Friday, March 02, 2012

Day 9: The Ancient Capital City Tainan With The Influence Of Holland

     It was time to say good bye to the Kaohsiung city and continue our journey for visiting the oldest city Tainan. It was about an hour drive from Kaohsiung to Tainan. We dropped off our friends Kent and his girl friend at the high speed train station in Zuoying on the way to Tainan because his right knee was getting worse. It was not easy to say goodbye to good companies, but we had no choice over his situation. At least, I knew Kent and his girlfriend enjoyed this trip untill now.   
We stopped at this beach in the outskirt of Tainan. There was an American beach nearby; however, it was gone due to the city development. My husband asked a lot of local people about the exact location, but no one could give a correct answer. We stood here listening to my husband talked about the history of American military stationed in Tainan. 
This was a tourist service center. It was built by a former city mayor who was in jail, because the mayor didn't apply for a permit to build it. So, it would be taken down soon because of the legal issue. That was surpriseing news to me.  

     Chihkan Tower

     In 1624, Holland people came to Tainan. They used Tainan as their trading center going to China, Japan, and South Asia countries. 

They also recruited labors from China. But their abusiveness triggered those Chinese labors to fight with them in 1652. Although this incidence was settled, they started to build Fort Provintia to protect themselves and isolate those Chinese labors.   

     In 1661, Koxinga defeated Holland and took over Tainan. As a general rule or custom, a building would be demolished or  remodeled to fit the needs of the new ruler when the new ruler came from a different culture. So, the tower encountered the same fate during Koxinga, Qing Dynasty, and the Japanese period. Today, it became a historical site and a tourist spot.  Open at 8:30--21:30 Ticket: NT$50

Taken by Ann
The tower is located near the center of the downtown area. It is a small area but is kept up nicely.
Taken by Ted
This sculpture portraits Koxinga and a Dutch man signing a treaty. Originally, the Dutch man was sculptured as he kneed down to Koxinga. After the Holland Ambassador's complaint for not showing the truth and degrading their people, the city government had the sculptor redone.
Taken by Ann
There is a pond inside the court yard with a lot of beautiful carps. Was it the Japanese influence?
Taken by Ann
There are 9 steles for commemorating a great general who came to Taiwan to defeat a civil war in 1788. If you visit a temple or a historical site, you will see a lot of steles siting on a turtle-like animal. According to the Chinese mythology, the turtle-like animal was the first son of the dragon which has 9 sons. In Chinese legend it carried mountains and other things into rivers to destroy crops and things. God punished it to carry the heavy stuffs which could slow down its action. Therefore, it was used to carry steles in temples. What are the differences between a turtle and it? It has teeth and a turtle doesn't have teeth. Also their shells are different in shape and pattern. The turtle-like animal represent long-life and good luck. Next time when you visit a temple, you can check it out.    
Taken by Ann & Ted
We had hamburgers for our lunch. The restaurant was in this small alley which was located at the cross street of the Confucius Temple. Actually, Tainan is very famous for its traditional food. There are a lot of famous food vendors. If you ask any Taiwanese about Tainan, the first answer will be food. That is no doubt in my mind.    
Taijiang National Park
     This is the latest established national park in Taiwan. It is very different than other national parks. It doesn't have massive marbles, cliffs, or sea shell beaches. It has vast mangrove swamps which offers a perfect environment for the marine lives and attracts many migrant birds each year. According to the record, the highest record of different birds appeared in this area was around 200 spices. Not only its richest ecology but also its history has influenced Taiwan's society in many different aspects .    
     Taking a pontoon boat to see the wildlife and the mangrove swamps are very popular in Tainan. There are two routes for the boat ride. We would take the Taijiang Estuary Route around 70 minutes ride for our ecological trip. It costs NT$ 200.  Another one is the Mangrove Route about 30 minutes round trip. The cost is NT $ 150. Keep in mind that if you go there during the week, the boat ride only open at 3:10pm for the 70 minutes ride and 2:30pm for the 30 minutes trip. Tel: 06-284-0959 or 06-284-1610
We were going to stop in this area to see crabs 

They came out for a sun bath. 
This is an old fishing technique. The fisherman will sleep inside the metal canopy to scare away the intruders birds or thefts.  
Mangrove Forest which hosts a lot different kinds of birds
This was a guided tour. The tour guide spoke loudly over a loud speaker. It was unbearable. I told her at least 3 times to turn down the volume but it didn't work. We suffered the entire trip and also birds were scared away by her loud voice. This was the worst part of this ecological trip  
     After the boat ride, we visited Anping which was the Dutch landing place and the oldest district in Taiwan. The Dutch built Fort Zeelandia now called Anping Fort in 1634; however, the Fort had been tore down to build the Eternal Golden Castle in 1874 for defending Taiwan against Japanese. Today, the only remains are  small areas of walls. Furthermore, the Dutch also constructed the first street in Anping which now became a famous old street with traditional food and attracted a lot of visitors during weekends and holidays. 
     After the opium war, Anping seaport was also open up to the international traders in 1867. There were 5 international  companies in Tainan. The most famous historical site today was built by the British Company called Tait & Co. It consists of two tourist sites. One is the Anping Tree House which used to be the company's warehouse. Another part is the house itself which became a Taiwan  historical wax museum.  Open at 8:30--17:30 Ticket: NT$50
Taken by Ted
The first floor of the Old Tait & Co. Merchant House displays many information about the lifestyles and political issues during the Dutch ruling Tainan.   
Taken by Ted 
This was a aborigine's woman who marred to a Dutch man described her marriage life in a different culture.  It was interesting to read and reveal their life at that time. 
Taken by Ted
The second floor displays several different themes about the lifestyle of the Chinese immigrants. 
Behind the merchant house is the tree house which was the warehouse. The overgrowing banyan tree's roots penetrated into the voids in the walls and became parts of the warehouse structures. They both became parts of each other.    
The lookout tower is behind the tree house. We could see the mangrove swamps where we had taken our boat riding route early.  
     We also visited the Anping oldest street for supper there and also shopped at some souvenir stores. It was fun to walk around there. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading my blog and welcome to leave your comment!