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About Tainan

    Tainan is the birthplace of Taiwan and the oldest city on the island. In 1661, the Ming loyalist Cheng Cheng-kung drove the Dutch from Taiwan and established his administration in Tainan. At the time, mainland Chinese immigrants were coming to Taiwan in droves, helping the young city to grow.

    After the Qing pacification of Taiwan in 1683, the Taiwan Prefectural Capital was established in Tainan. In 1885, Taiwan became a province and Tainan's position changed to that of Tainan Prefectural Capital, from which its current name derives. Tainan remained the political, economic and cultural center of Taiwan up to the late nineteenth century. As a result, Tainan is home to many famous historic sites. It also is the city with the longest history and earliest cultural roots in Taiwan.

    In addition to its historic and cultural attractions, Tainan boasts a stunning natural landscape and well-known agricultural and fishery products and cuisine. In spring, the Taiwan International Orchid Show is held in Houbi Township's Taiwan Orchid Plantation, presenting the early spring orchids in all their beauty and charm. Every year on the 15th day of the first lunar month, the spectacular Yanshui Beehive Rockets Festival attracts throngs of visitors from across Taiwan and the world to Tainan. And for an educational family fun in the summer visitors can choose from firefly watching in Meiling, lotus watching in Baihe, and activities at Qigu Mangrove Tourist Park. With the arrival of the autumn cool, visitors can head to Dongshan to sample the fragrant locally-grown Arabica coffee. And in winter, you can sooth away those sore muscles at the Guanziling mud springs.

    If you want to know more about Tainan, check here.



Cultural Attractions】

Tainan Confucius Temple 
( Michelin Green Guide: ★★★)

    The Confucius Temple in Tainan was built in 1666, it was the first Confucius Temple, before the end of Manchu Dynasty, it was the location of the highest official institute of higher learning in Taiwan. The Taiwan Palace of "Confucianism Study", it owned the incompatible position of culture and education, and was called "The Highest Institute". The Confucius Temple has been  through more than thirty times of reconstruction, a part of the building was destroyed during the wars or ruined by nature disasters; the present scale of the Confucius Temple was the look after reconstructing during the time when Japanese were ruling (1917), its elegant and simple localization characteristic takes a  distinctive attitude of its own among the Confucius Temples buildings in Taiwan. There are fifteen structures inside the Confucius Temple, the primary sacrifices in the palace is to Confucius divine tablet, on both sides, the sacrifices are to the sixteen pupils of Confucius.

    Between the beams and pillars, there hang twelve horizontal described boards awarded by  sovereigns of all dynasties since early Manchu Dynasty till today, it is the Confucius Temple in Taiwan to own the most complete royal horizontal described boards of all dynasties. Inside the temple, there are very old trees towering, classical elegant and tranquil, self-becoming a place of its own, the whole space presents a cultural breath, and is presently ranked among the national first-degree historic spots. Speaking of the preservation of the cultural articles in the Confucius, the inscriptional records through all times of repairs, the horizontal described boards awarded by sovereigns of all dynasties, and ceremony and musical instruments from early Manchu Dynasty till nowadays are still kept perfectly, and these are all very precious historical cultural articles that deserve to be carefully appreciated. 







Tainan: Chikan Tower
( Michelin Green Guide: ★★★)  

    Tainan Chikan Tower(Chihkanlou)is built by the Dutch in 1652. It was originally called Provintia. In Dutch it means eternity. The Chinese called the  building "Chikanlou(Chihkanlou)", "Fanzailou" or "Honmaolou". Although Chikanlou(Chihkanlou) has gone through Ming Dynasty, Qing Dynasty and the Japanese Colonization Period, it basically still maintains its original look.

    Chikanlou (Chihkanlou)has been an administration center from the Dutch's occupation period. In 1661, when the Chinese General Cheng Chengkung repelled the Dutch, Provintia was changed to be Chentien governor's mansion. In the early stage of Qing Dynasty when Taijiang River was still running, the tides could reach Chikanlou(Chihkanlou) directly. "The sunset in Chikanlou(Chihkanlou)" was one of the eight famous scenes in Taiwan. In front of  Chikanlou(Chihkanlou) there are nine sets of stone turtles carrying  stone horse's legs were broken by force because it shape-shifted into a monster at night and harassed the residents. Later, Chikanlou(Chihkanlou) declined due to damages caused by civilian upheaval and lack of management. Chinese style building was added to the original Dutch architectural body. For a time the place hosted the worship for Guanshiyin Budda. During the Japanese colonization period, Chikanlou(Chihkanlou) was changed to be army hospital. There were some restoration and repair. After Taiwan was returned to R.O.C., the wooden structure was changed into steel concrete structure. The main entrance was changed. Thus they created the look of Chikanlou(Chihkanlou) today. There were made in Qing Dynasty and were removed from elsewhere to be located here. The legend says that the stone turtle is one of the dragon's nine sons. It shifted into a turtle because it loved to endure heavy  objects. There is also a stone horse with broken legs.




