The first place to head in Tainan is Anping, a district that easily made Taiwan’s official list of ‘Top 10 Small Tourist Towns’. Get transported back in time as you walk through the gritty brick gate of the Eternal Golden Castle, whose black cannons used to defend the coast, but now are only fired for show (without cannonballs of course). Also be sure to check out the spooky Anping Tree House – a warehouse that’s been completely taken over by a banyan tree, whose roots and branches snake all over the walls and break out of the roof like something out of a horror film.
The buzzing crowds and buzzing lights of the Anping night market will bring you back to the present, but keep in mind that it’s the dense centre of Tainan where you’ll find the best goods. Department stores have many of the top western brands and the shops outside will overwhelm you with their selection of Japanese clothing, sporting equipment and cheap electronics. Make sure you save some room in your bag!
Your wallet’s going to need a rest eventually, so why not visit some of Tainan’s historical sights? Within the city centre you can visit Chihkan Tower, an old fort that is like a beautiful old house with a large garden and monuments to Tainan’s history. The philosophical and educational importance of Confucianism runs strong in the red-tinged grounds of the Taiwan Confucian Temple, where you may arrive in time to see a traditional ceremony. Afterwards you can cool off with some flavoured shaved ice at shops nearby. If you want a deep look into Taiwanese history you won’t regret travelling north to Annan District to walk through the National Museum of Taiwan History, which has over 60,000 artefacts.
Celebrations sweep across the whole of Taiwan during Chinese New Year, and Tainan is no exception, but they end the fun with a unique event of their own. During the Yanshui Fireworks Festival, cages of bottle rockets are purposely set off within the crowds gathered in the streets, ricocheting off buildings and people. Some stand close wearing helmets, while you’ll see the bravest wearing no more than a loin cloth. Stand at least 30 metres away and you can watch the world’s fifth-most dangerous festival fill the street with noise and smoke.
Why stay in Taipei when you can experience modern Taiwan and centuries of its culture from one of our Tainan hotels. Also be sure to check out our great fares on flights to Taiwan.
Hotels in Tainan start at AU$18 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.