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Taiwan

14

Apr
2014

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In Taiwan
Travel

By kanannie

All Templed Out In Tainan

On 14, Apr 2014 | No Comments | In Taiwan, Travel | By kanannie

Besides offering a wide assortment of good eats Tainan is also known as the Kyoto of Taiwan because of its cultural history. Tainan is the oldest city in Taiwan and was the capital of the country until 1887 when it was moved to Taipei. We explored a few of the cultural locales in the city even though it was really hot and we had to stop every fifteen minutes to enjoy a cold beverage.

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A tasty beverage on a bike.

Our first stop in Tainan was the Confucian Temple. Built in 1665 as a site for worship and scholarly teachings it is the oldest Confucian Temple in the entire country. There were some typical Chinese-influenced architectural details, but nothing that I found particularly spectacular. I probably wouldn’t go again and certainly wouldn’t pay the less than $1 USD that I paid to enter the temple. I’ll use that for a bubble tea next time; it’s much more rewarding and refreshing.

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The oldest Confucian temple in Taiwan. Not very exciting.

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Write down your deepest darkest desires on a piece of paper and post it here for the world to see!

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Chinese stuff

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Gaudy temple details

Any cultural tour of Tainan would not be complete without a visit to one or two of the many Buddhist or Taoist temples in the city. It would be hard to miss them since Tainan has the most temples of any city in Taiwan. We happened to arrive at a temple just as a parade was starting. It’s like a Japanese matsuri where they carry a giant, wooden divine palanquin and heave it up and down while chanting. The Taiwanese do the same thing, but they decided to put the palanquin on wheels since that shit is heavy and it really gets too hot to carry that thing around in the summer.

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Note the very smart use of wheels for this heavy ass wooden thing

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Black hair and blue eyes or blue hair and black eyes. It’s all good.

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Good luck rice. Chienya wouldn’t let me take them all.

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Laughing Budha at one of the temples

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Make a donation and get your name on one of these figurine boxes

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The gods must be crazy


Shennong Street is considered the best preserved in Tainan with its beautiful traditional buildings. It’s also known to be an art street where you can find a few nice galleries. There’s a smallish temple at the end of the street, so you can see a temple without going out of your way if you’re not really into those things. The street is short and not very commercialized yet. Great for those black and white pictures that make you seem more artistic than you really are. We were there during the day, but I hear it’s pretty at night with the new lanterns the city put up so the tourists feel like they’re in an old Taiwanese city.

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Old building on Shennong Street

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Old building with old posters above the door

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Wooden door

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Cool door handles

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Temple at the end of Shennong Street

We partook of Tainanese historical heritage by having fantastically well-prepared drinks at TCRC, a speakeasy-style bar housed in an old building. The atmosphere was relaxed, casual, and quiet enough for adult conversations about the dangers of drinking alcohol and using squat toilets. I love everything about these old buildings except the toilets. I can barely pop a squat when I’m sober so I only had one drink even though I would’ve loved another. There’s also a temple directly in front of this bar, so there’s another chance for you to see a temple without looking too hard.

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An excellent selection of fine spirits

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Gotta have some Taiwanese sausage, chicken cartilage, and grilled green peppers when you’re drinking in Tainan.

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A lady and her lady drink.

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A Moscow Mule in Taiwan

And, don’t forget to visit the night market. I mentioned it briefly in our last post, but I didn’t tell you about the non-food stuff there. They sell EVERYTHING there! If you’re out one night and have a sudden need to buy a jigsaw puzzle, Super Mario USB stick, dress pants, Carl Kaien jean belts, or nail clippers then you’re in luck because this is your one-stop shop for all of it. They also have a live auction for random junk. It looked like fun.

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I only do 5000-piece jigsaw puzzles.

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Aren’t they all so cute?!?!

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Look out, Men’s Warehouse!

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Watch your back, Calvin Klein!

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I got ten headbands for myself.

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It’s easier and cheaper to just buy the stuffed animal.

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This is more fun than Sotheby’s!

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Guns and children are always a good time.

Go to Tainan for the food and in-between meals check out some of the cultural and historical stuff.

More pictures on our Flickr album!

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Tourists harassing the bushy-browed temple gods.

Touring Tainan With My Mouth
Not Gambling in Macau

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