Learn about the origin of Taiwan - see where our first contact with Western world happened and how we got the name “Taiwan”!
Explore the historic remains of our oldest city, where many of the national “firsts” take place!
Immerse in the story of Sword Lions, a guardian emblem only found in Tainan
Tainan city - as the oldest city of the island - is to Taiwan like what Kyoto is to Japan or Rome is to Italy. Known as “Old Capital”, Tainan is thus celebrated as the origin of “Taiwanese” life and our development as a modern society. On this route of Old Town Tainan, we will explore the remains and tales of different political regimes that have ruled the city in the past, as well as roam the hidden spots and passages that are only known to local residents. Don’t miss your chance to see the old city charm of Tainan on this tour!
3:00PM Meet up with guide
Meeting point: Entrance of Anping Fort
Our guides are recognized with a paper fan saying "Tainan Free Walking Tour" and "Like It Formosa"!
1. Anping Fort
Anping Fort is the most significant symbol of Taiwan’s political history and past international trading. Built in the 1630s by Dutch authorities as the military and political center during their colonization of Taiwan, Anping Fort was later conquered by Ming dynasty-loyalist Koxinga and became his residence as the ruler of Taiwan. Having been renovated and rebuilt several times, Anping Fort was named “Taiwan Fort” under Qing rule and “Dutch Fort” under Japanese rule before settling on its current name, and is today one of the most important historical heritages of Taiwan.
2. Xilong Temple
Built in 1738, Xilong Temple worships a plague god that patrols on behalf of Jade Emperor, who can be seen as Eastern Zeus. The god often appears in dark face due to his origin story. In an alley of Xilong Temple, you can find (and touch!) some of the ruins of Fort Zeelandia from the original Dutch construction - which is actually very difficult to spot unless you are with a local!
3. Wong Ji Shi Mansion
Wong Ji Shi Mansion is the grandeur house owned by a local gentleman whose name literally means “chicken poop” - come join our tour to figure out where that comes from. Built in 1937, the mansion was constructed in combination of western and eastern architecture style, and was at its completion the most luxurious private-owned residence of the Anping District.
4. Anping Old Street
Established in 1624 by the Dutch, Anping old street is regarded as the first street built in Taiwan and a representation of vibrant local life and culture. Built originally only for pedestrians and vendors, it was widened in 1994 to accommodate cars and motorbikes as per requested by the locals.
5. Jasmine Lane & Rouge Lane
Now photogenic, instagramable and filled with flowers, these lanes are the result of local resident’s hard work to revive their historic heritage and cultural treasure. Legend has it that you can only find these lanes when you are lost.
6. Haishan Hall
Completed in 1684 under the Qing Dynasty, Haishan Hall was one of the five gathering venues for the navy in Anping, where those from the same areas in China could hang out during their mission in Taiwan. Due to its military and governmental function, the Hall shows strong features of Qing dynasty architectural style.
7. Anping Sword Lion
Anping is a must-see historical district for tourists in Tainan, and the most popular mascot for Anping is undoubtedly the Sword Lion, an emblem of the menacing lion guarding the doorways of homes. Troops garrisoned in Anping used to have images of a lion on their shields to strike fear into the hearts of their enemies, and this practice eventually evolved into the local custom of hanging sword lion emblems to ward off potential intruders. Guess how many Sword Lions are there in Anping?
5:30PM Tour ends