Tainan, South Taiwan’s picturesque destination

Shangri-La Far Eastern Plaza Tainan’s Concierge proposes a selection of top attractions in Tainan

Renowned as Taiwan’s oldest city and the fourth biggest metropolis on the island, Tainan attracts travelers due to its serene ambience and significant historical sites, more than 50 of which are officially listed as national treasures.

Tainan now has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Taiwan, attracting considerable number domestic and foreign tourists. Don’t miss out on these attractions to experience a city

Anping Mazu Temple is believed to be built in 1668 and is the first Mazu temple in Taiwan island. The main structure of the temple was fortified with steel and concrete in 1962. It is guarded by stone lions in front of the temple and at the entrance. The stone sculptures of the guardian generals are posted in accordance with the temple’s Fengshui (propitious spatial arrangement).

As a pivotal Mazu temple, the Anping Mazu Temple grows to be the religious center of Anping District. The temple preserves and perpetuates many traditional customs, such as an annual coming-of-age ceremony for adolescents, the “lighting for good fortune” event, the “crossing the Ping-an Bridge” event, and many praying rituals.

Anping Fort was built on the remains of Fort Zeelandia during the Japanese colonial period. Fort Zeelandia was a stronghold of Dutch power during1624 to 1642.  The real cultural heritage refers to the remaining external wall of Fort Zeelandia situated south of the Anping Fort. You can overlook Anping’s landscape on the observation tower in Anping Fort. In the exhibition hall by the tower you can learn the history of Tainan and Anping Fort with precious relics and a model of the original fort.

Hayashi department store was opened in 1932, and was the largest department store in southern Taiwan. The building was reinforced concrete architecture, and the interior was modern and eye-catching at that time. The department store had an elevator and a hand-activated roller door, which were both very rare when it was opened. At the terrace on the top of the building, the Shintoist Suehiro Shrine that the Department Store set up in 1933 is well-preserved and can still be found there today. Hayashi department store was classified as a Municipal Heritage Site in 1998 . In 2013, the Hayashi department store was re-opened as a department store selling cultural products.

Tainan Confucius Temple, built in 1665, is the first in Taiwan that memorizes Confucius. In the Ming Dynasty, Yong-hua Chen, Koxinga’s chief counselor, advised to build the temple. Next to the temple sits the Hall of Edification, Taiwan’s first public academy teaching traditional Chinese literature. The temple holds commemorative rituals every year on September 28th, which is said to be Confucius’ birthday.

The National Museum of Taiwan Literature is the first national museum dedicated to the literary arts. The building of the museum was the office of Tainan Prefectural Government during Japanese colonial period. The building reflects contemporary European architectural styling. The building was damaged during WWII and suffered decades of neglect before serious restoration work was commenced in 1997. Reopened in 2003, the building is today a focal point of Taiwan literature,culture, architecture and history. The NMTL records, organizes and explains Taiwan’s literary heritage. The museum is not only the place for Taiwan’s literature research but also the place for reading and teatime.

Shennong Street is considered to be the best preserved old street in Tainan. The street is named after Shennong, who is considered to be the forefather of Chinese agriculture. Many houses here still retain the early Cing Dynasty and Japanese colonial style. Some houses has been transformed into craft shops or bars where locals and tourists enjoy visiting.

Chihkan Tower, also known as Fort Provintia, was built by the Dutch in 1653 as an administrative and commercial center. Chihkan Tower has gone through many masters after the Dutch – Ming, Cing, Japanese, and the Kuomintang (KMT; China’s Nationalist Party). The building has been renovated several times and blended with Chinese styles. On the grounds in front of the tower, you will see nine stone stelae which commemorate an uprising in Qing dynasty. The sculptures beneath the stelae are the mythical half dragon and half tortoise creatures that shows Chinese mythological belief.

Chihkan Tower Tainan