Tainan Half Day Trip

20 NOV

(WED)

Itinerary

14:00       National Cheng Kung University start

14:30-16:30  Anping Old Street、Anping Fort、Anping Tree House、Old Tait & Co. Merchant House

17:00       return to National Cheng Kung University

Tour Introduction

01Anping Old Street

Today, visitors may still find some of Taiwan’s oldest streets in Anping District as it was the original Dutch settlement in Tainan. The area surrounding Fort Anping (Fort Zeelandia) is full of small streets and alleyways that are packed with vendors, eateries, shops and gaming stores. However, the old buildings have not yet been exploited yet, which allows visitors to discover the unseen beauties and learn the stories behind these preserved buildings and streets.02

Yanping Street is the oldest among the old streets in Tainan. It is also known as Anping Old Street or Taiwan’s 1st Street as it is the first established merchant street in the area. This street has little shops and food stalls that cover a full range of souvenirs and handmade products of different prices. The roads of Anping Old Street are rather narrow and winding, visitors may either walk or ride a bike to explore the every little stories of each old building. Set at a street intersection after entering from An Bei Road, visitors may find the most well-preserved civilian residence in Anping that was built around 1912 to 1925, which is the Wei’s Residence in Haitoushe.

Anping Fort(Fort Zeelandia)

03During the seventeenth century, when Europeans from many countries sailed to Asia to develop trade, Formosa became one of East Asia's most important transit sites, and Fort Zeelandia an international business center. As trade at the time depended on "military force to control the markets", the value of Formosa to the Dutch was mainly in its strategic position. "From Formosa the Spanish commerce between Manila and China, and the Portuguese commerce between Macao and Japan could by constant attacks be made so precarious that much of it would be thrown into the hands of the Dutch, while the latter's dealings with China and Japan would be subject to no interruptions."[1]

On behalf of the VOC, ships departing from Formosa could head north to Japan, west to Fujian, or south to VietnamThailandIndonesiaIndia, Iran or Europe.

Anping Tree House

04Located next to the Old Tait & Co Merchant House (Old De-Ji Merchant House) in Anping District of Tainan City, Taiwan, Anping Tree House used to be a warehouse of Tait & Co, one of the top five trading companies in Anping area during the period of Japanese colonization. 
Abandoned for many years, a gigantic banyan tree has taken over the warehouse in various ways, including its aerial roots and trunks that have became part of the architecture. The brick walls of the warehouse have faded and collapsed which allowed roots and trunks to take over walls, windows, doors

According to Taiwan’s folklore, banyan aerial roots convey negative energies that kept the local residents away from the warehouse as they believed the strong negative energies would bring misfortune. The Anping Tree House was once known as the “Haunted House” for many years until it was officially opened to public in 2004 as a project of the National Anping Harbor Historic Park. Visitors may also find a display centre for the history of the tree house and the ecological environment of the area. Today, Anping Tree House is a popular Tainan attraction that allures many local and oversea visitors for its mysterious, extraordinary appearance during their Tainan travel. 

Former Tait & Co. Merchant House

06Located in Anping District of Tainan, the ancient capital of Taiwan, the Old Tait & Co Merchant House (Old De-Ji Merchant House) is the former merchant house of Tait & Co Trading Company, the British Trading Company that was found in 1867 and was also one of the top 5 trading companies in Anping area.

Tait & Co had undergone several changes since it was established. Tait & Co was one of the foreign trading companies that was permitted by the Qing Government to operate before Opium War for opium, camphor, sugar and tea trading until Japanese colonized Taiwan. During the period of Japanese colonization, opium and camphor were monopolized by the Japanese government, which led to decline of foreign firms except Tait & Co. The company had its big change in 1911, when all the foreign firms in Anping were closed, and the Japanese government turned it to a salt company, and was used as the office of the Tainan Salt Works after the retrocession of Taiwan. Today, the Old Tait & Co Merchant House has transformed to a wax museum (Taiwan Development Wax Museum), which displays the immigrants’ life in Taiwan’s history, from aboriginal period to the arrival of the Chinese and Europeans. A number of lifelike wax figures of humans and animals, as well as fabulous artifacts that are dated more than a century. 

07The Old Tait & Co Merchant House has been classified as a Tier-Three historical site of Taiwan. It is a 2-storey beautiful western colonial style architecture with the main stairway in the center. The architecture is painted in white-color, which is different from the traditional Fujian style buildings. The ground floor was the dormitory for the workers with a pathway in the center and 3 rooms on each side; right and left. Second floor has a similar floor plan to the ground floor except the railing of arcade is decorated with green glaze vase decorations. 

The Old Tait & Co Merchant House is a typical colonial style architecture surrounded by arcades that are used to shelter heat and rain. “Arcades” are an important element in western colonial style architecture in Taiwan. Today, visitors may still find other examples of western colonial style architectures over Taiwan, such as Fort San Domingo and the Little White House (The Former Residence of Danshui Tax Division Customs) in Danshui, Taipei. 

While visiting Old Tait & Co Merchant House, discover the distinctive Anping Tree House located adjacent, as well as explore the many other important historical sites such as Eternal Golden Castle (Yi Tzai Golden Castle), and Old Fort Zeelandia (Anping Fort) for a colorful Tainan travel.