After two days I took a train to Tainan. The hotel I had booked was supposed to be within walking distance from the train station. The way was quite adventurous. Tainan turned out to be so much different from what I had seen in Taipei. The streets were incredibly crowded – people, cars, bicycles and thousands of motorbikes or scooters. Most of them seemed to be parked on the walkway, so that there was no way to get through with my suitcase. I simply had to move down to the street and drag my trolley amidst parked cars and the traffic. Didn’t seem to bother anyone.
My “hotel” was terrible. Located on the 6th floor above a “regular” hotel I found myself in front of something like a reception desk with a noodle-eating guy, who appeared to be the owner. Everything was totally run down and full of junk, the guy seemed to be a real messy. Dirty towles and linen were piled up on the floor.
The guy was real nice and spoke a bit of English. I had specifically asked for a room with a window – and that’s what I got. To the end of an endless seeming hallway he led me to the room. Well, it was clean, the bed was big and seemed comfortable, sheets and towles were fresh. The air condition worked. The large window was facing south, overlooking the city.
But, the furniture looked a hundred years old, discoloured and chipped, the tiles in the bathroom were cracked, the wall paper in the room coming off the wall, the water heater for the bathroom was on the wall right next to the bed. But the worst thing was, that the window could not be opened, not even cracked. And I definitely want fresh air in the night.
I left my luggage and decided to take a walk. I sat down at one of the many street kitchens and had me a bowl of soup and a beer. Right next to it I saw a little “normal” looking hotel. The receptionist did not speak any English but was real nice and let me look at a room on the second floor: super-king size bed, window that could be opened all the way, clean bathroom with large shower stall – PERFECT – for just about 10 bucks more than that creepy place.
I went to pick up my luggage, paid the guy for the first night and enjoyed two days in a very nice and airy room.
Next morning I got up real early and took a walk to the “Tainan Park” just a couple of blocks from the hotel. Nice park, very well used by the local people to meet for common breakfast in the picknick areas or just for doing early morning yoga (or whatever) exercises, alone or in groups, some with instructor and some without.
The evening I spent in one of the street “cafés”, enjoying a very good (and cheap!) meal, watching the busy evening activities in the street in front.
Next day I went for one of the historic sites of Tainan: the residues of an old fort (Fort Provintia) built by the Dutch in the 17th century. It was rebuilt after an earthquake in the 19th ccntury and is now known as “Chihkan Tower”.
That day a great number of local tourists and several groups of high school students with their teachers were visiting the site.
Seems that this is an important monument in respect to Taiwanese history.