Tucked in the Southwest Coast of Taiwan, Tainan is the oldest city in the country. While it has been overtaken by the other cities - New Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Taipei - in terms of size, the history and culture embedded in the city give it a striking distinction from the rest. You’ll find that the former capital of Taiwan during the Qing Dynasty still packs a punch when it comes to showing its guests a good time, especially in the older districts such as Anping, where you’ll find the forts and a place called Anping Tree House where a collection of banyan tree roots are growing out of a wooden warehouse. Small details like these provide a surreal touch to Tainan. What adds to the urgency to visit Tainan is also the fact that a good number of its land area is being reclaimed by the sea, including some of its historical spots. Vanishing cities like these need to be visited soon. Should you happen to be in the area, you might want to stay in a place as whimsical as Tainan itself. Here is our list featuring the best places to stay in Tainan, Taiwan.
Catch Phoenix is located just 500 meters (1,640 feet) from Chikhan Tower, the most historic symbol of Tainan. Chikhan is also called the Tower of Savages or the Tower of Red-Haired Barbarians. Lest you think of something haunted, the tower actually looks like a romantic ancestral house with a blossoming garden and beautiful brick interior. It is also best seen at night. So you don’t hurry during your tour, you’ll want to stay in accommodation closest to the area. Catch Phoenix is a stunning combination of light wood and high ceilings. It seems to be patterned from a country lodge, with a loft and wide living room. The rooms are equipped with their own bath and shower, adding to the relaxed feel of the place. Catch Phoenix also just happens to be 500 meters (1,640 feet) away from Grand Matsu Temple as well. You can easily reach both historic areas via bike, which you can rent from the bed and breakfast.
Like Catch Phoenix, My Way is also just 700 meters (2,300 feet) from Chihkan Tower and 800 meters (half a mile) away from Tainan Confucius Temple, a nice, intimate temple with a pocket garden in front. Unlike Catch Phoenix though, My Way House has a completely different feel in terms of accommodation. My Way looks like a converted 70s house in brick and iron, with hand painted geometric patterns on its walls and a hopscotch board painted on the floor. It has a very relaxed, grandmotherly feel to it, juxtaposed with modern elements. Every room also has its own bathroom and shower.
Every bed and breakfast or homestay has a signature element. For enjoy homestay, it just so happens to be its particleboard that provides this contemporary feel to the whole room, along with its flatscreen TV and refrigerator. Enjoy Homestay is one of the accommodations nearest to Haianlu Art Street or Haian Road Art Street. Like what its name connotes, there’s street art all over this street, which was transformed by artists to be an outdoor gallery of sorts. There is photography plastered on the walls, graffiti, paintings and the like. Enjoy Homestay is an 8-minute walk from Art Street. It’s also a great midpoint to other areas in Taiwan, being just 400 meters (1,310 feet) away from Xingnan Keyun Tainan High-speed Railway. The shuttle bus station is also just 100 meters (330 feet) away.
It’s been categorized as a hotel but with its intimate, friendly appeal, Key We Go still functions like a warm mom and pop stay, where the owners usually host their guests in the truest sense of the word. They still greet, guide, and talk to guests, especially during the guests’ first day. You’ll also love the charming exterior of this multi-story building, as it’s covered in pink bougainvillea vines framing the front. The interior of Key We Go is quite low-key and meant for guests who want something clean, pristine, and all white. Only the headboard provides it the necessary whimsy, with colorful illustrations or bright decals.
Hii Hubs lives up to every modern expectation of its guests - exposed concrete walls, black and white tiles, distressed concrete, and clean lines. The lounge has a minimalist setup with open tables and Japanese style seating, while on the other end is a set of co-sharing tables for a possible all-night work session. There’s a wooden deck on every floor, where guests can have an impromptu picnic or a quick smoke. The mixed dorm follows the same theme, its color combination of muted grays with glass accents and metal pipings. They also have individual rooms with second-floor lofts. If you get tired from staying in, you need merely rent a bike and head to Confucius Temple just 900 meters (0.55 miles) away from the B&B.
Boasting a prime location, this property is a charming blend of modern amenities and warm hospitality. Set at a 4-minute stroll from Tainan Railway Station, you’re well connected to the rest of the city, although a 5 to 10-minute drive leads you to popular hotspots like Fort Provintia, Tainan Confucius Temple, and shopping hubs like Tainan Flower Night Market and Dadong Night Market.
The wall-to-wall carpeted rooms are tastefully furnished with a flat-screen TV, seating area, work desk, and a refrigerator. If you’re a newspaper-in-the-morning kind of a person, enjoy your daily read as the hotel offers complimentary newspapers to its guests along with daily housekeeping service. The property is close to the restaurants, so if you fancy a local treat or two, feel free to roam the streets and try out the delicacies. If not, you can always sample some fresh Taiwanese dishes at the on-site restaurant that also rustles up delicious Western fare. And don’t be surprised if the friendly staff walk the extra mile for you, like packing a sumptuous breakfast for early checkouts.
Located at a 6-minute walk from Fuzhong Underground Station, Kindness Hotel is just steps away from Tainan Confucius Temple. If you’re out exploring the neighnorhood, a 5-minute stroll would land you at popular tourist spots like Chikan Touwers and National Museum of Taiwanese Literature, while local favorites like Chih-Kan Peddler’s Noodle and Xia Restaurant are just around the corner. For shopaholics, there’s good news as well - the busy Zhongshan Road is down a few blocks only.
Sink in to the softness of the comfortable bed after a long day of playing tourist, and revel in luxurious finishing like wall-to-wall carpet and strong air-conditioning. When it comes to complimentary giveaways, the hotel is quite generous. With free Wi-Fi and parking space, you’ll also find access to their 24-hour cappuccino machine and ice cream bar. Booking into one of their rooms might not be a bad idea after all, right!
This cosy but charming hotel might just be what you’re looking, whether you’re travelling solo or with family. Located 10 minutes away from Tainan Railway Station, the hotel makes up for its lack of proximity to transport links by providing free shuttle services to the station. That does not mean it’s not close to tourist attractions as well. Tainan F Hotel is only 10 minutes’ drive away from Tainan City Hall and at a 15-minute distance from Anping Old Fort and Tainan Railway Station.
A day inside the hotel would definitely not leave you bored - there’s a gamut of entertainment opportunities, laid out very thoughtfully by the hotel. Take your pick from spending some time with your kids at the play area, giving in to your rockstar dream at the karaoke room, playing some pool or table tennis, or simply soaking away your worries at the in-house hot tubs. With complimentary breakfast and free WiFi, your stay at F Hotel is definitely sorted.
Apart from those already mentioned in the list, other historical sites also include the National Museum of Taiwanese Literature, which is a restored Japanese building where you can get good coffee and the Luerman Matsu Temple in Annan. The latter is a bit far off from the destinations listed here, however, the colorful facade and the legend behind it makes it quite worth the visit, even if it’s a little out of the way. Tainan has become a beautiful, quaint city, with a historical significance that assures it can never be forgotten by the rest of Taiwan. Many locals still flock here for a quick break or a history lesson. It has a quieter feel than most of its siblings, such as New Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung. Buildings here are no higher than two to three stories, which adds to its small-town feel, despite it functioning like a full city. What it lacks in big infrastructure though, it more than makes up for in authenticity.
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