In my past holiday travels, I would usually prepare detailed itinerary for the trip. However, as my boy is getting older, he has his own expectation on the travel and the places for our visit may change from time to time. As such, nowadays, I only planned for the flights and accommodations, the rest of the trip will only be worked out during the trip.
In my recent Taipei/Kaohsiung trip, we had made a flash travel to Tainan.
Days before Christmas, I travelled from Taipei to Kaohsiung to join my family.
On Boxing Day, my wife had arranged a dinner gathering with her friend in Kaohsiung. We had not much time for the rest of the day and it was not possible for us to travel to places that were far away from Kaohsiung. We finally decided to take a short trip to Tainan adjacent to Kaohsiung.
For the morning trip, we got on the Taiwan High Speed Rail to the Tainan High Speed Rail Station at Shalun. We then took the local train service to the Tainan City.
The High Speed Rail is supposed to be a fast transportation service. However, the Tainan High Speed Train terminal is quite remote from the Tainan City and it actually took slightly more than 90 minutes from Zuoying in Kaohsiung to Tainan City.
The Tainan Train Station is currently under its renovation program, making this busy station even more crowded.
Oops, it’s already one o’clock in the afternoon and time for lunch.
Tainan is very famous for its local street food and Tainan cuisine: Danzi Noodles, Shrimp Roll, Oysters Roll, Milkfish, savory rich pudding plus various types of cold drinks and fruits ice-cream on shaved ice. These are extremely delicious and definitely worth a try. However, the weather was so hot and we were terribly hungry that we simply had our lunch at Cafe Grazie located in the Far Eastern Tainan Chenggong Store. I had previously visited Cafe Grazie at Xindian district of Taipei, tasty dishes at reasonable prices.
After the lunch, we had visited two of the Tainan’s tourist attractions that are closed to the Tainan Train Station: The Colourful Lane (Lane 3) at Kaishan Road and the National Museum of Taiwan Literature.
銀同里彩繪巷弄 The Colourful Lane (Lane 3) at Kaishan Road
The Colourful Lane is actually the Lane 3 at Kaishan Road. Few years ago, a group of volunteers and residents of the lane participated in a community project to decorate the lane with recycled materials and colourful wall painting. Turning the old street and houses into a great tourist attraction.
Within the Lane, there is a group of consecutive rammed earth houses that were built more than 70 years ago. Nowadays, they were reinforced and revitalised into various types of culture workplaces, lifestyle shops, cafe and coffee shops.
At the end of the consecutive rammed earth houses, there is a wall painted as a colourful mosaic by students of the Institute of Art Studies of the National Cheng Kung University. I learnt from the Internet that the colourful mosaic was an abstraction of the Tainan City map. Probably I should spend sometime to confirm this.
There is also an old temple called “Liu He Jing Qing Shui Si” that was built in the reign of Emperor Kang Xi of the Qing Dynasty, China, more than 300 years ago.
清水寺的斜對面是一間基於台灣本土食材的家庭式料理 – 小山林 家庭料理。
Opposite to the “Liu He Jing Qing Shui Si” is the “Little Forrest” homemade cafe that offered dishes made from local Taiwan ingredients. The owner of the cafe would like to express an attitude to life via his cooking. The minimalist cafe decoration matched perfectly with the lane’s hipster atmosphere.
從街尾橫過開山路和南門路，便可到達今天的第二個景點 – 國立台灣文學館。
Crossing both the Kaishan Road and Nanmen Road at the end of the lane, we arrived at our second tourist attraction of our journey – the National Museum of Taiwan Literature.
On our way to the museum, we came across the “Tea Industry“, a nicely decorated franchised cafe serving freshly brewed tea and coffee. It looked really attractive but since we just had our lunch, we were quite full and had not given it a try.
國立台灣文學館 National Museum of Taiwan Literature
The National Museum of Taiwan Literature is housed in the Tainan Prefecture government building, a declared national historical monument, that was built during the period of Japanese occupation in 1916. It was originally designed by the Japanese architect, Moriyama Matsunosuke. A lot of the existing Taiwan government buildings like the Office of the Taiwan Governor-General, were also designed by him.
The rehabilitation work was taken up by the Department of Architecture of the National Cheng Kung University in 1998 and opened to public in 2003. The museum researches, catalogs, preserves, and exhibits literary artifacts of Taiwan contemporary literature.
Right in front of the museum is the Tangdezhang Memorial Park. Below is the panorama reflecting the excellent planning work of the adjacent area.
The museum also holds series of exhibitions. The one on display during our visit was the “Taiwan Ghost Culture Exhibition” that showed the traditional Taiwan ghost stories for the kids. By the way, those text description and the computer animation were quite scary.
Located in the atrium of the ground floor is the cafe and museum shop. Visitors can take some rest here.
We had strolled around in the museum for quite a while and its time to return to Kaohsiung to have our dinner gathering.
Having the travel experience with the High Speed Rail in the morning, we decided to take the local Taiwan Railway back to Kaohsiung.
After buying our tickets and got into the station platform, our boy suddenly noticed that we were supposed to board the Puyuma Express bound for Chaozhou. Since he had read about the Puyuma Express accident in Yilan dated back in October 2018, he was quite concerned on the safety of the train and afraid to take the service.
By the time he got onto the train, he found that the Puyuma was actually same as the Limited Express he had been taking quite a number of times in Japan. He finally became more relaxed and his fear was subsequently vanished.
The return trip back to Kaohsiung Station only took about 25 minutes. Even we put in the transit time of the MRT train back to our hotel, a saving of around 30 minutes could still be achieved. Frankly speaking, we may need to think carefully whether high-speed rail service is really an efficient means of travel in situation of short journey as in Hong Kong.
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