Tuesday 11 June 2013

Taiwan: Tainan

Some of the food I had in Tainan.
1) Wa Kuey(?). Our local friend brought us to try this. According to our local friend, Tainan cuisine is usually savory with sweet sauce. And this was one example. I had no idea what was inside actually..
2) Almond beancurd with red bean, green bean, barley and pearls. It tasted as you imagined it to be but I still liked it.
3) Black beancurd at 同記安平豆花 in Anping, tasted the same as normal beancurd though.
4) Prawn roll
5) Oyster egg omelet was different from the one in Singapore, there were lots of bean sprouts (I can almost see the AUGH faces and the tragic screams) and leafy vegetables inside. It was quite crispy and the sauce was again, sweet.
6) Coffin bread(?)/棺材板. Deep fried toast with the inside dug out and replaced with a mushroom cream sauce which tasted like Campbell. Really innovative and it was good, well anything deep fried is good, unfortunately.
7) Red tea ice cream inside Anping Tree house (安平樹屋), there's one at Tainan but I can't remember the shop name. The cafe was very pretty, so was the ice cream but it was quite steep at NT80 for one.
8) No photo but we also tried eel noodles which was really good! Worth a try if you're there.

Tainan is one of the oldest cities in Taiwan and it is quite apparent when you first arrive. The buildings and streets are old and there aren't many tall rise shopping malls (or maybe I didn't look hard enough). It is also a cultural hub, from the well preserved historical monuments to the countless Taoist and Buddhist temples. 

Chikan Tower (赤崁樓) or Fort Provintia is one of the main attractions in Tainan city, but I wasn't really impressed. Perhaps because I had no idea what the history behind this fort is, so I failed to appreciate this historical piece. Entrance fee is NT25 for students.

Shennong Street (神農街) is one of the best kept old streets in Tainan and I think this is worth a visit even though it is quite short. It is beautiful at night when the city is quiet, you feel like you've traveled back in time. In the day, you can visit some old alleys in the city. I believe that Tainan hosts some of the loveliest back alleys you can find. See more photos here and here. It is really where locals live and breathe which makes it a perfect place to experience the local life.

Anping is a district of Tainan, it's about half an hour away by bus. It was originally a small island separated from the mainland of Tainan by a small lagoon but due to oceanographic changes, the lagoon disappeared and now it's connected to Tainan. Anping Old Fort (安平古堡) or Fort Zeelandia was built over 10 years by the Dutch. Entrance fee is NT25 for students and you get to climb on top of the fort and look down on Anping.

Anping Tree House (安平樹屋) used to be a warehouse but it has been abandoned for many many years. So long in fact that a giant banyan tree took over the warehouse. This seems like a good venue to film a gothic MV with its air of lost time and the unconstrained growth of the vines as they snake around just about every corner of the warehouse. #justsaying. But it is also a mosquito breeding ground. Entrance is also NT25 for students.

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