Life in Tainan City

The first things you have to keep in mind if you are considering to stay for longer time in Tainan are:

  • there is nearly NO public transport system
  • nobody speaks English
  • it is raining a lot and stays hot at the same time

The huge number of scooters is just based on the fact that this is the easiest way to get around. You can rent one from NT$ 2500 a month. A (second-hand) bike may is convenient enough and ways cheaper, starting from NT$ 300 – 1000. A place to rent a scooter is located between the train-line and the Shangri-La building.

The problem that there are very few people speaking fluent English isn’t that easy to cope on with. A phrase book may help a little bit, but most of the time you have to act with your hands (and feet).

Buying an umbrella is indispensable if you are spending some time in Taiwan. During the summer you will have some days with blue sky and high temperatures, but normally it starts raining between 13 and 15pm.

Most of the shops and restaurants close at 10pm and always keep in mind, restaurants do not serve dinner after 9pm. Sure there are some who last longer, especially all McDonald’s that are opened at least till 11pm or are open 24/7 but they are not always easy to find.  – Especially when you are hungry.

Behind the Shangri-La are several laundry services. A pack of clothes is normally around NT$ 80. They wash and dry your stuff, but do not iron it. If you have a sensible skin be careful, they are using very aggressive washing powder.

7Eleven is all over the city at nearly each corner. They are opened 24/7 but their offer is very limited. You get drinks, snacks, a little micro-wave food and cigarettes. If you want to get some western stuff you may visit the supermarket in the FE21 (Shangri-La Building) in the second basement. It has for example fresh vegetables and fruits, coffee and so on.

The Juy Bakery is in my mind one of the best in the whole town. They have bread with and without sugar. Badly you won’t find dark bread. The staff is really nice but does not speak any English and everything is marked in Chinese.

Bread starts from around NT$ 30. Tip: Try the raisins bread!

Location: 20 DaXue Road and 186 YunXue Road

If you want to have some good old western food there are several good places to go to. My favourite ones right now are Willy’s Second Base, Tin Pan Alley and [email protected]

Tin Pan Alley:
It is one of the few expat bars owned by Darren who has been living in Tainan for more the 14 years now. There are often live music gigs and you always find someone nice to talk to. They offer Wraps and Pizza combined with different kinds of beer.

WIFI: yes
Hours: Monday – Thursday 2:00PM ~ 2:00 AM; Friday – Sunday 2:00PM ~ 4:00 AM
Location: No. 28 Beimen Road (北門路), Section 2, North District, Tainan City

Willy’s Second Base:
It is one of the best know American Pubs in the city. Great food (Pizza with awesome self-made tomato sauce and Mexican) and different brands of beer. Every Thursday there is Pub-Quiz. – Great opportunity to get known to some people!

WIFI: yes
Hours: Open Tuesday to Sunday from 6pm – whenever.
Location No. 321, Sec. 2 Jiankang Road (健慷路), South District, Tainan City.

[email protected]:
This very stylish restaurant offers pasta, wraps, sandwiches and self-made desserts with fresh smoothies and Italian Illy coffee. They offer all food for take-away as well.

WIFI: no
For more information go to:

Masa Loft
They have fresh made juices and a great selection of coffees. The dishes here are all good but you have to try the waffles!  The loft has a great atmosphere and based on the location in the third floor nice few over the entrance of the NCKU and the Daxue Road. This is a place to relax and chill at the afternoon!

WIFI: yes
Hours: Weekdays 9:00AM ~ 11:00PM; Weekends 8:30AM ~ 11:00PM
Location: No.53 Daxue Road (Dasyue Rd. 大學路), 3rd floor, East District,

For further information about night-life and living in Tainan City visit the Tainan City Guide by Karl Bergman. It provides very detailed information about the city and its surroundings.