If you visit Tainan, you are actually virtually visiting all of Taiwan.
When visiting Taiwan, most people will choose its first stop to be Taipei, the capital, to begin this wonderful trip around Formosa. Indeed, Taipei hosts everything from rural mountains to superb cinemas, simple snacks to star-rated restaurants, cheap clothes stores to high-end boutiques, and for some people it means everything.
However, it is time for you to select another destination to enjoy the other face of Taiwan – back to where it all started. Tainan in southern Taiwan is the capital of cultures, local cultures especially. Its history can be dated back as far as 1624 when the Dutch occupied the area and built Zeelandia which is now known as Fort Anping. You can visit here to see the remains and tour the area of Anping to see some buildings left by foreign powers as the area is near the sea and was used as the import/export location for trade. After you finish the tour, head to the local alleys for delicious snacks and stroll around to see the local buildings.
Talking about snacks, the street food stalls or shops offer a great variety of delicacies, from fried shrimp rolls to steam rice, pickled plums to hot Yi noodles, anything you can think of eating can be found here. I don’t recommend any specific one to eat, since you “must” try everything get to know the real taste of Tainan. OK, for some people who are a little homesick, you can still hunt for fries, steaks, pizzas, pasta and burgers within the city. Some of them are revised according to Taiwanese appetite, but you can still try them, I bet you won’t be disappointed. Furthermore, residences in Taiwan are very friendly, even in the eyes of a real Taiwanese like me, so don’t be afraid to talk to them, they will try their best to communicate with you.
This short article is just a very, very brief introduction to Tainan, after all, this is a place of abundant history, cultures, and snacks. In fact, there are many books whose topic is only on the food in Tainan, each is over 100 pages. And I can tell you, I lived in Tainan for four years, and I had never tasted the food mentioned in those books! So for me, Tainan is still a place that attracts me a lot, I go back there almost once a year to enjoy the atmosphere and the good old times that are still kept here, which can never be seen in Taipei. So, next you visit Taiwan, you can really forget the crowded Taipei and come straight to Tainan. If you are not convinced, here is a fact: almost all the “famous” snacks in Taipei night markets have their origins in Tainan!