. Hence it is a must to try and taste the snacks, cakes and desserts of Tainan’s street food!

Ye Tao Yang Fang Humanities Restaurant

“Turn the ordinary into something extraordinary”, a quote which greets patrons on the wall of Ye Tao Yang Fang Humanities Restaurant, as it introduces the “sweet potato cake”! Preparing the dishes while respecting the ingredients, putting a touch of humanity in its flavours, this same practice also applies to Ye Tao Yang Fang other cuisines. Be it through spring, summer, autumn or the winter seasons through life,one will learn how to appreciate the essence and effort placed in preparation of the simple yet delicious home cooked dish.

Tainan-Tsai Milkfish Restaurant

It is said that the milkfish are a part of an everyday life of the Tainan people. No one knows how to prepare the fish to taste its best, other than the Tainan people. The fish has a staggering 200 pieces of bones, but it’s rich taste of the fish varies at every inch of its flesh. There are different cooking methods, some are bittersweet, some are fish have thich flesh, whether its frying, marinade, cooked with stocks,or steamed, only the people of Tainan who can expertly handle and prepare the milkfish!

Chou’s Shrimp Roll

Shrimp rolls are one of the must-eat cuisine in Tainan! The simplest of dishes are often the most difficult ones to prepare.The crisp golden skin of the outer layer coupled with a thickness of two thumbs, do catch everyone’s attention! Taking the first crispy bite into the sweet taste of the shrimp roll, it’s like all of heaven’s opened with a new realization of heavenly food! You can pair the rolls with some ginger, wasabi, or a dash of soy sauce!

Du Hsiao Yueh Restaurant

The dan zai noodles has has been made from centuries past, and it has become a must-try Taiwanese cuisine be it home-cooked or abroad! This particular dish is a combination of noodles top up with minced pork, Tarakan Eco-shrimp, Century-Wu Hsian vinegar sauce, and a prawn based soup. There are other dishes as well such as the golden shrimp rolls and grilled sausages, which are not to be missed. Seemingly an easy and simple dish prepared at Du Hsiao Yueh Restaurant, but rich in its taste and history!

台南 ‧ 穿街走巷觅古味(一)

台南 ‧ 穿街走巷觅古味(二)

台南 ‧ 穿街走巷觅古味(三)

Published on April 11, 2018, China Press. Editor : Ai Reen.