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Tainan (台南; Táinán) [1] is a city in south west Taiwan.


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.

Get in

By plane

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.

By bus

Tainan has good inter-city bus connections with other cities in Taiwan.

By train

Tainan is a major stop on the Taipei - Kaohsiung express line.

For more detailed information see get around on the Taiwan page.

Get around

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

  • Eternal Fortress (億載金城 yi zai jin cheng), 16 Nanwen, Anping District - a 19th century coastal fortress. Hours: 9AM-5PM.
  • The ruins of Anping Fort (安平古堡 an ping gu bao), originally called Fort Zeelandia, was built in 1620 by the Dutch. Its commanding views of the ocean make it a popular place to watch the sunset. Hours: 8:30AM-5:30PM.
  • Chikan Tower (赤崁樓 chi kan lou), originally called Providentia Fort, was built in 1653 by the Dutch. There are tablets, stone horses/camels and a row of nine turtle-borne steles with inscriptions. Hours: 8:30AM-9PM.

Night markets

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:

  • Coffin toast (棺材板 guan cai ban) - fried bread stuffed with various ingredients, such as chicken, beans, seafood, vegetables and milk-based sauces.
  • Oyster omelette (蚵仔煎 o-a chen)
  • Oysters and thin noodles (蚵仔麵線 o-a mi soa~).
  • Rice cake (碗稞 wan-ke).
  • Dan Dan Noodle(擔仔麵 dan zai mian)
  • Elite Cake (狀元糕 Zhong yuan gao)

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!

  • Dirty Rogers is an excellent small bar. Used to be very hip, still very good! Every Music imaginable. It's close to the Railway station at Dongmen Rd.



Mid range

  • Dynasty Hotel, 46 Chengkung Road. Tel:+886 6 225-8121. Fax:+886 6 221-6711
  • Cambridge Hotel, 269 Sec 2 Min - Tzu Road


Get out

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