People in front of the gate of the Confucius Temple, Tainan, Republic of China, Taiwan, Asia

Getty Images/LOOK


You’ll almost certainly receive looks of jealousy from any Taiwanese person if you mention you’re going to Tainan (台南), and it’s not hard to see why. Traditional culture continues to thrive here, in the oldest city in Taiwan. The name 'Taiwan' was once used to refer to Dayuan (大員), the former name of Anping where the Dutch fort is located. Inside temples, bwah bwey (moon blocks, 搏杯) are cast to determine the best course of action, as it was done hundreds of years ago. Outside, young Tainanese show off their art and make coffee in former canalside houses. Tainanese are fastidious about their food, and a number of dishes are exclusive to the region (but renowned all over the island).


Must-see attractions


Latest stories from Tainan

The Eight Generals, or Ba Jia Jiang, is a folk festival marking godly generals exorcising evil spirits for the emperor © twospeeds / Shutterstock


Southern Taiwan: folk festivals, tropical fun and chocolate

Jun 5, 2018 • 6 min read


Purchase our award-winning guidebooks

Get to the heart of Tainan with one of our in-depth, award-winning guidebooks, covering maps, itineraries, and expert guidance.