Confucius Temple

Top choice confucian temple in Tainan

Image by Roetting / Pollex Getty Images

Confucian temples usually exude the calm, grace and dignified beauty of the best of Chinese traditional culture and this, the first such temple in Taiwan, does not disappoint. A solemn Confucius Memorial Ceremony takes place here on 28 September every year and a smaller one on the spring equinox (春分), around 21 March.

Entry to the temple grounds is free, but you must pay to enter the palace area. Look out for the stone tablet on the right as you enter the Edification Hall. It explains the school rules (the site was once a centre for Confucian studies), such as prohibition of gambling, drinking and cheating.

The temple is part of a larger cultural zone that includes the Old Japanese Martial Arts Academy, a renovated Japanese dojo built in 1926 and once used to train the colonial police force.

Across the street from the temple entrance is a stone arch that was crafted by masons in Quanzhou, Fujian, in 1777. It's now the gateway to a pedestrianised street filled with cafes and small eateries.