Unexpected Pit Stops: Culture and Koi Fish in Tainan

Biking around Tainan City last week, we happily stumbled upon the colorful, historical Chihkan Tower. Also known as Fort Provintia, Chihkan Tower was once a Dutch outpost. Then, it was destroyed by an earthquake, leaving behind a ghostly glimpse of a staircase in a hidden underground room. This cultural monument has intruiging remnants of aboriginal times and is a worthy short afternoon stop (it’s also supposedly gorgeous at night).

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The open grassy field on the grounds was a refreshing sight for our tired-of-seeing-concrete eyes. We grabbed a zesty juice from the stand at the entrance and headed in, not knowing what to expect. We took our sweet time walking around and exploring all the details of the pavilion, like the incredibly detailed roof. Temple/pavilion architecture is some of the most inspirational design. Taiwanese people really take pride in their temples. You can see it illustrated by temples’ pristine conditions, especially in comparison to the mustier outside of people’s own homes! It’s humbling to notice the care put into religious architecture.

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After taking in the pavilion and the kind of terrifying statue of literature, we spotted frog statues aligning the tower and the moat of… millions of koi fish. Okay, maybe not millions, but there were loads of fish moseying around. After spotting a five year old girl paying 10NTD for a tube of fish food (look inside the fish statues!), we couldn’t help ourselves. Eric just had to feed them – and I’m so happy he did. It was laugh-til-your-cheeks-cringe-in-pain excitement! Getting splashed in the face by crazy fish was a highlight. Who knew stumbling into a Tainan monument and sprinkling lunch for fish could be so silly and amusing.

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Have you ever happened to stop somewhere randomly and ended up having an incredible time?
xx. Jillian

Chihkan Tower
Address: No. 212, Section 2, Mínzú Rd, Tainan City, Taiwan
Cost: 50 NTD (<$2 USD)
Time to spend: 1-2 hours

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