Attractions in Tainan (台南) - old weather bureau (氣象博物館) - National Museum of Taiwan Literature (國立臺灣文學館) - Tainan Police Headquarters (原臺南警察署) - Fire Brigade - Tainan Confucius Temple (台南孔子廟) - Old Tainan Martial Arts Academy (台南武德殿) - Remaining portions of the South Wall - Great South Gate (臺灣府城大南門) - Koxinga Shrine (延平郡王祠 ) - Old Nippon Kangyo Bank (臺灣土地銀行 台南分公司) - Hayashi Department Store (林百貨) - Chihkan Tower (赤崁樓) - Eternal Golden Castle (二鯤鯓砲臺(億載金城)) - Sunset Platform (觀夕平台) [Taiwan Day 436: Ancient City (Part 2) - Nov. 10, 2014] | Travel in Asia

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Attractions in Tainan (台南) - old weather bureau (氣象博物館) - National Museum of Taiwan Literature (國立臺灣文學館) - Tainan Police Headquarters (原臺南警察署) - Fire Brigade - Tainan Confucius Temple (台南孔子廟) - Old Tainan Martial Arts Academy (台南武德殿) - Remaining portions of the South Wall - Great South Gate (臺灣府城大南門) - Koxinga Shrine (延平郡王祠 ) - Old Nippon Kangyo Bank (臺灣土地銀行 台南分公司) - Hayashi Department Store (林百貨) - Chihkan Tower (赤崁樓) - Eternal Golden Castle (二鯤鯓砲臺(億載金城)) - Sunset Platform (觀夕平台) [Taiwan Day 436: Ancient City (Part 2) - Nov. 10, 2014]

#5yearsinTaiwan


(Previously...) Salt Museum closed at 5:30 pm and I went to the bus stop to wait for the vehicle that would take me back to Tainan City. The sun was already down and it was becoming darker and darker. I checked again the bus stop information and asked some people.  However, they couldn't speak English. I asked them if a bus would come at 6:00 pm and they couldn't answer my question. I really felt that something bad was going to happen and the bus might not come.  Private cars were already leaving the premises of the Salt Museum and I was left alone in the dark bus stop. I then sensed danger.

I was already trembling with fear when a car suddenly stopped in front of me. A guy called me and talked to me in English.  He asked where I wanted to go and I replied that I want to go back to Tainan Station. He offered me a ride inside his car and without hesitation, I went inside.  I was surprised to know that the man was together with his family.  They were very kind and I thanked them for their help.









I started my Taiwan Day 436 with a walking tour in downtown Tainan. It was a trip down memory lane here in the “Ancient City” with historic buildings lining up the street.  The Tainan Meteorological Station was an old weather station made by the Japanese to monitor the daily changes in the weather patterns in Tainan while the National Museum of Taiwan Literature was an eye candy. It was designed by master architect Moriyama Matsunosuke and follows a European architecture. That building was the Tainan Prefectural Hall before.  Not far away from that building were the Tainan Fire Brigade and the Tainan Police Stations which reminded me of the old life in the city.







The first and oldest Confucius Temple was also established in the “Ancient City” and is now known as the Tainan Confucius Temple. It was the second Confucius Temple that I visited after making a similar tour in Taiwan Day 407 (The House of Confucius).  Beside the Tainan Confucius Temple was a large building that reminded me of a Japanese architecture. It is the Old Tainan Martial Arts Academy and it was inside the premises of an elementary school. The building was used to promote different martial arts like judo and sumo during the Japanese colonial period of Taiwan.









Tainan is a walled city before and some parts of it were still standing. I went to Shulin Street to see the remaining portions of the south wall.  It was so thick! A few meters away was the Great South Gate and I could appreciate its beauty from a great distance just to see its tower.  Koxinga Shrine was also nearby and it was a temple built for the hero of Taiwan.  This shrine is different from most other temples I've seen in Taiwan.  It has a fiery red color and has an elegant green roof.

Old Nippon Kangyo Bank (Land Bank of Taiwan)



The floor guide of the Hayashi Department Store








 



The clock-style floor indicator of the Hayashi Department Store

I walked a few more meters until I found myself in the Ginza District of Taiwan. The Old Nippon Kangyo Bank is standing mighty and strong in front of me. Across the street and facing the bank was the Hayashi Department Store.  It opened in 1932 and founded by Hayashi Houichi.  It was also the first department store in southern Taiwan to have an elevator.  I entered the building and I was transported back in time to the 1930s.

