Tainan: That Other City in Taiwan

When most tourists plan a trip to Taiwan, anything beyond Taipei is an afterthought. The small island country has a lot to offer, and Tainan - located in the southwest - is the historical center of Taipei. As such, it has a lot of cultural sights to offer. I've shown you most of those in the past couple weeks - temples, forts, and old buildings with trees growing out of them. Here are the other pictures I took: food, buildings, and other sites around town.
 Like Kyoto in Japan, Tainan is packed full of temples. This building just begs to be photographed, with almost glowing colors on the roof.
 While the surrounding buildings are drab, dirty, and old, this one looks like it is made of freshly cut fruit, the colors are so vibrant.
 As an island nation, shellfish are important to Taiwan. Look around and you might find workers separating the shells from the meat.
 Speaking of food, fresh fruit is quite popular. It can be found in night markets and sold in front of popular tourist destinations and other convenient places.
 While not on my itinerary, I came across another large temple with this gigantic gate. I still don't know what it is.
 It must be an important location, as it was quite crowded.
 If I wasn't crushed for time, I could have explored this place. While the most important sites in Tainan can be seen and explored in a day, I recommend at least two days to take your time and wander around. Just be sure to have your hotel or "Tainan Train Station" written in Japanese so you can ask for directions or have a taxi take you there. It can be easy to get lost in a country especially if you can't read any of the signs.
 Anyway, the temple building was very beautiful.
 Food stands next to the temple were serving lots of great snacks. This is a pancake-like snack with sweet filling (red bean paste, I think, similar to the snacks in Japan).
 If you walk to the Eternal Golden Castle from Anping Treehouse, you'll pass by the harbor. The view is nice, and you can see all the small boats.
 A park to the left has this giant bird-like monument of some sort.
 I don't know what this building was, but it had no windows and a fancy top.
 Okay, food. This is a rice pudding that is pretty good and one of the must-try local food items.
 While it's a pudding, it's not a snack or treat - it contains meat and vegetables and can be an entire meal. I stopped at the restaurant with this gigantic display showing how it's made. The restaurant's name is Sen Maw.
 This is coffin toast, and it was my second-favorite food in Tainan. A thick piece of toasted bread is hallowed out and filled with a creamy vegetable and meat (chicken/seafood) soup. It's just awesome.
 This is a museum near the Confucious Temple. The building is kind of nice.
 Speaking of architecture, this modern building had interesting design elements. It's near the prior building.
 Across from the museum is a park (for now and a path behind the Confucious Temple (the brick wall on the left is for the temple).
 In the field sits this house, seemingly abandoned but well-kept.
 I came across a food stand (there are many) and decided to snap pictures of local food. I don't know what they are and I didn't try them. Fish and some sort of fried biscuit?
 These are fried wontons, I think? They were quite delicious, and when I asked for some they fried them fresh for me.
 My favorite food in Tainan was a shrimp roll. Two larger shrimp are skewered on a stick and covered in some kind of breading, as you see here. Then, they are fried. Truly awesome!
 While walking back to the train station at the end of the day, I caught a glimpse of a temple and snapped a couple photos through an open door.
 It seems that there were at least two fancy rooms in the temple.
 Here is the front.
At the end of the day, I headed to the station to get to my next destination. On the platform I saw the scary-train cartoon. It's not as cute as Japan's, but just as good. I'd love to have a copy of this poster/plaque/sticker.

As this wraps up my Tainan photos, I'm going to move on to Taichung, amusement park, and then baseball photos. Stay tuned!

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