Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tainan: Day 1

So I've spent a lot of time on this entry and would loooove some feedback/comments (is it too long and boring? not enough info? just perfect?)...k thanks =)

This past weekend I traveled up to Taipei on Friday night and met up with Karin. We went to a small pub for a few drinks and met the absolute craziest guy ever, which needs to be a post all by itself so that'll be the next one. Anyway, on Saturday we got up early and took the High Speed Train (my first time on's great but expensive) down to Tainan to spend the weekend with Mary Ann and John, a couple from San Francisco who we met at orientation (We bonded over our Finkster connection just like Karin, Eileen, and I did).

Mary Ann and John were incredible hosts and showed us around to all the best places in Tainan. It is the oldest city in Taiwan and used to be the capital so it has a lot of great history and tons of temples. First thing first, it was a hot day and we stopped for some oh so "famous" Mango Ice...delicious. They were all surprised to hear that Mango Ice was something I had not yet experienced in Taiwan.

So after we were rested and cooled, they took us to the first must-see Tainan site, Koxinga Shrine. This is the shrine dedicated to the man who conquered the Dutch inhabiting Taiwan in the 1600s

Across the street from the Koxinga Shrine we took a quick peak in the Women's Temple. Everything was so intricate! It's hard to take in all the details.

Afterward we grabbed some lunch at a neat little place Mary Ann and John like to go. You walk up pick out what food you want BBQ'd and then take it to a table. When you're done with your sticks (All the food is Kabob style) you put them in the vase in the center of the table. When you're finished the woman counts up your sticks and tells you you're total. It's a pretty interesting method and even though it looked like we had a crap ton of sticks, it only cost us $200NT for 4 people to eat lunch (that's like $6 US).
After lunch we headed to the "famous" Confucius Temple.

Across the street from the temple they showed us this really
unique restaurant. We had already eaten but they said we just had to see the entrance of it.

Next we traveled over to the Chihkan Towers. They have these massive stone tablets there with a lot of great history. On one, the person carving out the characters messed up and so just turned the whole slab around and started over. On another, the slab has Chinese on one side and Japanese on the other and as Taiwan switched between the two countries reigning hands, the other side was flip-flopped back and forth in the wall until finally it was pulled out and set in away from the wall for both sides to be viewable. A third story was of one of the turtles holding the tablets being found in the ocean by a man blind in one eye. He got water from the turtle in his eye and was miraculously cured, turning that turtle into an item to be worshiped.

Our final stop before dinner was at this tiny store where a man and his daughter embroider these gorgeous clothes for various ceremonies. , It doesn't look like anything special from the outside but their work is incredible and we even saw one of their pieces in a museum the next day.

For dinner we decided on a Greek restaurant which ended up being a superb choice. They were again astonished to hear I had also never had Greek food haha. I will definitely be eating Greek again at the next opportunity =) In the evening we headed back to John and Mary Ann's home, a small village in the South District of Tainan. We had great conversation and a couple of fun games (Dutch Blitz and Skip-Bo) before bed time.


  1. Love the new blog! We miss you! Hope you don't mind I'm a follower :)

  2. Mind?? I'm ecstatic, thanks Kate =)

  3. I didn't think it was too long or boring--it was interesting and fun to read! Even if people thought this entry was boring (not possible), I think you're having a lot of fun writing and that's the most important part...this coming from a writing major who writes about her infatuation with a certain sandwich or shoe obession (both of which no one cares about lol).