Tainan

Hayashi Department Store Tainan

Tainan is the oldest city in Taiwan and its ancient capital. It remained the heart of the island’s political and economic power for much of the late 19th century and was held my many conquerers, from the Dutch to the Japanese. It’s left the city with a host of famous historical attractions, and is worth considering for a day or two.

Central Tainan

Nearby to central Tainan

How to get there

By Taiwan High Speed Train

There are usually two or three THSR trains an hour to THSR Tainan Station from locations such as Taipei (1 hour and 45 minutes, NT$1350), Taichung (41 minutes, NT$650) and Zuoying in Kaohsiung (12 minutes, NT$140). Not all the high-speed trains stop at Tainan, so be sure to check the station and platform displays before heading onto a train. To get to the city center, you’ll then need to take the Taiwan Railway train from the next door Shalun Station to Tainan Station (23 minutes, NT$25).

By Taiwan Railway

Limited Express trains along the west coast stop off at Tainan Station in the city center. Prices are about half the price of Taiwan High Speed Rail, with regular services from stations like Taipei (about 4 hours, NT$738) and Taichung (2 hours, NT$363). Normal Express trains are cheaper still, but slower. If coming from Kaohsiung, you could just take a local train, as it’s not too far (45 minutes, NT$68).

By highway bus

Frequent bus services are provided from other major cities, with prices sometimes as low as NT$200 from Taipei (2-3 hours).

By air

Tainan Airport is a rather small one, with only several departures and arrivals per day. Most are for the smaller islands around Taiwan, but there are a few international departures, such as to Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh. Prices will be higher as it’s a small airport, so always consider going to Taoyuan Airport and taking the Taiwan High Speed Rail to Tainan instead, or using nearby Kaohsiung Airport.