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15 Things to do in Tainan, Taiwan

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These are my carefully selected 15 best things to do in Tainan, the oldest city in Taiwan. I included gems like Fort Zeelandia, Du Xiao Yue for its epic Dandan noodles, Chun Sui Tang - the inventor of bubble tea, mega gachapon machine and the bizarre chicken butts delights on Shennong street.

Tips & Advice
  • Why: Founded by the Dutch in 1624, the oldest city in Taiwan
  • YouTube channel: Reformatt Show
  • Accomodation: Stay at Silks Place for their incredible rooftop pool
  • Notes: Watch my other Taiwan episodes! I visited Taiwan twice to record these videos

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Fort Zeelandia in Taiwan built by the Dutch VOC in the 17th century in Tainan, Taiwan Chun Shui Tang - the original restaurant where bubble tea was invented in Tainan, Taiwan in Tainan, Taiwan famous beef noodle bowl at Du Xiao Yue in Tainan in Tainan, Taiwan a famous chinese stance - dance off in Tainan, Taiwan

Tainan, Taiwan's oldest city, often overlooked by international tourists, holds a special place in my heart. This hidden gem, rich in history and culinary delights, became a must-visit destination for me, particularly due to its Dutch heritage, dating back to its founding by the Dutch in 1624. The city's historical significance is evident in the well-preserved Dutch VOC fortresses, Zeelandia and Provintia, which were monumental fortifications of their time. As a Dutch descendant, exploring Tainan was like tracing the footsteps of my ancestors.

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Best Places for Travel in Tainan

  • 1. Du Xiao Yue

    Most famous noodle joint in Taiwan known as Dandan Mie, established in 1895 and favorite restaurant by well known movie director Ang Lee.

  • 2. Gachapon Machine

    Taiwan's largest gachapon machine which holds giant surprise balls with grand price, 2 flight tickets to Japan. 100NT per try!

  • 3. Fort Provintia

    Tainan is the oldest city of Taiwan, Fort Provintia used to be part of the old Dutch VOC colony of Formosa.

  • 4. Win Chang Beef Soup

    Tainan is most famous for its delicious beef soup, also try their incredible beef tongue stir fry.

  • 5. Oyster Shell Cement Museum

    Cement was hard to come by in the old Dutch colonial days that's why they used oyster shells, sugar and sticky rice.

  • 6. Tree House

    Former Tait & Co Merchant House which has an massive warehouse engulfed by nature. The museum contains lots of Dutch history, maps and VOC ship models.

locally grown mango - this is delicious in Tainan, Taiwan in Tainan, Taiwan I love mango! this was the most epic mango dessert ever! in Tainan, Taiwan pearl milk tea, purple yam and red bean bubble tea at Chun Sui Tang in Tainan, Taiwan in Tainan, Taiwan the massive gachapon machine with crazy prices in downtown Tainan, Taiwan in Tainan, Taiwan

The city's reputation as Taiwan's food capital is well-deserved. Tainan's culinary landscape boasts an array of local produce, ranging from the famous mango shaved ice to the delectable beef noodle bowls known as dandan noodles at Du Xiao Yue. Moreover, Tainan is the birthplace of bubble tea, with Chun Sui Tang being the original restaurant that created this globally beloved drink.

  • 7. Fort Zeelandia

    The original headquarters of the Dutch VOC company on Formosa, this massive fort was run from 1624 until 1662 when Koxinga banished the Dutch from Taiwan.

  • 8. Anping Old Street

    First commercial street of Taiwan where you can buy delicious treats like almond tofu, my number 1 favorite!

  • 9. Chun Shui Tang

    The original restaurant where bubble tea was invented, bubble tea refers to the little round tapioca balls on the bottom of your milk tea.

  • 10. Shennong Street

    Beautiful and cozy street with historic sites, temples and stores. Fantastic spot for photography and an evening walk.

  • 11. Chicken Butts

    Near a place called 茶研室 you will find a very cozy outdoor patio for refreshing Taiwan beers and chicken butts.

  • 12. Mango Shaved Ice

    Most epic mango shaved ice in Tainan at a place called 冰鄉, ingredients; mango, shaved ice, mango ice cream and sweet condensed milk.

