It took us 10 minutes on a super cool fast train to reach Tainan from Kaohsiung. There is only one high-speed train line in Taiwan. It runs all the way to Taipei through the densely built west coast, where Tainan is. It’s quite a futuristic journey, almost entirely through urban areas, so you feel within one giant metropolis. Tainan is Taiwan’s oldest city and its former capital. Its traditional narrow alleys, gorgeous old houses and temples contrast starkly with Kaohsiung, Taipei and Taichung.
West Central District
Our search for the best accommodation took us to the small and cozy Lai Chi Te Hotel perfectly located in a back alley inside the West Central District. Most of the historical sites including the Chihkan Tower (Fort Provintia) are here. Our time was spent wondering about its old alleys, including the beautiful Shennong Street. We loved discovering authentic old houses and cool new cafes and interacting with people. It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak the language; the Taiwanese are fantastic, with a great sense of humor!
Before departing to Taichung we spent a couple of hours in the coastal suburb of Anping. This is where the Dutch built their first fortress in Taiwan, called Fort Zeelandia. The area encompasses the ruins of the original site nowadays called the Anping Fort. It is famous for the Anping Tree House, an old warehouse set amongst huge Banyan Trees, numerous canals and green areas. What a great way to end our two-day excursion to Taiwan’s most atmospheric city.