Day 4 in Taiwan, and second day in Tainan! Since we didn’t purchase hotel’s breakfast for the first night, we slept in and only went out at around noon. The plan for the day was to visit Anping; that include Anping Old Street (安平老街), Anping Fort (安平古堡) and Anping Tree House (安平樹屋).
Coming out of our hotel (Hotel Tainan), we walked over to the nearest bus stop, which in our case is the one opposite Tainan Railway Station (台南火车站). There are two bus stops located near to one another; one is the north station, and the other is the south station.
It takes us some time to figure out, but we eventually realised that the north station is the stop for the return journey from Anping. As such, to get to Anping, we will have to board our bus from the south station (台南火车站南站).
According to the board, we can either take bus number 88 or bus number 99. Both travel to Anping Fort and Anping Tree House. It appears that bus number 99 go on a shorter journey. But seeing that we have never taken the bus before, we just board whichever bus that arrived first. In our case, that’s bus number 88.
On the board, you can find a small piece of paper indicating the arriving times for the buses. As there’s still sometime before the arrival of the next bus, we decided to go to the nearby 7-11 to grab some food.
Endless options for ready-to-eat food and drinks. The selection was impressive, and everything looks so good!
I’m sure we will get food at Anping, so I only got myself a coffee, while the Husband got a sausage to munch on. I was initially turned off by the colour of the sausage, but to my surprise, it actually tastes quite okay.
We boarded bus number 88, and it was quite a long journey to get to Anping. I believe the journey must have taken 1.5 hours or more. We eventually alighted at Yen-Ping Street (延平街) and decided to start our tour from Anping Old Street (安平老街).
Before we made our way to the main street, we came across some quaint little shops tucked at the back of the alley. One of them was selling this pancake called 劍獅燒/哈哈燒. We got attracted by the look of it and decided to get one to try.
There were many fillings to choose from, and the price starts from TWD35 – TWD45 (approximately SGD1.50 – SGD2) for one.
While they were making the pancake, we also took the opportunity to look around the store. They have a couple of stationery and souvenir for sale.
The adorable looking 劍獅燒, also known as 哈哈燒. We got the one with the corn filling, and I thought it tastes quite good with the cheese.
Anping Old Street 安平老街
Coming out from the back alley, we found ourselves at the overly crowded Anping Old Street. Perhaps because it was a Sunday and the following day was a holiday, the street was full of locals and tourists alike.
Anping Old Street starts near the front entrance of the Anping Old Fort and runs along Yen-Ping Street. It consists of a long tight alley full of traditional Taiwanese foods and trinkets. Here, you can find both ready to eat food like 麻辣鱼蛋, 玉米酥餠, 茶叶蛋, 香肠 and food that you can bring home as 伴手礼 like 花生糖, 蝦餠 and 手工蛋捲.
Since we came from Yen-Ping Street, we decided to follow the crowd and make our way down the alley to Anping Old Fort.
Anping Fort 安平古堡
After an interesting walk down Anping Old Street, we arrived at the entrance of Anping Fort. Joined the queue at the side of the gate to get our tickets. Each ticket costs TWD50 for adult, TWD25 for students and is free for entry for children under the age of 6.
Opening hour is from 08:30 – 17:30.
Upon entering, the first stop we went to was Fort Zeelandia Museum. In there, you can read about the history and origin of the place. The bulk of them was written in Chinese, but there was some explanation in English too. I lost my interest soon after and came out of the museum.
Other than the museum, you can find an observation tower, a bronze statue of Koxinga and some cannon replicas.
There is also a souvenir shop where you can pick up merchandise like t-shirts, coasters, postcards, etc.
Right before we left, the Husband actually tried his luck and flew his drone around the top of the compound. (He has been dying to fly his drone since the beginning of this trip.) I’m pretty sure we weren’t supposed nor allowed to do that, and I was prepared to be stopped anytime by the staff. But surprisingly, no one approached us. We did, however, have curious locals throwing glances at the two of us.
Quickly filmed and fled the site.
Coming out from Anping Fort, we simply google and made our way over to Anping Tree House. The two weren’t far from one another, and it probably takes us ten minutes or so to walk over.
Anping Tree House
Likewise, ticket costs TWD50 (SGD2.25) for an adult to visit Anping Tree House.
Before coming over, I have already seen some pictures online of Anping Tree House and to be honest, the place looks like a scary abandoned site. Most who visited the site said that it’s a must-see landmark when coming to Anping/Tainan.
Once the warehouse of the Tait & Company (德記洋行) more than a century ago, Anping Tree House is now a famous attraction in the old city of Tainan. The giant banyan trees had since took over the abandoned building after years of neglect and are now covering and spreading over the roof of the warehouse. The government had built wood and metal staircases and viewing platforms, allowing visitors to see the warehouse from up within the branches.
Aside from Anping Tree House, I understand there is also a museum transformed from the old Tait & Company Merchant House. We didn’t get the chance to visit it as it was nearing the closing time when we arrived.
Overall, the place still looks and feel kind of creepy to me, but I do think it’s worth a visit. While I find it scary, I know some see it was an educational site as it shows how nature took over and transformed the place, turning it into what it is today.
Leaving Anping, we took a bus back to our hotel. The return journey was much faster, and it only took an hour to get from Anping back to Tainan Train Station.
Later that night, we took a bus to Tainan Flower Night Market (花园夜市) at slightly past eight. We were planning to take a taxi there, but we saw the bus at the bus stop while we were waiting at the traffic light. So we thought we might as well try taking the bus.
You can actually see the night market while on the bus, making it easy to know where to alight. From the bus stop, it’s just a short walk to the night market.
Tainan Flower Night Market 花园夜市
Once again, we got attracted by the endless food option and ended up buying a handful of them back to the hotel. The plan was to bring them back to the hotel and eat in front of the television while catching the New Year countdown programme. Remember it was New Year’s Eve!
We ended up getting 鸡翅，臭豆腐，炭烤鸡排，炸鲜奶，玉米起司炒泡面，红茶 and 木瓜牛奶. For the sake of convenience, we also decided to take the taxi back to the hotel. Taxi fare was TWD105 to get from Tainan Flower Night Market to Hotel Tainan.
This was my first time spending my new year overseas and I must say it was quite an experience spending it in Taiwan. The New Year countdown programme in Taiwan was impressive. Every channel we tuned in to is showing countdown at a different part of Taiwan. We decided not to squeeze with the crowd and instead stay in the comfort of our hotel room munching our food while watching the live telecast.
Taiwan Day 1: Arrival in Taoyuan Airport | Getting to Taichung | Beacon Hotel Taichung | Feng Chia Night Market
Taiwan Day 2: Taichung | Rainbow Village | Feng Chia Night Market
Taiwan Day 3: Train to Tainan | Hotel Tainan | Tainan Flower Night Market