Taiwan's eighth national park, Taijiang covers a patchwork of coastal lands north of Anping Harbour. The 50 sq km of land and 340 sq km of sea include tidal flats, lagoons, mangrove swamps and wetlands that are critical habitats for rare fish, crustaceans and mammal and bird species, including the endangered black-faced spoonbill.
Taijiang covers an area dear to the hearts of Taiwanese, as it was here that their ancestors first landed after the dangerous crossing of the Black Ditch (the Taiwan Strait).
Once a giant inland sea, Taijiang silted up during the 18th century, facilitating the development of local salt and fish-farming industries. These days only the fish farms remain active.
Cycling is possible in Taijiang, as the land is flat, the climate is sunny year-round and parts of the new bike trail have been completed.
You can boat through the mangrove swamps and further out to the estuary of the Yenshui River from a pier close to the Sihcao Dazhong Temple (四草大眾廟; Sìcǎo Dàzhòng Miào). A 30-minute ride through the Mangrove Green Tunnel (紅樹林綠色隧道; Hóng Shùlín Lǜsè Sùidào) is NT$200/100 per adult/child, while the 70-minute ride that goes out to larger channels and into the mouth of the Yenshui River is NT$200/150. Boats leave when full, so on most weekdays you will be waiting a long time.
Bus 10 (NT$30, every hour) from Tainan runs out to the temple daily, while the tourist bus 99 (NT$36, every 30 minutes) runs from 9am to 5.15pm on weekends. You can take bikes on the buses.
Taiwan Ecotours offers kayaking through the mangroves.