Tainan is a city full of history and culture. You’ll experience such friendly warmth unlike anything you’ve ever imagined before. In the surrounding area of Tainan train station, you’ll find a bustling shopping district. With its convenient location at an affordable price, Tainan is really a city that suit for backpackers in Taiwan. If you have spent time in Taipei, a walk through Tainan almost seems as if you’re been transported to a different country. If you want to experience the passion of locals and different life style of Taiwan, come to Tainan! By the way, it will be more convenient on your travel in Tainan if you rent a motorcycle.
There are some places I suggest you should take a look if you first time come to Tainan. These places are not far away from Tainan train station. Tainan train station is quite far away from Tainan high speed rail station. You have to take a train in Shalun(沙崙) station which is near the Tainan HSR station for about 25 minutes then you can reach Tainan train station. Or you can get on a shuttle.
Hayashi Department Store(林百貨)
Hayashi department store, built in 1932, opened and thus a modern age of Taiwanese culture began. Hayashi Department Store (ハヤシ百貨) was known to the Tainan people as “The Five-Stories-House”(Gō͘-chàn-lâu-á). It was founded by Japanese businessman Hayashi Houichi. The Department Store formally opened on December 5th., 1932, just days after the first department store in Taiwan, Kikumoto Department Store, also known as The Seventh Heaven, opened in Taipei City. Thus Hayashi Department Store became the second large department store in Taiwan, as well as the largest department store in southern Taiwan.
After the WWII ended in the Pacific in 1945, Hayashi Department Store, damaged by air raids during the war, was transformed into offices by Taiwan Salt Factory and the “Salt Police”. Only until 1998 Hayashi Department Store was classified as a Municipal Heritage Site, and the ownership was transferred to the Tainan City Government.
Chin Men Theater(全美戲院)
An old buildings with many hand drown movie posters, this is the first sight of Chin Men Theater. Founded in 1950, Chin Men theater is one of the oldest theaters in Tainan. Unlike other theaters which play the hottest movies, Chin Men theater is a discount theater which plays dollar movies. The feature of this theater is not only the history but the hand-drown movie posters. I must say that these posters are really amazing. There is a traditional convenient store in the theater which you can get the popcorn, snack or drinks.
If you want to try some famous local dishes or want to experience friendly warmth in Taiwan traditional market, then you must take a try at Yongle market. Due to the proximity to the five port areas, the Yongle Market, which was founded on the river, was one of the earliest developed markets in Tainan. With the prosperity of commercial transactions, there are more and more snacks gathered here. Although this area has gradually declined, many traditional snacks that are hard to find elsewhere have been preserved in Yongle market. If you want to visit Yongle market, don’t forget to get up early or you will miss lots of delicious dishes.
321 Art Village(321巷藝術聚落)
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321 Art Village was once the dormitories of Japanese army infantry second regiment. It’s now become a popular hipster settlement in Tainan and a hot spot for checking in on Instagram. Hidden away down an alley, 321 Arts Village is like a downtown arts oasis. A red brick wall surrounds a cluster of wooden Japanese style buildings. The old houses, with yard front and back, were restored by the arts teams that took up residence in them brick by brick and tile by tile and they are now different kinds of arts exhibition spaces. 321 Arts Village is the number one choice of venue for arts and design exhibitions held in Tainan. (Reference: Travel Tainan)
Tainan Confucius Temple(孔廟)
Tainan Confucius Temple as well as the “Scholarly Temple” (全台首學) can be seen as one of Tainan’s oldest and most celebrated buildings. There are now many Confucius Temple but the Confucius temple in Tainan with its three and a half century old history was the first Confucius Temple constructed in Taiwan. It is considered to be the first real “school” in Taiwan. Confucius was one of the most famous and important philosopher and educator in ancient China. He had made many wise phrases and theories about the law, life and politics. The temple today serves as a popular tourist attraction and is an important historical site. You cal experience not only Confucian philosophical values but also the Taiwanese folk traditions.
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