Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Taiwan's City of Tainan

I have been fortunate enough to journey to Taiwan a couple of times for work - the highlight of my work over the past couple of years.   Taiwan is really the bike production capital of the world.   Now China builds a lot of bikes, just head to Wal-Mart, but if you want to find quality, it is tough to find it there.  In Taiwan though, the opportunities are endless.  After working for several days in Taichung, Taiwan's bike building capital, I caught the highspeed train south to the City of Tainan.

Tainan is a city both filled with vibrant temples as rich as Beijing and city life as exciting as anywhere outside of Taipei.   The city began as a dutch trading post and fortification used as a base for the Dutch to attack other sites, such as mainland China.  Eventually the Dutch were given the boot and it then went through a series of Chinese rulers, came under Japanese control in the early 1900's and eventually became home to Chang Kai-Shek's exiled leaders, as with the rest of Taiwan.

Here is my journey south to Tainan City:

Train-side views rice fields, industry and homes live side-by-side.  Say what you will about government involvement in city planning, but at times, it just makes sense.  Rice and industrial waste - yum!!

In and amongst modern storefronts lie alleys and coves of building that have stood the test of time.

Taiwan tends to be a tea culture, but one can still find a good cup of coffee and a packed house.

Scooters and lights dominate the night - one cannot leave Taiwan without this image burned in one's mind.


Nick Graham

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