Posts Tagged ‘tainan’

A “white” Christmas in Taiwan

Posted: December 23, 2011 in Taiwan
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There will be a “white” Christmas in Tainan, Taiwan this year. As part of an effort to promote tourism in Tainan (former home to our two youngest sons), the city is hosting a White Christmas Festival. The festival features a Christmas tree made entirely of salt – 40 tonnes of salt! – sitting atop more salt to make it appear like a snowy patch. Since the daytime temperatures in Tainan average in the mid-70s right now, a truly white Christmas is very unlikely. The event organizers used salt for the tree and snow effect because Tainan used to be the hub of salt production for Taiwan. Salt apparently is more than just a food enhancer for some Taiwanese, as explained by event organizer Chang Cheng-yuan:

“From a traditional perspective, salt is used to drive away evil spirits and misfortunes and is also a symbol of blessing,” Chang added.

Tainan was once home to the Qigu Salt Pans, which were the largest in Taiwan and produced about 60 percent of the country’s salt.

However, the 338-year history of salt production in Taiwan came to an end in 2002 after the salt fields closed, as the local salt industry was unable to compete with cheap imported salt, the director said.

Chang said visitors to the festival could enjoy a variety of salt products, including salt coffee, salt eggs and creative works of art made of salt, and could even make their own salt at an old salt field.To read the full article in the Taipei Times, click here: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2011/12/23/2003521435

Review: Hotel Tainan

Posted: October 6, 2009 in Adoption, Hotel Review, Taiwan, Travel
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This is the third post in a series about the hotels in which we stayed while traveling in Taiwan.

Hotel Tainan was our third hotel in Taiwan, located in Tainan near the train station. We stayed there for two nights at a rate of about $75/night. It was not the newest or fanciest hotel in Tainan (I think that’s the Tayih Landis Hotel where we had dinner one night). However, it is a great value for the price. I would compare this hotel to an older Marriott or perhaps an upscale Holiday Inn with a doorman and bellboys. The least appealing part of our stay was the view from our room, which was an old, possibly-abandoned building across the street.

Pros:

  • Good breakfast buffet, offering some Western options
  • Easy to find a taxi; helpful doormen and lobby staff
  • Reasonable rates
  • Free wired Internet access

Cons:

  • Small room, even smaller bathroom
  • Location not as convenient for sightseeing or shopping
  • Warm room: we lowered the thermostat, but the room stayed warm at about 25 degrees Celsius (about 77 degrees Fahrenheit)

If we returned to Tainan I would compare the rates of the Hotel Tainan to the Tayih Landis Hotel. The Tayih Landis Hotel was closer to some stores where we enjoyed shopping, and is the hotel where we had our special dinner before our big day at St. Lucy’s.

Our room

Our room

The view from our room

The view from our room

Journey from Hualien to Tainan

Posted: September 15, 2009 in Taiwan, Travel
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We have just arrived in Tainan. Our original plans were to take a train from Hualien around the southern part of Taiwan to Tainan. But the typhoon that hit Taiwan last month damaged the railway in some sections and the Railway Administration was predicting months before the train would be able to travel that route. So we decided to return to Taipei via train then transfer to the High Speed Rail for our trip to Tainan. It took about three hours on the train and one hour, 45 minutes on the high speed rail. This is where our son is living in an orphanage. We will meet him on Thursday. Our adoption agency has arranged a half-day tour of Tainan on Wednesday, and we are looking forward to dinner tonight with a friend who lives here.

On the 8am train to Taipei from Hualien

On the 8am train to Taipei from Hualien

A look inside the high speed rail car (business class)

A look inside the high speed rail car (business class)

Dave with the Uni Lions mascot at Tainan HSR station

Dave with the Uni Lions mascot at Tainan HSR station