Tainan was Once the Capital City

Tainan was once the capital city of Taiwan. Only after 1887, the provincial capital literally relocated to Taipei during late Qing Dynasty rule.

However, in the latter years, Tainan Prefecture, as referred by Qing dynasty, continued to be the capital city for Japanese’s Occupation.

Some locals I have spoken shared that capital was officially relocated after 1895.

Whatever it maybe, Tainan remains as the birth place to Taiwan’s early establishment; the undeniable fact on the history.

Time flies like an arrow, and how recorded history can last for more than four centuries.

While modernization of Taipei city has become an area of continuos and congruent urbanization, Tainan city stays as a historical place to commemorate the important milestone of the bygone times.

The best thing about living in Tainan is having good convenience to immerse oneself to view old relics, spectacular temples, traditional culture and practices, snacky eateries in night markets and friendly locals.

On the contrary, if yo are interested in high-end fashion wear, shopping spree and discounts, concrete skyscrapers for financial banks, or modern infrastructure with rapid transportation, visiting Taipei would be the better choice.

View of Tainan City from NCKU
View of Tainan City from NCKU

Above all, as the journalist of The China Post, Dimitri Bruyas mentioned:

“…especially when you don’t need a passport to feel like you’re worlds away.”

~ Source: Tainan City — the elegant capital

In short, it’s the best of both worlds!

Below, I have outlined the early history at-a-glance, starting from late 16th century.

Hope it helps to provide quick references of the yesteryear of Tainan city.

  1. ~ 1590: Early Chinese migrants, prehistoric settlements.
  2. 1624 ~ 1662: Dutch colonized as trading base for China and Japan for 38 years
  3. 1662 ~ 1683: Chinese General Koxinga oust the Dutch and remained regime for 21 years
  4. 1684 ~ 1887: Became Taiwan Prefecture by the Qing Dynasty; General Koxinga was Ming Dynasty
  5. 1894 ~ 1895:  First Sino-Japanese War broke out.
  6. 1895 ~ 1945: Japanese’s occupation by Treaty of Shimonoseki
  7. 1945 ~ present: End of WWII, Republic of China led by Kuamingtang (KMT), became the governing party of Taiwan.