Travelogue | South Taiwan for SGD 800 - Tainan
Finally I'm working on the last leg of this trip to end my Jan 2017 holiday posting. That is so much work when you have a slow laptop to do it. But still workable so decided not to change yet. Not gonna write much but let my photos do the talking rather. They are the best evidences of my entire trip and I can't be more excited to share. Hopefully my next trip to Taiwan (probably end of this year) will be yet another eye-opener because I just might want to explore Taichung in proper and to share with you peeps who are supportive of my blog. You are the ones that keeps me going. Thank you. And... okay. As for now, let me do a run-down on my day trip to Tainan, a place where historical memories meant to stay forever in the hearts of Taiwanese.
Woke up for some local breakfast to start the day right. Like the saying that when in Rome, follow the Romans do. That is how we immersed into the culture wherever we travel. And so we head for a local stall for a bowl of 虱目鱼粥 Milk Fish Congee and sides like their fried fish. The congee looked like plain Jane but tastes otherwise. The broth is the key to something simple yet flavourful like this one. And as for the fish, lemon has do them a favour by enhancing the crispiness and taste with just drizzles of lemon juice over. Not completely dry but the moisture retained from within.
四草绿色隧道 Sihcao Green Tunnel
Entrance fee required. And it was damn hot. They provided straw hats and also life jackets. Compulsory for the latter. What was more funny, we sat on stools that was on the boat. Like super budget kind of ride.
It was quite an interesting boat ride through the greenery tunnel. Not those concrete tunnel but one that is formed by trees. When the sunlight shone down, the view was nice. Remember to dodge when the trees are low. The tour guide will alert everyone. But whenever he points to certain birds or sights with that pointer, I seriously couldn't see it. Like that red pointer is so tiny. So couldn't care less and just sit through the ride under the hot sun. And manage to see the location of the fort of Holland (last photo) back in those old days. Lots of history to read up for this one. Probably you wanna google.
Just outside this tourist attraction stands a huge, majestic temple. Pray for a good weather through the day tour in this historical place, Tainan.
Entrance fee required for Fort Zeelandia 安平古堡. Also known as Fort Zeelandia, it was built over a span of over 10 years by the Dutch East India Company during three decades of ruling in the western part of Formosa, or Taiwan. Part of the walls of the fort can be seen here like how the ruins stands still in Macau over the years. Becoming an attraction of Tainan means they need to upgrade the amenities of this attraction for visitors' pleasure and also a good view of this place full of histories. You get to see replica of cannons and as you walk up to viewing tower, a 360 deg view of Tainan.
When it comes to food at Anping Old Street, you can't leave there without having their Coffin Toast Bread 棺材板. We got our hands with the nicest toast bread which is thin and crispy. Look for the stall call 瑞珍 (Rui Zhen). Quite near to the entrance of Fort Zeelandia. Do try their Shrimp dumpling which is commendable too. And also a bowl of dry and soup version of 担仔面 which was average but still suits my palate.
Before we went into Fort Zeelandia, had a plate of fermented tofu aka stinky tofu. Never leave without that when in Taiwan. May not be the best taste but just have to. And that goes to shaved ice. Saviour on hot weathers like this in Tainan.
If you are clueless about this place, it is actually a salt museum housed in the old Japanese architecture. It has some similarity with the salt factory in Okinawa called Gala Aoi Umi. Different colours of salt to represent your birth date and character. Buy one back for keep-sake if you want. Hang your wish on that wishing tree outside the house. And touch that lion look-alike figurine under the tree for luck. When one have hope, every wish will come true.
By the way, according to 小李, this area is one of the best place for a sunset view.
赤崁樓 Fort Provintia/Chi Kan Lou
Zheng Cheng Gong 鄭成功 is being worshipped everywhere as the national hero 民族英雄 who fought with the Dutch back in 1661. You get to see the statue at Fort Zeelandia 安平古堡 to commemorate him and his contributions to Taiwan. Right here is no less. *Entrance fee required*
孔庙 Confucius Temple
This one in Tainan is just as big as the one in Taipei. But there is an entrance fee to enter the main hall. Anyway we have been to the one in Taipei so no big deal for this and we skipped that. Take some photos and that's it. What interests us is the small shopping district 孔廟魅力商圈 across the street.
Not forgetting a photo with this Confucius sitting on a trishaw. I went twice to the one in Taipei when I was pursuing my undergraduate program. One was for to pray for good results and another one is to give thank as I graduated from the program. Yahoo... I can't ask for more.
From consumables to fashion to cafe, it is all in this building of Hayashi Departmental Store. This store was founded by a Japanese business man Hayashi Houichi in the 1930s. He is quite a risk taker and have started doing businesses and also wrapping up. Till finally he has made enough money to found Hayashi Departmental Store. Superb old school building and if you are in for a nostalgia trip to the olden days of Taiwan, here is one place you should step your foot in.
At the top floor of Hayashi, there is a replicate shrine which we will see in Japan. Everyone just make a wish and toss a coin, hoping that their wish come true. I don't know where my coin went because I tossed a little high and far. Overestimate the distance. Always be hopeful for wishes come true. Just do it.
They sort of modernized this old school lift which works like a clock going from level 1 to 4. And as for the other floors onward, you climb up the stairs. The last time I know of this type of lift is from a travel show on tv and it was at the hotel in Penang where I stayed during my trip. I'm beginning to be more old school now.
To end this post, a breakdown of the cost of this trip per pax for 5 days 4 nights which is a total of $768 (excluding expenses because is too individual thing and also the few hours trip to Taichung):
Flight : Cathay Pacific: $399
Hotel : $104
3 Full Days Tour + Transfers : $235 (Look for 小李 on FB: Tour Taiwan Hong Lee)
Travel Insurance : $30
If you haven't, here are the links to my posts that sum up the adventure to the South of Taiwan:
Travelogue | Southern Taiwan for SGD 800 - Kaohsiung
Travelogue | Southern Taiwan for SGD 800 - Kenting & Hengchun
Travelogue | Train to Taichung, Taiwan
Enjoy. And I'm finally done with the post. Let's off to something more interesting next on my blog.