Tainan (台南) is a medium-sized city located in the southwest corner of the island, and it is considered the oldest city in Taiwan. Tainan is located just south of the Tropic of Cancer, and somehow you can feel the sun searing down in a way that doesn’t happen just a short drive north in Taichung.
Full of charm, Tainan is dotted with temples and small parks, and full of winding, narrow lanes.
We started the morning at the Confucius Temple (台南孔廟 Táinán Kǒngmiào) which was right across the street from our hotel. It has a nice grassy courtyard and (Hugo’s favorite) a fish pond.
Of course, with a toddler, quiet exploring is probably not on the agenda. Racing around and around the narrow passageways is more Hugo’s cup of tea.
Tainan is also a place to visit some former Dutch colonial sites, the oldest of these being Fort Zeelandia (熱蘭遮城 rèlánzhē chéng), built in 1624 by the Dutch East India Company.
After most of the day sightseeing in the hot sun, we grabbed an ice cream and headed to the small street carnival set up just outside of the fort.
Hugo caught on pretty quickly:
Our last stop was Chihkan Tower (赤崁樓 Chì kǎn lóu), built during the 19th century on the grounds of a former Dutch fort which was destroyed in an earthquake.
Although the tower is not very big, the grounds are beautifully maintained with colorful flowers, a small waterfall, and plenty of koi to feed.
It was a long, hot day, and Hugo collapsed into an exhausted sleep before eating dinner.