A nostalgic shopping experience awaits you inside this historic mall. Try their elevator and it would feel fantastic.  At the rooftop,  you can see the Suehiro Shinto Shrine.  During the heydays of the shopping mall, the Japanese owners worshipped the Patron God of the Store here on the sixth floor.



Statue of the compromise between Koxinga and the Dutch








vase-shaped opening










The entrance of Fort Provintia

I was already tired walking but I still continued my adventure. I boarded Bus 88 and I get off the bus at Fort Provintia. It was a defense structure built by the Dutch to protect their colony. “The Two Towers” is the picturesque best description for this tourist spot.

There were many visitors from Japan and was like an invasion. Haha! The Crown Prince Hirohito of Japan visited Tainan before in the 1923 and the Tainan Government made travel pamphlets for the Japanese to lure them to visit Taiwan.  They were advertising to follow footsteps that Prince Hirohito made during his visit in Tainan back in the days when Taiwan was still a colony.













The Eternal Golden Castle is a never-ending story. It stood graciously and surrounded by a moat. It was a defense fortress made during the Qing Dynasty and was designed by a French engineer and equipped with large British guns.  France succumbed to the powers of the Eternal Golden Castle in a battle but later it was defeated by the Japanese Empire. Today, it is a well preserved historic site. The Eternal Golden Castle will always be a golden monument in the hearts of many.  






I then went to the Sunset Platform to see the setting sun. I was expecting a concrete platform but when I saw the beach I hurriedly ran to the shore. My shoes were getting filled with sand but it didn't bother me.  My aim was to get a lot of pictures of the Tainan sunset and I did enjoy taking its photos.  The sun went down and I needed to go back to Taipei.





I boarded a bullet train and it was the Taiwan High Speed Rail.  The country's fastest train was made in Japan and it is the Shinkansen 700T series.  It has a maximum speed of around 300 kph.  Like a real time machine, it brought me back to the modern city of Taipei from the “Ancient City”.  It cut the travel time to 1 hour and 45 minutes instead of the usual 4-5 hours travel by bus or by train.  During the ride, I felt that it was like a speeding bullet because the train was floating in the air.

The stories of the “Ancient City” will never fade. Its glorious past is the mirror of its future. When you visit Taiwan, do not forget Tainan.  It will take your heart back in time.

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[1] Tainan old weather bureau (氣象博物館)
Address: No. 21號, Gongyuan Road, West Central District, Tainan City, 700
Google Map
[2] National Museum of Taiwan Literature (國立臺灣文學館)
Address: No. 1, Zhongzheng Road, West Central District, Tainan City, 700
Google Map
[3] Tainan Police Headquarters (原臺南警察署)
Address: 700, Tainan City, West Central District, Nanmen Road, 37號號
Google Map
[4] Fire Brigade
Address: 號, No. 2-1, Zhongzheng Road, West Central District, Tainan City, 700
Google Map
[5] Tainan Confucius Temple (台南孔子廟)
Address: No. 2, Nanmen Road, West Central District, Tainan City, 700
Google Map
[6] Old Tainan Martial Arts Academy (台南武德殿)
Address: 700, Tainan City, West Central District, 台南市中西區忠義路二段2號(忠義國小內)
Google Map
[7] Remaining portions of the South Wall
Address: 41 Section 2, Shulin St, Tainan, Tainan City
Google Map
[8] Great South Gate (臺灣府城大南門)
Address: Lane 84, Section 1, Zhongyi Road, West Central District, Tainan City, 700
Google Map
[9] Koxinga Shrine (延平郡王祠 )
Address: No. 152, Kaishan Road, West Central District, Tainan City, 700
Google Map
[10] Old Nippon Kangyo Bank (臺灣土地銀行 台南分公司)
Address: No. 28, Zhongzheng Road, West Central District, Tainan City, 700
Google Map
[11] Hayashi Department Store (林百貨)
Address: No. 63, Section 2, Zhongyi Road, West Central District, Tainan City, 700
Google Map
[12] Chihkan Tower (赤崁樓)
Address: No. 212, Section 2, Minzu Road, West Central District, Tainan City, 700
Google Map
[13] Eternal Golden Castle (二鯤鯓砲臺(億載金城))
Address: No. 3, Guangzhou Road, Anping District, Tainan City, 708
Google Map
[14] Sunset Platform (觀夕平台)
Google Map

Bus 88 route and timetable: https://goo.gl/k8mE8k

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