Tainan Attractions

What to See in Tainan

In spite of being a small city, Tainan has become a very popular historic tourist destination. The city is best known for its traditional lifestyle, forts, and temples. There are more than 500 Taoist and Buddhist temples within the city and these well-preserved temples are its main attraction. One such temple that you must visit during your stay is the Kaiji Matsu Temple. The theme of the temple is centered on Matsu, the Goddess of the sea and was built way back in 1662, and was further reconstructed, first at the time of Qing Dynasty, then during the Japanese colonial period and finally in 1948. The temple is an important part of Zhenbeifang Cultural Zone. Tainan also houses some important forts and the Sihcao Artillery Fort built during the Qing era, is one such example and should be on your visiting list. The fort area is also close to the Sihcao wetlands, well-known for its boat rides.

Descriptions of some of Tainan’s other famous attractions are as follows.

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Anping Fort

Tourists love this place. More popular than Fort Zeelandia, Anping Fort was built in 1624 and is Taiwan’s oldest fort. At the weekends, the streets surrounding the fort turn into lively markets and you can sense a carnival atmosphere in the air.

  • Opening Hours: 09:00-18:00; 09:00-20:00 (at weekends)
  • Location: GuóShèng Rd, Anping District
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Beiji Temple

Popularly referred to as the ‘Arctic Palace’ or the ‘North Pole Palace’, Beiji Temple is home to the Emperor of the Mysterious Heaven. The temple is known for its decorative woodwork, festive bells, and paintings made by local folk artists. These are all considered important historical treasures of the city.

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 - 18:00
  • Location: No.89 Minquan Road, Section 2, West Central District
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Chihkan Towers

Also known as Fort Provintia, the Chihkan Towers was built by the Dutch in 1653. Its convenient location and presence of some fine restaurants have made Chihkan Towers the most visited tourist spot in town. Go to the top of the Fujianese-style pavilions to get a panoramic view of the city.

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 - 18:00
  • Location: Section 2, MínZú Road, West Central District
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Confucius Temple

Tainan’s Confucius temple is the oldest shrine in Taiwan. The Dacheng Hall (main hall) is placed at the centre of the temple and is encircled by numerous small halls connecting the temple grounds with the Dacheng Gate. The Hall of Edification is close to the Dacheng Hall. Here you will find Confucian texts in attractive calligraphy. The main courtyard in front of the Dacheng Gate is an open space full of large banyan trees and is a good spot to sit and rest.

  • Opening Hours: 09:30 - 17:00
  • Location: No. 2 Nanmen Road, West Central District
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Dehua Hall

The first thing that strikes you about this structure is its simplicity and its low-lying architecture. On entering the hall of this temple, you will feel the unusual calmness. It is a lot different from the other Tainan temples; the artistically built door gods and the green ceramic roof tiles are memorable and you should also carefully inspect the intricate patterns and the murals inside the temple hall. Dehua Hall is not very far from the Koxinga Shrine and the Confucius Temple.

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 - 17:00
  • Location: No. 178, Fuqian Road Sec. 1, West Central District
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Great East Gate

The Great East Gate was constructed in 1725. The gatehouse was later added in 1736. Its expansion took place in 1788 when the wooden walls were fortified with cement and bricks; however most of the gates and walls were destroyed in the Japanese occupation. The gatehouse and the gate were again restored in 1975 and this historically significant site is visited by many tourists every year.

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 - 17:00
  • Location: Near the beginning of Dongmen Road

Great South Gate

The Great South Gate is part of the remains of the city’s old defenses. The construction of this gate was completed in 1835 and it is one of the most photogenic spots in town – just minutes away from the ancient Confucius Temple.

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 - 17:00
  • Location: Next to Lane 34, Nanmen Rd., West Central District
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Koxinga's Shrine (Zheng Chenggong Shrine)

The Koxinga’s Shrine is an extremely popular tourist spot and is dedicated to a general of the Ming Dynasty – Koxinga. The brave general was responsible for keeping out the Dutch army from Taiwan. His statue is placed at the centre of the shrine’s main hall. You should also visit the small museum just outside the shrine. This museum houses unique small Taiwanese puppets.

  • Opening Hours: 08:30 - 21:00
  • Location: 152 Kaishan Rd, West Central District
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Kuankung Temple

This Tainan temple is one of the most well-preserved and ancient temples in Taiwan. The temple is dedicated to the War God – Kuankung. Built during the Ming Dynasty in the seventeenth century, you should also visit the small factory of artistic religious sculptures at the left of the temple.

  • Opening Hours: 09:30 - 17:00
  • Location: 229 Yungfu Rd., Sec. 2

Lady Linshui Temple

The Lady Linshui Temple is just next to the Koxinga Shrine. The temple is centred on the Goddess of fertility and birth – Lady Linshui and it is one of the oldest and most significant Linshui temples in the city along with the Baihe Lady Linshui Temple. Exquisite paintings of the female door gods are its main attraction. It was built in1736 in the form of a straw hut and was restructured and renovated in a more concrete state in 1983.

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 - 17:30
  • Location: No. 1 Jianye Street, West Central District
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