Anping Old Street (Yanping Old Street)
Today, visitors may still find some of Taiwan’s oldest streets in Anping District as it was the original Dutch settlement in Tainan. The area surrounding Fort Anping (Fort Zeelandia) is full of small streets and alleyways that are packed with vendors, eateries, shops and gaming stores. However, the old buildings have not yet been exploited yet, which allows visitors to discover the unseen beauties and learn the stories behind these preserved buildings and streets.
Yanping Street is the oldest among the old streets in Tainan. It is also known as Anping Old Street or Taiwan’s 1st Street as it is the first established merchant street in the area. This street has little shops and food stalls that cover a full range of souvenirs and handmade products of different prices. The roads of Anping Old Street are rather narrow and winding, visitors may either walk or ride a bike to explore the every little stories of each old building. Set at a street intersection after entering from An Bei Road, visitors may find the most well-preserved civilian residence in Anping that was built around 1912 to 1925, which is the Wei’s Residence in Haitoushe.
Different from other traditional Chinese dwellings, either in a three-section or four-section courtyard style with wings on both sides, Wei’s Residence in Haitoushe is built with a single corridor and wing, which is also a typical housing style in Anping. The design of a single corridor with one wing instead of two wings was because of the limited space and also a way to cost down. The dwelling is appointed with a living room, bedroom, kitchen and yard. The dwellings with a single corridor and wing are also known as “One-Arm House” for the distinctive look like “L” as if one arm is reaching out.
While visiting the Anping Old Street, look out for the colorful sword-lions that are hung on these historical residences. A sword lion is hung on each residence as an identification of the resident as there was no address back in old days. The sword lions are designed in different sizes with diverse facial expressions and colors, in which the color of the sword lion represents the family’s position in the society.
For ones looking for a short stop for some tea and snacks. Wang’s Shop provides a delightful place that may fulfill one’s thirst. Experience a relaxing moment for some drinks in a heritage. The Anping Ancient Well can also be found within the Anping Historic Residence area. This essential source of fresh water was built during the Ching Dynasty around 1851-1861. Take a stroll along these old historic streets of Tainan for a closer view on the local cultures and the significant histories of Taiwan.
There are also a number of other historical sites in Anping District, including Anping Fort (Fort Zeelandia), Eternal Golden Castle (Yi Tzai Golden Castle), Anping Tree House, and Old Tait & Co Merchant House (Old De-Ji Merchant House) that are always recommended to visit for one’s Tainan travel.
Drive on your own:
No. 1 National Highway (國道一號) -> Exit from Yongkang Interchange (永康交流道) -> Gongyuan Road (公園路) -> Nanmen Ring (南門圓環) -> Minshen Road (民生路) -> Anping Road (安平路) -> Guanyin Street (觀音街) -> Fort Anping (安平古堡) -> Anping Old Street (Yanping Old Street 延平街)
Take bus no. 2, 88 or 99 to Fort Anping stop (安平古堡站).