Kainan University (開南大學) - Another Meteor Garden school in Taiwan | Travel in Asia

Kainan University (開南大學) - Another Meteor Garden school in Taiwan

#6yearsinTaiwan


The Meteor Garden Schools.  First, there was National Chung Cheng University (NCCU), the genesis of drama, where it all started.   Then, there was Tamkang University, where the ending of Season 1 happened.  Fans go crazy visiting these schools with women braiding their hair like San Chai and men wearing a red bandana on their head.  So much love for a show that was viewed by millions of viewers almost 20 years ago. Haha!




To all those idolizing San Chai and Dao Ming Su, hold on to your seats, because it’s time to reveal the 3rd Ying De University.  Yes, you read it right. There is another Meteor Garden School that you should know.  It’s not in Taipei but still in Northern Taiwan and  located in Luzhu District of Taoyuan.  The school is known as Kainan University.

Kainan University (開南大學) - Another Meteor Garden school in Taiwan

1. HOW TO GO TO KAINAN UNIVERSITY

Before you go learn the importance of Kainan University as a film set of Meteor Garden, you need to know first how to go Kainan University

1.1 from TRA Taoyuan Station

The easiest way to go to Kainan University is Board Bus 5086 from TRA Taoyuan Station. The vehicle will take you inside the campus making it so easy to see the Meteor Garden School. You can also board Bus 129 but you will have to walk to get to the gate of the campus.

If your're coming from Taipei Main Station, board any local train of the TRA and get off at Taoyuan Station. 

1.2 by tripool taxi

After visiting Kainan University twice, I find it a waste of time to wait for the Bus 129 or Bus 5086. Do you want to wait for 1 hour just to ride the bus? If you have the budget, I suggest booking a trip at tripool taxi to maximize your time in Taiwan. Look at the price table to see if it suits your need. Tripool taxi web app: https://www.tripool.app/?utm_source=luomuji

Comparison of tripool taxi fares from Hotel Midtown Richardson and amba Taipei Ximending going to Kainan University. Don't forget to book a return trip!
Pick-up pointDrop-off pointDistanceTravel timeEstimated tripool taxi fare (NTD)Suggested pick-up period at the pick-up point
# of passengers
1 or 28
Taipei Hotel Midtown Richardson
[Check price]
Kainan University37 km37 mins7001,15912 noon to 12:30 pm
amba Taipei Ximending
[Check price]
38.3 km38 mins7121,178

2. KAINAN UNIVERSITY AS YING DE UNIVERSITY

Like what I said in the Jingtong Meteor Garden travelogue, everything about the drama was fictional. So the Ying De University that we all love and dreamt of getting into, was not based on just one Taiwanese University.  The scenes were filmed in various spots and then joined together to form the hypothetical school that everybody knows as “Ying De”.


In the hearts of many, National Chung Cheng University in Chiayi will always be the setting of the exclusive school for the rich and famous.  Remember the lockers? I consider that as the holy grail of the TV series. But kudos to Angie Chai, the executive producer of Meteor Garden. She was able to create a work of art by filming the drama across different places in Taiwan.



What's so special with Kainan University? The school's Administration Building has a unique facade and lobby making it  a hotspot of Taiwanese dramas to shoot their scenes.  Upon entering the school, visitors will be greeted by a boulevard until they reached a rotonda.

The first building that you will see in Kainan is the Administration Building. The wide arched ceiling on its lobby would awe anyone. 


The Admin Building is where most of the Meteor Garden scenes in Kainan University were filmed.  The structure has a red brick and grey color with an elegant corridor, that when videod and edited skillfully creates an illusion of luxury.  A characteristic of the fictional campus of Ying De University.
Kainan University allows TV stations to shoot their shows here as long it does not disrupt the classes.


Well, the campuses of Taiwanese universities are all amazing and picturesque, so it's not surprising that producers will go to schools to record some scenes.  Spreading the beautiful view of Kainan is also good for the institution as a sort of free promotion.  The university gets promoted not just in Taiwan but internationally without spending a single penny.



3. SCENES IN METEOR GARDEN WHERE KAINAN UNIVERSITY WAS USED AS A FILMING LOCATION

3.1 Dao Ming Su carried San Chai on his arms

location: lobby




I first recognized  Kainan University in a scene where  San Chai was carried by Dao Ming Su. They were about to leave the building and you will easily recognize the arched roof of the lobby. San Chai was hit by a group of students in Ying De because Dao Ming Su got pissed angry of seeing pictures of her entering a hotel with another man.  Asi later realized that it was all a set-up so he rescued San Chai and carried the weak woman on his arms.

3.2 Two students were tied on a car and San Chai saved them

location: rotonda






It all happened in front of the Admin Building where the rotonda is located. In the scene, the corridor and the staircase are shown. When San Chai tried to stop the car, you will notice two banyan trees behind her. 

After two decades, they had already grown big through the years. The scenery looks a bit different now, but it will always remind you that at some point in the time in the Meteor Garden Taiwan Universe, San Chai stood here to save two students of Ying De. 






Watching the cars go around the rotonda, reminds me of that scene in Meteor Garden, were one of the mean girls was revealed to be at the boot or at back of the car.  And guess who was driving the vehicle? It was Dao Ming Su.  San Chai later watched the F3 walked away.

3.3 When Xing He (or Shing Ha) became a member of the F4

location: front corridor












One of the memorable scenes in Meteor Garden was when Xing He (or Shing Ha) become a member of the F4.  Funny as it may seem, he can't meet the standards of being part of the group. Plus the fact, that he can't stop himself from talking to San Chai. Because of jealousy, Asi had to evict Lei from the F4 so he resorted to Xing He as a replacement. Haha!

3.4 San Chai and Dao Ming Su ate lunch together

location: back corridor





San Chai and Dao Ming Su were sitting on a bench with pillars tiled with red bricks.  This scene was thought by many to be shot in National Chung Cheng University in Chiayi, but it is not.  It was filmed at Kainan University at the back corridor of the Admin Building.


Anyway, so San Chai has a packed lunch for the two of them to eat together.  She and Dao Ming Su were having a good time until a couple suddenly appeared.  The two tried to hide as to not disturbed the strangers.  However, Asi later got pissed off because San Chai wants to keep their relationship a secret.






It think this is one of the highlights of the love-hate relationship of our lead characters. Dao Ming Su tried to walk away but San Chai tried to stop him.  Asi turned back and held her neck gently.


As a Meteor Garden fan, I searched for the spot where they sat and ate lunch together.  And I found it! To get to the red brick corridor, just enter the lobby of the Administration Building and walk directly to the other door.  Turn to your right and count the number of benches that you will see.  1,2,3,4,5, and 6.  X marks the spot!

3.5 San Chai waited for Dao Ming Su

location: facing the campus gate, the rightmost wing of the front corridor


It was easy to identify this place and it's located at the rightmost wing of the Admin Building.  The scene was shown to the viewers as if that it was sunset, but I think it must be early morning when they had the cameras rolling.











This scene at Kainan University connects the viewers to Tamkang University, the second Meteor Garden School, although the viewers doesn't realize it at first. Haha!  San Chai had cooked lunch and was waiting for Asi .  At this point of the show, she hasn't confessed her feelings to Asi that she likes him.  The man of her dreams entered the scene and hug her to the delight of the female audience. 

I know you are excited to see the third Ying De University. Visit Kainan now and relive the memories of your favorite Taiwanese drama. Meteor Garden!

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