Tainan is the oldest city in Taiwan and was the capital during imperial times. It is famous for its temples, historic buildings and snack food. The city is currently the fourth largest city on the island with a population over 760,000.
Like other Taiwanese cities, most people in Tainan, including taxi drivers, cannot speak English well (except for high school and college students), though some of the older generation can converse in Japanese. However, to help visitors get around, there are free tri-lingual (Chinese, English and Japanese) map-guides available at the railway station.
The closest international airport is in Kaohsiung. From there you can take a train, bus, taxi, or rental car for a 45 minute to one hour journey to Tainan.
There is a domestic airport in Tainan, and the flights from Taipei take about 45 minutes.
Tainan has good inter-city bus connections with other cities in Taiwan.
Tainan is a major stop on the Taipei - Kaohsiung express line.
For more detailed information see get around on the Taiwan page.
The best way to travel around the city is by car or motorcycle. There are taxis and buses (公車 gong-che), but they are not so convenient for non-Chinese speakers.
Landmarks and Historical sites
There are over two dozen night markets of various sizes in and around the city. Regardless of size, night markets all possess an abundance of stalls selling clothing, shoes, jewelry, toys, food and drink. Some even have live entertainment.
Most night markets are only held on certain days of the week. Check before going.
Preserved Plums(酸梅 "Suan Mei")
Tainan is often known as "the City of Snacks" (小吃城). In addition to the wide variety of food available at night markets, the city also has an abundance of street vendors specializing in tasty and cheap dishes.
Tainan specialities are:
Don't forget to try the shrimp rolls (zhou-shi) down along the canal! Incredible!
Pearl milk tea (珍珠奶茶, Zhen-Zhu Nai-Cha) is a must drink in Tainan. Look out for shops, where it is made directly to order!