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Taiwan Destinations

Tainan Recommended Destination

Chihkan Towers
212 Mintzu Rd. , Sec. 2, Tainan , Taiwan

The present towers were built on the foundation of Fort Provintia, which was constructed by the Dutch in 1653 to serve as an administrative center. The towers now house a small museum containing artifacts from the Dutch days, and in front of them stand stone tablets mounted on stone turtles. Beside the towers stands a "broken-legged stone horse." The story is told how during the night, in the old days, the horse was transformed into a demon that harassed the people of the surrounding countryside until they broke its legs as punishment.

Official God of War Temple
229 Yungfu Rd., Sec. 2, Tainan, Taiwan

This temple, along with the Confucius Temple, is known as one of the oldest and best-preserved temples in Taiwan. When it was originally built is not known, but according to legend it was during the Ming dynasty's Yungli reign, in the mid-17th century. During the Ching dynasty, this is where government officials offered sacrifices to the god.

The God of War (Kuan Ti or Kuan Kung) worshiped here holds a heavy sword and rides a swift horse. His mortal origin was as a general of the late Han dynasty (early 3rd century) who, because of his behavior, became a symbol of uprightness and loyalty to later generations and was finally deified. He is said to have been good at managing finances and to have invented a method of accounting, and so is also worshipped (by businessmen, especially) as the God of Commerce.

Great Queen of Heaven Temple
18 Yungfu Rd., Lane 227, Tainan, Taiwan
The Ta Tien Hou (Great Queen of Heaven) Temple was built in 1684 for the worship of Taiwan's most popular deity; Matsu, Goddess of the Sea. Matsu is the patron deity of fishermen, and her birthday on the 23rd day of the third lunar month (either April or May) is celebrated each year with frenetic explosions of colorful activity. The goddess is usually flanked by two guardians, Eyes that See a Thousand Miles and Ears that Hear on the Wind; these are said to have once been malevolent spirits who were reformed by Matsu's example and now use their powers to help her do good works.

A secondary diet in this temple is the Old Man under the Moon, a sort of matchmaker god worshipped especially by unmarried men and women. They believe that all that need to be done is pray to the god for a red "matrimonial thread" or apply their rouge before him and they will quickly find a mate.

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