|Tainan city street - in the scooter lane|
Portugese sailors gave Taiwan the name Formosa when they saw what a pretty island it was. The Dutch chased off Spanish traders from the Phillipines and built a fort in Tainan when they settled here back in the 1600s. Tainan had a large inland sea which has silted up and is now a protected wetlands area to the north of the city. Around the 1660's a Chinese admiral, loyal to the recently defeated Ming emperor, turned up and sent the Dutch packing. Koxinga's aim, in an interesting forerunner to Chiang Kai-Shek's intentions 280 years later, was to regather his forces in order to launch a new attack on the mainland of China and send the Manchurians back to their homelands beyond the Great Wall. But, unlike Chiang Kai-Shek, Koxinga died soon after and eventually Taiwan was subsumed into the new Qing dynasty's empire. It was this period that saw the big migrations of southern Chinese escaping the mess that China was becoming. The ancestors of most Taiwanese arrived in Taiwan via Tainan, which was the main port and capital of the island in this period.
|temple of the City God|
|nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah|
|money to burn|
Doorways are surrounded by carved woodwork and stone columns feature a gamut of faces and creatures. There are shrines with idols - small dark wooden characters wrapped in embroidered gold cloaks and statues of other fierce-looking Gods dotted around, with facial hair sprouting every which way. The temples are either Taoist, Confucian or Buddhist and the scenes remind us strongly of the Hindu temples in India.
|carved stone column|
|looks like a nice bloke|