Official God of War Temple (Sacrificial Rites Martial Temple) 
( Michelin Green Guide: ★★★) 

    
This temple, along with the Confucius Temple, is known as one of the oldest and best-preserved temples in Taiwan. Just when it was originally built is not known, but according to legend it was during the Ming dynasty's Yungli reign, in the mid-17th century. During the Qing dynasty, this was where government officials offered sacrifices to the god.

    The God of War (Guandi or Guangong) worshipped here holds a heavy sword and rides a swift horse. His 
mortal origin was as a general of the late Han dynasty (early 3rd century) who, because of his behavior, becomes a symbol of uprightness and loyalty to later generations and was finally deified. He is said to have been good at managing finances and to have invented a method of accounting, and so is also worshipped (by businessmen, especially) as the God of Commerce.

    
The entrance to this temple has a particularly high threshold, and for a reason. In the old days, it is said, women were banned from the temple and the high threshold was designed to keep them out.



Great Queen of Heaven Temple (Datianhou Temple, or Tainan Grand Matsu Temple)
( Michelin Green Guide: ★★★) 

    Datianhou Temple (Taina Grand Matsu Temple) is commonly known as a Mazu Temple of Tainan- the first Mazu Temple built by the government in Taiwan. The god worshipped in Datianhou Temple(Taina Grand Matsu Temple) is The Heaven God Mother, or widely called Mother Mazu, the most worshipped god in the Taiwanese society. The Datianhou Temple (Taina Grand Matsu Temple) was originally the palace of Emperor Ningjing of the Ming Dynasty. In the 22nd year of Emperor Kang Si (in 1684), after admiral Hsih Long had occupied Taiwan, he found that Mazu was mostly worshipped by the Taiwanese people and as a way to easy their hard feeling towards foreign rule, he then reported to the emperor and requested to have the Ningjing Palace rebuilt into a Mazu Temple and promoted Mazhu to Tianhou, meaning the Heaven God Mother. Since then the Mazu temple is called Datianhou Temple (Taina Grand Matsu Temple). Datianhou Temple (Taina Grand Matsu Temple) can be divided into 4 main parts : the San Chuan Hall, the Worship Hall, the Main Hall and the Back Hall. The lively large sized Mazu statue is the main feature of the Temple. It was the master piece of a sculptor from Chuan Chou about 300 years ago and is the representative work of Taiwan's sculpturing of its kind.



Anping Fort
( Michelin Green Guide: ★)
    
    In 1624, Dutch built the first fort in Anping, Taiwan, called "Fort Zeelandia", now known as Anping Fort, where has been the administrative center of the Dutch regime, and the hub for trading. The building was originally constructed in square inner fortress and rectangle outer walls. In 1661, the fort was renamed as Anping to commemorate his home town when Guoxingye (Cheng Cheng-Kung) has driven the Dutch out of Taiwan. Therefore, Fort Zeelandia was also known as "King's Fort" or "Taiwan Fort", nicknamed Anping Fort.

    In Kangxi Emperor's regime of Qing Dynasty, Taiwan was included in the empire that the political center was transferred to Tainan City, causing the decline of the Fort. The red bricks of the Fort have been taken for construction of Eternal Fortress. During the Japanese occupation, the Dutch style buildings in inner fortress were completely destroyed. A square red-bricked step platform was constructed with a western style house on the platform, being served as dormitory for Customs officials, where the memorial hall now is located. It was named Anping Fort after Restoration of Taiwan, and was registered to be the first grade historical replica and become an attraction for tourists. The remaining more than 70 meters long south walls of the outer fort with worn-out red bricks, accompanied by the old banyan roots, chanted its odyssey. The fort is the very historical replica over three hundred years.





Anping Tree House
( Michelin Green Guide: ★★) 

    Adjacent to the Tait & Co., it was one the warehouse of Tait & Co. in the beginning. Considering the bricks were gotten from Anping Fort for the construction of this house, it might be built between the end of 19 century and the beginning of Japanese colonization. To be a warehouse of Japanese salt company. What you see now should have been re-constructed by Japanese.

    After the restoration of Taiwan, it was become the warehouse of Taiwan Salt Corp.. It was fallen into disuse and the pagoda trees grown in there. Over half century, it formed a special scene with trees wind around the house. Because of this special scene, artists stopped here for some art activities. But without supported by government, it was terminated. Until Tainan Government want to carry out the National Anping Harbor Historic Park Project, it was then included into this project. After repaired in 2004, one can cross this tree house now by the wooden path with a childlike image to discover this funny space.






Taijiang National Park

    Established in 2009, Taijiang National Park is located on the southwest coast of Taiwan. The land and sea areas of the park embrace the coastal waters off Tainan City as well as the estuaries of the Qigu River, Zengwen River, Luermen River, and Yanshui River. Also within its 4,905-hectares of land area are the Black-faced Spoonbill Refuge and Qigu Wetlands. The coastal alluvial terrain, old shipping channels and traditional industries further add to the natural and cultural allures of the park. The sea areas of the park extend over 39,310 hectares and include one of the main sailing routes—Dongji Islet to Luermen—used by early Han settlers from the mainland. The majority of this region has long been known as "Taijiang," giving the park its name. Visitors can also explore mangrove forests, wetlands and other ecological and scenic attractions at this emerald Eden on Taiwan's southwest coast.




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