They Traded Opium Here: Tainan's Old Tait and Co. Merchant House

If you read my last post, you know that the Dutch were in control of, and then kicked out of, Tainan, all in the 17th century. Fast forward about 200 years, and Anping was opened up to foreign trade. There were a few main companies in Tainan, but only the Tait and Company building remains intact.
 Tait and Co. dealt in tea, camphor, and opium. After the Japanese moved in, they were permitted only to trade tea, and eventually foreign companies were again kicked out of Taiwan. The building was used for salt businesses. Finally, by 1980 the building was a museum as you can see now.
 Wrap-around arches and verandas from colonial style architecture are pretty unique to Asia, with interior floors, windows, doors and beams made of wood. On its own it's a beautiful building.
 Take some time to look around the outside and enjoy one of only two pieces of European colonial architecture left in Taiwan. Then head inside for the museum.
 Most of the exhibits focus around inhabitants while the Dutch were in town. You can see a combination of aboriginies, Europeans, and Chinese characters.
 There is decent English signage inside, though the exhibits seem a bit dated.
 Aside from the wax museum exhibits, additional exhibits show about life in a variety of areas, including Dutch laws. It might be a little biased - one exhibit describes a lot of the crimes the Dutch people committed while in Anping including newspaper accounts.
Next door is a plain exhibition building which seems to offer some information about the national park nearby and serves as a memorial to someone. Not enough information is really available about this, and it seems to be irrelevant to most foreigners - there wasn't any English signage on my visit or anything to really tell me what I was looking at.

The Tait and Company Merchant House is visited together with the Anping Treehouse (I'll be writing about that next time) for NT$50, and is open daily from 8:30-5:30. It's easy to get there via the tourist bus. There are a few stops back to back as the Anping Fort, Treehouse, and Historical Park are all in that small area.

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