This free museum is dedicated to Taiwanese literature including a major section on Aborginal literature and the effort to develop writing systems for aborginal languages. The museum is in an old Tainan District hall built in the colonial period.
This temple is hard to miss with all the lanterns, Digital signboard, blaring music and wall to wall gold. Subtlety evidently was not one of of the Ladys' traits. Lady Linshui is the goddess of Fertility and birth and this temple was found in 1886.
Heavy traffic in T'ai-nan but can explore by foot the main avenues and narrow lanes. Places to visit, are Koxinga's Shrine, Confucius Temple, Great South Gate, Chihkan Temple, Eternal Golden Castle and Matzu Temple.%f
Located in the suburb Zho Chen, this relative new and beautiful temple was setup in 1986 and is the largest Karma Kagyu temple in Taiwan. Karma Kagyu is one of 4 major Tibetan Buddhist sects. The temple grounds are big and the main prayer hall has a 16-meter tall Buddha statue. Wander around the temple grounds and do not just pop into the main hall. There is a side building with 2 beautiful statues of Manjusri and Sarasvathi, and a small building that's build like a cave and contains the statue of the founder of Tibetan buddhism. The main building has a very quiet (and a little dim) hall for anyone who wishes to do some quiet meditation for a few minutes or a few hours. Most importantly, there is no tourists. You don't see buses full of tourists coming in and out of the temple compound.
Tainan Kaiyuan Monastery is one of Tainan's oldest monastery. Built in 1680 as a villa by Cheng Jin, son of Zheng Chenggong (the Ming general who liberated Taiwan from the Dutch) for his mother, it was rebuilt in 1690 and worships Sakyamuni Buddha. This temple is very peaceful, quiet, and most fantastic of all, totally devoid of tourists. One can spend a few hours just strolling around the temple grounds or visit the library on the 2nd floor of one of the buildings inside.
At the front entrance of the monastery, there is a little garden with trees upon which a few squirrels have taken up residence.
Tainan Grand Matsu Temple is the oldest temple in Tainan province. Converted from a Ming dynasty palace in 1684 it honors the Sea Goddess or Heavenly Empress, who also goes by the name of Mazu, Matzu, A-ma etc.....
An interesting and not-so-common artifact you can find in the temple is a stone with the 12 Chinese zodiac animals curved on it, and one can rub his hands over the stone in a circular motion to "turn his fortunes" around.... that is if one feels his luck has not been good later.
Chih-kan Lou or Fort Provintia was built by the Dutch in 1653 when they occupied Taiwan. Later when Zheng Chenggong recaptured Taiwan from the Dutch, this place was first used as Zheng Chenggong's residence and later a government office.
The place is not big but the pond in front of the building and trees providing lots of shade makes the place feel peaceful. The second level of the buidling contains some old pictures and explanations on the historical importance of this building.
Linmoniang Park - Opened in 2004 next to the Anping Canel, this park honors Lin Mo Niang, born in the year 960 in Fujian province, China, and who would later became Mazu (or Ma Tzu), Goddess of the Sea, at the age of 28.
Ma Tzu is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, deity to be worshipped in Taiwan as she is believed to protect those at sea, and Taiwan is an island surrounded by seas. While there are many temples all over Taiwan honoring Ma Tze, this park is unique in that it honors Lin Moniang, the physical embodiment of Ma Tze BEFORE she ascends to the heavenly realm as the Goddess of the Sea.
This park is a popular family getaway place during the weekends and holidays in Tainan for picnics, kite flying or just a stroll along the canal. At night, it is lit up and a fairly popular place for young couples seeking some private time.
It's at the foot of the Hutou Shan, and is one of the twelve famous spots in Taiwan. It's a milldam for irrigation founded during the years of Daukuang in Ching dynasty and was beautified in the age when Japanese occupied Taiwan. It's established eight big scenes: Husyi Dyauywe, Hutao Dauying, Huyu Kweiyun, Jyangtying Dzwoywe, Shweichyau Hungying, Jakou Feichywan, Guyu Lwohen, Haushang Kwanyu . On the lake there's a pontlevis going toward the small island rising above the lake, and a tiger-moon pavilion on the island is for visitors to enjoy the glisten of waves.
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The Temple of Heaven (Tian Tan) (天壇) at Wushantou is one of the biggest attractions there. The 'temple' is a recreation of the one in Beijing. However, this wooden Temple of Heaven is only 1/6th of the size of the actual temple; but it is still quite impressive and looks almost identical to the other. At times, the inside of the building may be open, but it was not during my visit. Supposedly, this Temple of Heaven, like the other, is made with no nails or mortar at all.
Unless you have plenty of money or time on your hands, Wushantou Resevoir (烏山頭水庫) isn't the best place to visit. Admission is unbelievably steep (NT 150 per person, plus NT 200 per vehicle, no discounts) and there really isn't much to see here. Wushantou is part of the Xilaya National Scenic Region, but the scenery here is mediocre, at best. When you enter the park, you're given a small map that shows you can drive a loop to all the attractions here. However, driving the loop is not possible.
One of the major attractions of the park is a small pond with dying water lilies in it. Not very interesting. If you continue on, you'll reach the park headquarters. You'll pass the Temple of Heaven and a Suspension Bridge before the road heads uphill and reaches the lake. Views of the lake aren't very pretty; not much to see. The road dead ends at the large dam which holds back the resevoir. The map says you can drive acrosst the dam, but you can't. You'll have to retrace your steps to access the other side of the park.
There are a large number of public beaches around the city of Tainan. This is sort of obvious, considering Tainan’s proximity to the Strait of Taiwan. Generally, only locals head to the beaches here; visitors from Taipei or abroad would head to Kenting. The water here is considerably unclean, with pollutants abound from the neighboring factories and developments. You’re likely to see many cargo ships in the area, bound in the direction of Kaohsiung. The beach pictured here is about 20 minutes south of Tainan, between Tainan and Kaohsiung.
At the top of the hill in the center of Anping Fort is the watchtower, a more recent addition to the fort; it was built by the Japanese in 1908, and from the its 23-meter tall vantage point you get a good view of the surrounding area. Upon entering the tower, a narrow staircase leads up to the top, where you can often feel the cool ocean breeze with a view of Tainan City, Anping District, the Anping Tianhou Temple, and the Strait of Taiwan in the distance. Quite a nice view; worth staying there for a while.
Anping Fort (Anping Gubao) (Fort Zeelandia) (Fort Taiwan) (安平古保) is the biggest attraction of the Anping Historic District. This fort was built by the Dutch in 1624 at what was at the time a strategic position. Later, in 1661, Chinese general Koxinga besieged the fort, and the Dutch surrendered. Today almost the original entire fort has been destroyed; all that remains is a single, ivy-covered wall. The grounds of the fort are relatively large, and it’s easy to wander around. Admission is NT 40; the fort is open from 9:00 to 17:00. Inside you’ll also see many cannons, a small museum, and a watchtower.