Tainan, one of Taiwan's oldest cities, is said to be the birthplace of the nation. Although Taipei is the usual choice when travelling to the country, a visit to Tainan will offer you a glimpse into the heart of Taiwan. With tinges of Chinese, Dutch and Japanese influences, the cultural landscape of Tainan is as colourful and vibrant as the city.
With over 2,000 temples and shrines, Tainan not only preserves, but also celebrates the rich spiritual, traditional and historical culture of the country. Chihkan Tower, the oldest site in the city, is a red-tiled tower that acts as a storehouse of the city's earliest treasures, ranging from ancient dictionaries to business documents. After several refurbishments, this complex is now among the most-visited landmarks of Tainan. Taiwan's highest official institute of learning, the Confucius Temple is a revered structure exuding elegance, culture and tranquility. To this date, students come to pray for their upcoming exams at this spot.
The multifaceted culture of Tainan has given rise to a fusion of unique dishes like the oyster omelette and minced-pork noodles. The real culinary treasures are packed in the night markets of this city, where the aroma of freshly-cooked turkey rice or scallion-stuffed shrimp rolls wafts through the busy streets. Often called the ‘City of Snacks’ for its array of affordable treats, Tainan will never let you leave with an empty stomach.