Tainan (臺南市) and AnPing District (安平區)

Michael came down from Taipei for a weekend and so we started to head around with a scooter to see the most important sights of the city. The first stop we did isn’t far away from the main train station and is the Chihkan Tower (Fort Provintia) (台南市). It is one of the best restored sights in Tainan City and really worth to visit! (Entry: NT$25-50)

Afterwards we directly went to Anping. It is directly located at the water with a big harbour and a lot of water-ways. The buildings are all new and you have a complete different atmosphere in comparison to the centre. The Fort Zeelandia (熱蘭遮城), also called Anping Castle, is one of the last contemporary witnesses of the time of the Dutch and Japanese in this Area. The fort was originally built by the Dutch out of wood. After they lost Tainan to the Japanese and a siege over months the fort was overtaken by the Japanese who built it for new out of bricks they have brought from home. From the tower you have a great view of the fort and the city.

In front of the fort the Kaitai Tianhou Temple is situated. On the other side of the street a big and impressive cemetery is located. The Christian church at the end of the streets reminds that about 10% of the city’s population are catholic.

The Anping Harbour is a great place to relax and get rid of the stress of the city. On the one side the harbour itself with the fishing boats is situated. At the opposite the Lin Mo Niang Park (Lín Mòniáng Gōngyuán 林默娘公園) was opened in April 2004. This two hector green island is dedicated to Lin Mo Niang, the human embodiment of the goddess Matsu, as she protects the sea workers and offers an image of piousness to young Taiwanese.

As always when you sightseeing this was one of the hottest days I ever had here in Taiwan why we decided to head over to the sea and have a swim. In Tainan there are two beaches, the Anping Beach and the Golden Beach. You cannot expect the same cleanness like in tourist centres all over the world but still you can relax and enjoy the sound of the waves. After a stop over at Anping Beach we reached the Golden Beach after about 30 minutes scooter ride. At the small promenade are a few stands where you can buy food and drinks (the start to open at around 5pm) and the beach is clean.

Having a swim here would be great but the lifeguard is always watching that you do not get more than 5 meters into the water! Most Taiwanese aren’t able to swim well enough to stand the waves (that are not really big) but still, he was insisting that we stay close to the shore as well.