Saturday, July 30, 2011

What I learned in Tainan

Spent this week in Tainan, a place I love to visit. Overflowing with history, it has the island's best looking women and friendliest people, except for where you're from. I learned a lot in Tainan this week......

...I learned the counting word for dragons, in case I ever run into a flock, herd, or gaggle.

...I learned that the symbol for Anping is a lion with a sword in its mouth. I was told that in the days of Koxinga the Sword Lion was set on soldier's houses and thus, thieves left them alone. That is how it came to be a potent symbol.

...I learned that the development of Anping has turned to a planned way. Which is good, since the last 400 years has produced an Anping that sucks and which no one likes to visit.

...I learned that some of the vendors in Tainan have been at it for decades and are locally famous. Like this one, for example.

...I learned of the famous Dan Dan Han Bao, which serves hamburger fast food combined with Chinese congees and mian xian. No comment since I can't face a two year sentence and large fine.

...I learned again that there is an interesting old temple in every part of Tainan.

The roof of the archway.

...I learned that romantic love was invented by men to manipulate women. Okay, I learned this on a side trip to Kaohsiung, but what the hey.

...I learned that vending in front of the Confucius Temple can knock you right out.

....I learned that no old man will forego his right to wear his underwear in public, even in front of one of the city's major tourist sites.

...I learned that there is a cemetary not far from Anping Fort with monuments to a dozen Taiwanese porters drafted by Japan to carry things for troops during WWII and killed in the fighting. The gov't has done a good job with the English presentation and the overall history, with plenty of good B&W photos.

...I learned that next to the Hitler Engineering company is the Spinal Chord Injury Association, which runs a small handicrafts shop to raise money for the association and its members. Visit and buy something, prices are excellent.

...I learned that not far from Anping Fort there is another gun platform I didn't even know existed. Sweet.

...I learned that deep fried wontons from this place are really really good.

...I learned what the famous Coffin Toast is. It is filled with soupy stuff.

...I learned that among Tainan's desolate salt flats.....

...there's a really great little B&B called Salt House, in Jingzijiao.

There I learned that you can keep a crab as a pet. It is a great deterrent to thieves -- by the time they get it steamed and eaten, the owners have returned.

Finally, I learned that Taiwan has its own version of Gideon's Bibles.

Tainan: an awesome learning experience and a great place to hang out. Spend some time there; it rewards the tourist.
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.


Anonymous said...

Tainan has some super nice weather too, probably the best in all of Taiwan. Sure, it does get hot in the summer, but often Taipei is hotter and almost always muggier. Outside of the month of peak temperatures though, the balance of warmth and relative dryness make it a very welcome break from the cloudy/rainy north.

Oreleona said...

lol love this post!!!

Sean said...

I second the excellence and love of this post.

Food places with addresses would be great too.

Kepha said...

Well, re the old guy in his boxers on the street, I saw plenty of that up in Chungli and Chutung when I lived there. Still, I also liked Tainan and its history.

Tom said...

Thanks for the great post on Tainan! Do check out our post on the things to do in Tainan as well!

Happy Travels!