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Approximately 5 Hours
Meals not included
This half-day excursion is dedicated to three of the cultural and historical landmarks of Tainan, Taiwan's oldest city. Colonized by the Ming Dynasty at the end of the 16th century, the Dutch East India Company established a trade base here in 1623. Tainan was the island's main Dutch outpost and was the capital for more than 200 years. That distinction eventually transferred to Taipei, but many of the city's most celebrated landmarks remain and, indeed, are uniquely Tainan. Your journey begins at the pier with a scenic 60-minute drive through the verdant countryside to Tainan. You'll see many Dutch and Chinese influences here.
Your first destination is the Chikan Towers -- among the most important historic sites in Taiwan. They are built atop the ruins of Fort Provintia -- one of two forts built by the Dutch during their 38-year rule of Taiwan. Today, the two ornate stone towers are surrounded by elegant gardens and koi ponds. The tower complex (1875) includes serene gardens, a koi pond and several statues. A statue of a stone horse with broken legs relates to a legend that says the horse was transformed into a demon by night and rode through the countryside terrorizing people. He was captured and his legs were broken as punishment.
Another noteworthy landmark is the Confucius Temple -- the country's oldest. Built in 1666 at the end of the Manchu Dynasty, the temple served as Taiwan's first official school. Over the centuries, the temple has undergone more than 30 renovations. The impressive temple you see today is a result of a 1917 restoration by the Japanese when Taiwan became part of the empire from 1895 to 1945. At the heart of temple is the Main Hall, which leads to Dacheng Gate and the main courtyard. Tucked away here are graceful banyan trees, a larger courtyard, and two ceremonial gates that symbolize the main disciplines of Confucianism. Your final stop is at the Koxinga Shrine (1874), dedicated to the Chinese general who led his troops against the Dutch and successfully ousted them from Taiwan. The shrine is surrounded by a beautiful garden. Inside is the Tainan Folk Cultural Hall with a number of fascinating exhibits tracing Tainan's history and culture. Return to the ship at the pier afterwards.
Please note: Tour operates subject to meeting a minimum number of participants.