Fort Provintia built by the Dutch VOC in the 17th century in Tainan, Taiwan Fort Provintia built by the Dutch VOC in the 17th century

My journey began at the Dutch Fort Provintia, the administrative center of the Dutch East India Company in Taiwan. The fort's construction, using a unique mortar blend of crushed oyster shells, sugar, and sticky rice, is a testament to the resourcefulness of its builders, considering the scarcity of cement on the island. This historical marvel left me in awe of the ingenuity of the era.

  • 13. Garden Night Market

    Largest night market of Tainan, sadly only open 3 days per week: Thursday, Saturday & Sunday.

  • 14. Muse Nightclub

    The only nightclub in Tainan but definitely a good one, even on a Wednesday night this place was epic and offers all-you-can-drink for $25!

  • 15. Silks Place

    Beyond luxury hotel I've ever stayed at! This 5 star hotel has incredible suites and a rooftop pool with often live music in the evening.

these are skewered chicken butts at Shennon st. in Tainan, Taiwan in Tainan, Taiwan CHICKEN BUTTS - believe it or not! crunchy and trasty in Tainan, Taiwan popular beef soup bowls in Tainan, Taiwan in Tainan, Taiwan beef tongue stir fry is surprisingly delicious in Tainan in Tainan, Taiwan wet and chewy rice eels on a bed of cabbage - incredible dish at Du Xiao Yue in Tainan, Taiwan in Tainan, Taiwan the famous local MILK fish in Tainan, Taiwan in Tainan, Taiwan incredible tasty dishes at Du Xiao Yue in Tainan in Tainan, Taiwan best fried spring rolls EVER! in Taiwan in Tainan, Taiwan

Exploring Tainan's ancient Shennon street by night was a highlight, with its charming historic shops and a cozy atmosphere. The local cuisine offered a unique experience, including the unusual grilled chicken butts, a bizarre yet intriguing local delicacy. Du Xiao Yue, the oldest noodle shop in Taiwan, established in 1895, was a culinary revelation. Their signature dandan noodles, milk fish, rice eel, and fried shrimp rolls are a must-try. Not to be missed are the savory beef soup and beef tongue at Win Chang restaurant.

going back in time looking for my ancestors in Taiwan in Tainan, Taiwan going back in time looking for my ancestors in Taiwan

Fort Zeelandia, a significant Dutch VOC fortress on the Anping peninsula, was the pinnacle of my visit. The fort, which remained under Dutch control until 1662, houses an extensive collection of Dutch artifacts from that period. The scale model of Fort Zeelandia is particularly impressive, symbolizing the stronghold's historical importance. The siege by Koxinga, resulting in the fort's surrender and the eventual retreat of the Dutch to Batavia (now Jakarta), marks a pivotal moment in Taiwan's history.

in front of Fort Zeelandia in Taiwan in Tainan, Taiwan bizarre scenery at the Treehouse at Anping in Tainan, Taiwan in Tainan, Taiwan Dutch built Fort Zeelandia in Taiwan in Tainan, Taiwan Frederick Coyette surrendering to Koxinga of the Ming Dynasty in Tainan, Taiwan treehouse in tainan, taiwan in Tainan, Taiwan fort zeelandia in Tainan, Taiwan in Tainan, Taiwan VOC in Tainan, Taiwan dramatic nature take over at the Treehouse in Tainan in Tainan, Taiwan

While Tainan may not boast a bustling nightlife like Taipei or Kaohsiung, it does have MUSE Tainan, a vibrant nightclub. The all-you-can-drink party for 700 NT ($25 USD) was an unforgettable experience, highlighting the Taiwanese culture of responsible drinking.

having a drink with the locals at MUSE Tainan Nightclub in Taiwan in Tainan, Taiwan having a drink with the locals at MUSE Tainan Nightclub in Taiwan

In summary, my trip to Tainan was an enriching journey through time, cuisine, and culture. The city's blend of historical significance, culinary excellence, and unique experiences makes it a destination worth revisiting. Tainan, with its hidden treasures and historical depth, is a city that continues to fascinate and beckon for future exploration.

Chinese shrine in downtown Tainan in Tainan, Taiwan great street restaurant on Shennon St. in Tainan in Tainan, Taiwan gift shop on Shennon St. in Tainan, Taiwan in Tainan, Taiwan entrance MUSE TAINAN in Tainan, Taiwan MUSE TAINAN nightclub in Tainan, Taiwan MUSE TAINAN nightclub in Tainan, Taiwan Silk's Place Tainan in Tainan, Taiwan Koxinga statue at Fort Zeelandia in Tainan, Taiwan

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