Sunday, August 4, 2019

Historical Places in Tainan

Tainan was the capital city of Taiwan from 1683 to 1887, under the ruling Qing Dynasty. The provincial capital was moved to Taipei after 1887. As one of the oldest city in Taiwan, Tainan is filled with old streets, temples, and of course, remnant of the old forts and castles. 

First of all, getting a right place to stay is important. For us, we stayed in ECFA Hotel (爱客发商务旅客), which is right at the heart of the city. The hotel is surrounded by old temples, and Chihkan Tower  (赤崁楼) is just nearby. Most of the places of interest and food streets are located at the old city (An Ping area and West Central District), staying somewhere nearby the area is highly recommended.

Let us start with the forts and old city remnants- Chihkan Tower (赤崁楼), AnPing Old Fort (安平古堡), Eternal Golden Castle (二鲲鯓炮台), and the south city gate (府城南门). South city gate is named Dananmen (大南门) in Google Map. Due to the summer promotion, these places could be accessed free of charge. The hot and humid weather deterred tourists activities, so these places were quiet during our visit. 

Our recommendation- visit Anping Old Fort, Anping old town, and Eternal Golden Castle together, as these places are nearby to each other. Chihkan Tower is surrounded by food streets. So visit the tower in late afternoon follow by a street-dining feast along the food streets will be nice.

South city gate is located south from Zhongyi Road. We can visit old Confucius Temple and old Tainan administration offices along the road. Shin Kong Mitsukoshi shopping mall- the biggest shopping mall in Tainan, is around 400 meters to the west of south city gate. 


Chihkan Tower is located at Section 2, Minzu Road. The tower was build around 1650 by Dutch, named Fort Provintia, as a defense tower in urban area. 1662, the fort was taken by Koxinga (郑成功), a Chinese general, and turned it into administration center of Tainan. The old fort was completely destroyed by earthquake. The beautiful towers that we can see today is built in 19th century on the foundation of the old fort. It has been renamed as Chihkan Tower. 

The original entrance of Fort Provintia. The entrance had been blocked for safety reason.

The foundation of the old tower.

Chihkan Tower from Minzu Road entrance (upper left). The entrance was free during our visit (May and June promotion). Some items, including the original design of the tower were exhibited in the building (upper right). The landscape was beautiful (lower right). The tower is beautiful, but, lack of historical value. The statue of lion and other decorative items were built in recent years. The tower worth a short visit anyway. We stayed there for around 30 minutes. Then, we walked down Minzu Road and Guohua Street. We took several types of food along the streets for dinner.

Anping Old Fort was built in 1632 by Dutch, to safeguard the entrance to Tainan seaport. It was originally named as Fort Zeelandia. The fort was taken by Koxinga in 1662, and renamed it as AnPing. The fort was completely abandoned under the ruling Qing Dynasty. The complex we can see today is built after World War 2. 

This wall was built by Dutch- the first owner of the fort. It is located around 50 meters behind the entrance.

Old well left at the semi-circle bastion of the old fort.

The white tower which we can see in the tourism leaflets and websites is standing on the foundation of old fort. It was built after World War 2. There is a souvenir shop and information center beside the tower. 

Several cannon replicas are displayed around the fort. These cannons are facing the sea. Photo was taken beside the white tower.

The tower is open to public, free of charge. We can see beautiful scenery of Tainan from the top of the tower. 

The original state of Fort Zeelandia. From here, we know that what have been left for us today are not more than a few battered walls. The site was badly preserved. There is a museum on the left of the entrance. It worth a visit. 

Our group photo outside of the museum. We spent around one hour walking around the fort and the museum. We roamed around Anping old town for a while before we walked to Eternal Golden Castle. It took us around 30 minutes to walk to the castle. The hot weather almost got us killed.

The Eternal Golden Castle is actually a small fort, around 1.7 kms from Anping Old Fort. It was built by Qing Official in 1876 to safeguard the coastline of Tainan.


The huge flat area at the middle of the fort was the resting and training ground for the soldiers (upper left). The armory (upper right), huge cannons pointing towards the coastline (lower right) and the moat can be seen as well. Some sources stated that the fort was built with the bricks dismantled from Fort Zeelandia. We took taxi to Wen Zhang Beef Soup (文章牛肉汤, some website refer it as Win Chang Beef Soup)to take our lunch, before we went back to our hotel. We visited Fucheng Nanmen and Confucius Temple the next day.


South city gate, or Fucheng Nanmen is located at Shulin Street. The gate is the only one with defensive enclosure in Taiwan.

The enclosure extends from the city gate and forms an outer layer of city wall. The enclosure was built around 1835.

 City gate.

Former Tainan Broadcasting Bureau Building, built in 1932. The building is located nearby the south gate.

Old temples and buildings are scattered all around the city- Confucius Temple (upper left),  Koxinga family temple (upper right), old fire station (lower right) and old court house are a few of them.

The good thing about Tainan- we can get nice food along the streets when we are moving from a tourist spot to another. We shared our experience in getting nice food in Tainan in our blog as well. We shared information about the place we stayed, shopping, and transportation as well.

More about our experience in Kaohsiung and Tainan:


More about our experience in Taipei: 






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