Tainan, The City of Gold

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As the title suggests, Tainan is truly The City of Gold, especially for photographers and food lovers. I was in photographic bliss this morning, eagerly checking my camera and making sure I had taken the photo that I had hoped I had taken.

 

Like most places, once you get away from the hussle and bustle, people tend to be a bit more relaxed and in turn, have lots more time for you. I met some great people this morning, and all happy with the transformation that is happening in Tainan.

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I found a beautiful noodle shop that sells one of the specialities of Taiwan, mifen ( 米粉). The owner has been working there for 45 years and he’s still doing it with a smile too! I ordered the fish ball noodle soup and it was amazing!

It’s not on Google maps, so here’s a rough location. (700, Tainan City, West Central District, 海安路二段455巷14號). It’s located in a cool little market place. The photograph of the guy cooking is the front of the shop.

 

The alleys around here are rich in curiosities and I get such a buzz winding through them.

My fascination with windows in Tainan grows and grows too. So many designs and often something interesting hanging from them. I just love peering through them and seeing the oddities that appear.

 

If you ever come to visit or live in Tainan, please do yourself a favour and explore this wonderful ‘City of Gold’ !

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Take the Weight Off Your Feet and Have Some Oolong Tea

 

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Robert Lewis Stevenson once said “There are some places that demand a story should be told of them, and Tainan is that place”.

Well, maybe I twisted the words a tad, but this is my humble opinion of this wondrous city.

After every ramble, I always have a ridiculous amount of shots of people on scooters and bicycles. Why? Well, firstly, I just find the people on them so interesting and secondly, after having lived in this fair old city for the majority of my time in Taiwan, the answer is very clear. Nobody walks! People are so dependent on their two wheeled friends that if there was suddenly a city ban, Tainan would come to a halt.

I found a beautiful area today, in between Jinhua Road and Lin’an Road. Alleyways opened up sucking me into their treasures and delights. Evidence of he local residents’ resting areas in the cool evenings were everywhere and you could just imagine the ‘amas’ (Taiwanese for grandma) fanning themselves as they sipped their oolong tea and discussed the price rise of cabbages and cauliflowers.

The attraction for me in this part of the city is that all this land has been built on already. Contractors will have no luck getting their grubby hands on any land deeds and this area will continue to charm the socks off myself and every person who is lucky enough to thread these beautiful curiosities.

 

This week’s top tip food tip…老古石碗粿 (Rice cake in a bowl)

No. 57號, Xinyi Street, West Central District, Tainan City, 700

  1. Another rice cake in a bowl shop (Note to oneself: must find out a better English translation). These places always do it for me. I ordered a rice cake and a fish ball soup which came to $60nt.                                                                                                                                   If you haven’t tried this dish before, the rice cake also has meat, egg and mushrooms inside it. You also have the option of a garlic or oyster sauce to put on it too.

No Stone Left Unturned

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This morning’s ramble started with one of my favorite shots I’ve taken for a long time….’man on a classic vespa’. My first shot of the day too! Could have gone home there and then. I just have something for shooting people on scooters.

I walked around the back of Jin Hua Road (4th Section) in the West Central area, up and down every nook and cranny. I love the way people decorate their houses with various plants, ornaments and toys.

Having been in Tainan for a good few years now, these walks are making me fall in love with this city more and more.

My Weekly Top Tip Food Tips

1. 方家碗粿 (Traditional rice cake)

No. 166號, Section 3, Minquan Road, West Central District, Tainan City, 700

https://goo.gl/maps/jsKe6eG6m1y

Now, this one is a Taiwanese classic….碗粿.  This is a kinda rice cake in a bowl, including egg, meat and mushrooms. You can also add certain sauces and garlic too. I had 碗粿 and a bowl of fish ball soup for…..$45NT!!!

碗粿 is particularly popular in the south of Taiwan and from what I hear the Tainanese still cook it in the traditional way. I have a few favourites around Tainan….One day, I’ll do a list, with addresses, of them all.
2. 安平海鮮炒麵  (fried rice and fried noodles)

700, Tainan City, West Central District, 台南市中西區民生路二段188號

https://goo.gl/maps/fDsTjUCHjcr

This was a great find… I had fried rice with beef ($70). Now, the food here won’t send you to heaven and back, but if you’re in need of a quick fix, and in the area, you won’t be disappointed. This area, I am slowly finding out, is a gold mine for local food. I will have to do a review of all the restaurants and small eateries that I find here too!

If you check out any of the places I go to let me know what you think and please, please give me some of your recommendations too.

Enjoy!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tainan Ramble 1

This was a great morning for photos. This is why I love Tainan, so many interesting things to see. There are so many characters walking and riding the streets. If you love street documentary, you’ll be in paradise.

For lunch, I found a great beef noodle restaurant, Lao Zheng Beef Noodle Restaurant (https://goo.gl/maps/zoCMf4RLr6p)….As well as fantastic beef noodle soup, it has a good selection of side dishes and seems to be very popular with the locals. Definitely worth a visit!