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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A One-day Trip to Tainan!

Christina Hung & Claire Yu
Winter vacation is time to be away from school and have fun with your friends, so it is time for us students to make the plans for our winter vacation. Most of us will plan to go to Taipei or Kenting, but maybe you can try someplace different this time. If you have only one day, and you want to visit someplace new, you can try a one-day trip to Tainan – it’s close, convenient, and well worth a visit. Mention Tainan and people immediately think of two things – old buildings and delicious snacks. On this one-day tour of Tainan, you will have time to visit famous sites (including one historic monument) and to try the local delicacies, too!

When you arrive in Tainan, meet your friends at Tainan Train Station. After your long trip, you will probably be hungry. Take a ten-minute walk to South Park, across from SHIN KONG MITSUKOSHI and Focus Department stores. South Park is totally different from other local parks. At South Park, instead of slides and seesaws, you will see many clothing stores and many vendors selling food. There is also an activity square, and if you are lucky, you will see celebrities holding activities there. After strolling around South Park and satisfying your hunger, you can set out for Fort Provintia.

All photos by the authors

Fort Provintia was built in 1653 by the Dutch, during their colonization of Taiwan. When you go into Fort Provintia, you will first see nine huge bixi (stone turtles carrying stone tablets on their backs), and beside the nine bixi, a fish pond. There is a bridge over the fish pond, so you can go across the bridge to the backyard. In the backyard, you will see two towers. Both of these towers are Chinese style, and they are built on the top of the old fort. After strolling around Fort Provintia, you will want to try some of the local snacks sold nearby. At the fort’s front gate, you will see many food vendors such as Dong-Gua Tea, Dusiaoyue Danzih Noodles, and Fish Thick Soup. These are all very famous snacks in Tainan, so you shouldn’t miss any of them. After spending the afternoon at Fort Provintia, set out for Garden Night Market.

Garden Night Market is the biggest and the most famous night market in Tainan. It is open only on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, so be sure to plan your trip for one of those three days! Unlike at Feng Chia Night Market, at Garden Night Market, the vendors are gathered in a big parking lot. That makes this night market more crowded, but it also makes it more fun! Like at Feng Chia Night Market, the vendors at Garden Night Market sell both clothing and food. The most famous snacks here are fried chicken steak and A-Mei guava; you shouldn’t miss either of these special treats. Spend a lot of time at Garden Night Market, and your one-day Tainan adventure will end the way it began – with lots of delicious food!

With so many historic monuments and delicious snacks, it is no wonder that Tainan has earned the nicknames, “Ancient Capital” and “Food Paradise.” If you are ready for an experience in historical culture or are just hungry for some new and exciting food, a one-day visit to Tainan is the perfect adventure for your winter vacation.

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