Eat Sanitary and Delicious Food in Taiwan

Tainan is not only known for its culture and history, but also for its numerous restaurants and food stalls. No visit to Taiwan or anywhere in the country would be complete without trying an amazing array of delicious local foods, all safe to eat. In Tainan, a few tour buses make rounds to all popular Historical Sights in from 9:00a-6:00p so you’ll have no excuse not to try a few of the foods listed below on any street or Yanping Old Street. That is if not staying at the Evergreen Plaza Hotel which had one of the best dinner buffets we’ve ever eaten!

A free tour bus runs every 30 minutes from 9:00a-6:00p to all major historical sites. We didn’t have a chance to taste or see all of foods listed below but perhaps you will.

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Review of Evergreen Plaza Hotel in Tainan

The Evergreen Plaza Hotel has 197 rooms, free Wi-Fi, business center, gym, swimming pool, sauna, spa facilities, and two restaurants, one of which served a fabulous dinner buffet. Close to the Tainan City Cultural Center with its food streets, we didn’t find it necessary to revisit and eat around there once we saw what the Evergreen Plaza was serving; a good thing because all we wanted to do was drop in bed after extensive sightseeing in Tainan.

Was the hotel and room nice? Of course. Why wouldn’t a four-star modern hotel with all conveniences have a large and gorgeous room? There was also a fantastic mall across the street which we only had enough strength for a cursory zoom-through and fascinating street lights between the hotel and shopping plaza dimmed and changed colors by the minute. But Evergreen Plaza is all about the scrumptious dinner buffet…

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Tainan Sights: Fort Zeelandia (Anping Fort)

Almost all important tour sights in Tainan are concentrated west of the Train Station and in the Anping District, Tainan’s historical heart and original capital of Taiwan. Confucius Temple? Check… Chihkan Tower? Check, with one historical sight left to go, Anping Old Fort originally known as Fort Zeelandia.

Anping Old Fort history on speed: Dutch occupied Anping in 1624, built a massive fort and named it, Fort Zeelandia. Fort renamed King Castle/Anping Castle/Taiwan Castle because Koxinga (a Chinese military leader) lived here. Japanese rebuilt and named it Anping Old Fort.

 

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Tainan Sights: Chihkan Tower (Fort Provedentia/Provintia)

Tainan is Taiwan’s ancient capital and located on the Southwest coast. Enjoying a warm climate year-round, Tainan is the oldest city on the island and gateway to Taiwan since the Dutch arrived in 1624 and developed a political and military center in what then called Anping, “City of King.” In earlier times, Anping was known as “Dayuan,” the origin of the name “Taiwan.”

Anping City flourished through the Zheng regime, and Qing dynasty who once again renamed Tainan, capital of Taiwan. In 1885, Taiwan became an official province of China; leaving behind a distinct culture, history, Heritage buildings and wonderful food.

 

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Tainan Sights: Guan Gong Temple

The sights just kept a’comin in Tainan with yet another temple, Guan Gong/Guangong Temple. Guan Gong, referred to as the God of War and God of Business, was a real person who is also considered to be God of Justice, Courage and Loyalty. (Am I missing something?) Worshipping him is believe to bring prosperity to business and ward off evil which makes him one of the most widely worshipped deities in Taiwan. He is also a Buddhist deity who is the patron saint of soldiers.

Guan Yu, (Yunchang) was a general serving under a warlord who played a significant role in the civil war that led to the collapse of the Han Dynasty.

 

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Roads, Confucius Temple and Yanking Old Street in Tainan

After a weird breakfast of sweet potato, sushi, shrimp buns, green vegetable, yogurt with dried apricots and honey, eggs, coffee and sponge cake (no one will ever say my taste buds aren’t adventurous), it was a three-hour ride to Tainan.

The ride along Taiwan’s excellent highway system was livened up by interesting rest stops which are uniformly wonderful with immaculate bathrooms, souvenirs, sometimes food malls and, oh yes, they do sell gas/petrol.

Tainan was the first capital city in Taiwan and once gateway to the country. There are quite a few historic sights to visit and Gordon (guide) was insistent we see them all!

 

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A Mish-Mosh of Sun Moon Lake Sights, Taiwan

There are many more sights around Sun Moon Lake and we managed to cram in most excepting available hikes. It was no wonder we practically fell into bed each night with brains overflowing – so much to see and do in just one small area of Taiwan.

Holy Monk Shrine is dedicated to Monk Xuanzang, a Holy Monk in the Tang dynasty. Monk Xuanzang born in Xian, capital of China at that time, made a long pilgrimage to India in order to bring the Buddhist religion to Taiwan. His round trip journey to India took 20 slow years; 10 years going with stops to preach and visit kings along the way, and 10 years back. Maps inside showed his route and other interesting information along, along with artifacts and a relic of Monk Xuanzang (possibly a finger).

 

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Cruise Around Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan

All tourists take one of the boat cruises around peaceful Sun Moon Lake. Divided by tiny Lalu Island, the eastern part of the lake is round like the sun and the western side is shaped like a crescent moon, ergo Sun Moon Lake. Hiking and walking paths, pagodas and temples line the shoreline. Boat cruises begin in small Shueishe and begin by motoring by mostly submerged Lalu Island, sacred to the Thao aborigines. They then make two stops: the first is Tze-En Pagoda built by Chiang Kai-shek in memory of his mother; and the second is Itathao, the main town for Thao aborigines.

TIP: All boat commentary is in Mandarin! Read up on what to see or be lucky enough to have a wonderful guide like Gordon to translate.

 

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Scenic Sun Moon Lake: Year of Steps at Wen Wu Temple

Sun Moon Lake near the center of Taiwan, is the island’s largest alpine lake and one of Taiwan’s most popular destinations. One of my YouTube viewers asked, “Why is Sun Moon Lake called an Alpine Lake?” Alpine lakes are classified as lakes which usually begin around 1,524 meters/5,000 feet above sea level or tree line. Mountains in the Sun Lake Scenic Area rise from between 600 and 2,000 meters so the lake is geographically considered to be an alpine lake.

Divided by tiny Lalu Island, the eastern part of the lake is round like the sun and the western side is shaped like a crescent moon, ergo, the name “Sun Moon Lake.” Taiwanese tourists flock here for its beauty created by a combination of mountain and water scenery. Its 760 meter/2,500 feet elevation gives a Chinese landscape painting impression along with constantly changing mists and views. Innumerable hiking, biking and walking trails line the lake of which the steps leading up to Wenwu Temple is one of the most popular.

 

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Review of Luxurious and Gorgeous Lalu Hotel, Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan

Japanese Crown Prince Hirohito visited Taiwan in 1923 and appointed The Lalu as his official home. (Well, if it was good enough for him…) He rebuilt a small wooden cabin into a two-story building and added eight guest rooms, including the East and the West wings, dining room, conference room and The Lalu became an official government guest house. It then became President Chiang Kai-shek’s hotel in 1949 when the Chinese Nationalist Government retreated to Taiwan. Chiang used The Lalu for vacation and to entertain foreign head of states. With that kind of history, I had great expectations and was not disappointed.

What more can a guest ask of a five-star hotel with luxurious, all suite rooms, and a stupendous location on Sun Moon Lake’s Lalu Peninsula? With all suites influenced by Zen architecture, floor to ceiling windows, five restaurants, free Wi-Fi, panoramic views of the lake, the second largest infinity pool in Asia and incredible spa, I don’t think anything is missing at The Lalu Hotel.

 

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