Top ChoiceTaoist Temple in Tainan

Grand Mazu Temple

Grand Mazu Temple

This lively temple once served as the palace of Ning Jin, the last king of the Ming dynasty. If you wish to confirm visually that a king's status is lower than an emperor's, count the steps to the shrine. There...

Top ChoiceTaiwanese in Tainan

Wang's Fish Shop

This white-tiled roadside shop, operated by a milkfish (虱目魚, shīmùyú) farmer, slaughters the fish in the wee hours to prepare the popular breakfast of fish-meat broth (魚肉湯, yúròu tāng). Fish belly (魚肚, yúdù) also...

Top ChoiceCafe in Tainan

L'Esprit Cafe

This gem with glass frontage, blue-and-brown palette and white floor tiles offers great respite from the busy street beyond its door, not to mention that the coffee, salads and sandwiches are excellent. A...

Top ChoiceTaoist Temple in Tainan

City God Temple

When you enter the temple, look up for the two large abacuses used to calculate whether you have done more good than bad in life; check out the most famous words ever written on a temple plaque in Taiwan: '爾來了'...

Top ChoiceCafe in Tainan

Narrow Door Cafe

A 38cm-wide alley leads to this charmer where the colours are bold, the ceilings high, and on a fine day, there's always a breeze dancing. The patterns and ambience may transport you to living rooms by...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Tainan

Thousand Fields Seed Museum

This horticultural Eden is a home with a fantastical garden overrun with plants, and seeds, seeds, seeds – some 500 species, most endemic to southern Taiwan, stuffed in jars, strewn all over shelves and tables,...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Tainan

National Museum of Taiwan Literature

This serious and excellent museum details the development of Taiwanese literature from the time of the pre-Han indigenous peoples to the modern era. Textual explanations are supplemented by original manuscripts,...

Top ChoiceArea in Tainan

Shennong Street

Cafes, art galleries, fashion boutiques and B&Bs have flowered in the hub of Tainan's former Five Canals area, taking full advantage of the long, narrow, loft-like spaces in the former canalside shophouses....

Top ChoiceMuseum in Tainan

Ciji Temple Museum

In focus here is Koji pottery that is used to embellish roof ridges and walls by sculptor Ye Wang (1826–87). The first such artist to be born in Taiwan (in Chiayi), Ye took inspiration from history, classical...

Top ChoiceBooks in Tainan

Ubuntu

An airy bookshop-cafe with large windows framing the sky, trees and canal outside. The books are mostly in Chinese, and lean towards the arts and humanities. Buy a drink and stay put all day, or follow the sun...

Top ChoiceLive Music in Tainan

TCRC Live House

This intimate dive at Ximen Roundabout is the place for live indie music in Tainan and one of the top ones in southern Taiwan. There are weekly gigs by local, Asian and international artists. Shows start from 6pm...

Top ChoiceDepartment Store in Tainan

Hayashi Department Store

The elegant Hayashi Department Store sells attractive homewares and fashion created by Taiwanese designers, as well as gorgeously packaged Taiwanese cakes and sweets. They make excellent gifts. The top floor...

Top ChoiceTaiwanese in Tainan

Zhuxin Residence

This restaurant serves traditional Tainanese dishes inside a rustic 100-year-old house. There's no menu, but the generously portioned seven-course meals may include braised pork, chicken, fish and stir-fry. Call...

Top ChoiceBar in Tainan

Lola

A moody venue in an old village residence that has retained much of its original look, down to the creaky wooden doors. The bar is at the back, dimly lit with an embellished mezzanine. The music playing could be...

Fireworks in Tainan

Yanshui Fireworks Festival

There may be nothing stranger in this land than this annual fireworks festival – or battle, or blowout – in which thousands of people place themselves willingly in a melee of exploding fireworks. The festival...

Park in Tainan

Taijiang National Park

Taijiang National Park

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...

Confucian Temple in Tainan

Confucius Temple

Confucius Temple

Built in 1666 by the son of Ming loyalist Zheng Chenggong (Koxinga),Taiwan's first Confucian temple and official school is quiet, dignified and coloured red, signifying nobility. The most important among the...

Notable Building in Tainan

Hayashi Department Store

This art deco department store from the 1930s has been so beautifully restored that it's worth going in just to ascend the sweeping staircase, peer through the geometrical window openings, and have a ride on the...

Architecture in Tainan

Land Bank

The neoclassical-style Land Bank dates from 1928. Japanese architects were heavily influenced by western ideas at the time and neoclassical revival was a dominant style for public monuments in the USA and Europe....

Taoist Temple in Tainan

Official God of War Temple

This is the oldest and most impressive temple in Taiwan dedicated to Guandi (Guan Gong), a Han-dynasty general deified as the God of War. He is the patron of warriors and those who live by a code of honour....