Shennong Street in Tainan City, Taiwan
The southwest coast of Taiwan sure does have plenty of surprises, especially for first-timers.
After our fun-filled activities at the Ten Drum Cultural Village, we left the place by mid-afternoon to visit a couple more sights in Tainan. Too bad, we can’t stay longer in the village til’ the evening to witness more activities. However, we’ve pretty much used our time to roam around the huge village, together with some media friends.
Our next stop was at Chi Mei Museum located at the Wenhua Road in Rende District. Unfortunately, the Museum is closed due to ongoing renovations. But since we don’t want to miss anything, we still visited the place to appreciate the beauty of its European inspired structure. There’s something with its architecture that gathered plenty of attention from international travelers; from its marvelous garden, the replica of Le Bassin d’Apollon at the Palace of Versailles in France, and the Olympus Bridge, which certainly worth sharing on your social media accounts.
Opened its doors to the public in 1992, the Chi Mei Museum is greatly known to house the most significant collections since time immemorial. From the fossils, ancient armors, sculptures, and musical instruments. If you plan on visiting the museum, take note of its operating hours from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, and is closed on Wednesdays. You can visit their official website www.chimeimuseum.org for more information.
After exploring the park and taking photos of the museum’s facade, we headed straight to Tainan City center.
Early Dinner at A Xia Restaurant
To cap off our night in Tainan, we headed over at A Xia Restaurant for dinner. This restaurant has been serving amazing local dishes for almost six decades, and was dubbed as the best “Local Flavored Tainan Restaurant.”
There were lots of Chinese locals, eating with their families, and enjoying some seafood dishes when we got there.
We had steamed sticky rice with mud crab, Mullet roe and boiled shrimps, and is really packed with flavors, perfect for this tiresome but fun day. Others recommend you also try their sweet and sour seafood soup and the almond tofu sweet soup for dessert.
The Shennong Street Experience
It was already dark when we reached the famous Shennong Street, billed as the best-preserved street in Tainan. The street is named after Shennong, a deity of Chinese agriculture. If you’re tad tired from all the walking and exploring at Chi Mei, this quaint street with lovely old lanes is the place to be!
The Art Street
The entire area was considered as an ‘art street’ as there are few galleries you can occasionally catch on various nights. We also get to walk past through refurbished old houses which stood the test of time, as was in fact, really fancy, compared to the usual houses. Aside from the artworks, there are also interesting shops in the area.
Care for some tea?
Never ever leave the Old Shennong Street without having to try Taikoo’s tea, accompanied by their bestselling muffins and sandwiches. For announcements and latest offerings, visit their Facebook page /taikoo101/.
Visit Temples at Shennong
There are two temples to visit along Shennong Street. Located a few steps away from the main corner is Shuixian Temple. The location used to be a control center of the old port during the Qing Dynasty. The bigger temple composing three sections was built in 1715 but two sections of it were demolished by the Japanese and converted it to an air-raid shelter during WWII. Part of the original temple still remained intact including some old woodworks and statues.
The second temple was built in 1830. Jinhua Temple was renovated several times but they retained almost the same look. The temple is relatively small but it has an interesting design that is truly eye-catching.
Souvenir Shops and Café
Make sure to bring some extra bucks when you visit this area. It’s housing fancy souvenir shops where you can buy handwork crafts, pieces of jewelry, to amazing house displays. This peaceful alley also has plenty of cafés where they serve simple homemade cakes and chocolate pastries; for example, the Fat Cat Story.
Mind you, visiting the Old Shennong Street is better at night. Expect to see a bright lighted lantern and of course, bars offering craft beers worthy of a try! You can also visit the “Do Right Coffee & Green Kitchen” that specialized in curry. You can try the Katsu Curry! One of the best! Yummm!
The Old Shennong Street can be crowded especially on weekends and the evening so make sure to keep an eye on your valuables. Although this a safe place to travel to, it’s always best to be mindful of your things.
Since this is one of the best streets to see in Tainan, don’t forget to bring extra camera batteries or power banks so you’ll never ran out of batteries. Also make sure to appreciate the local’s handicrafts, from shoes, slippers, and other displays. You can visit the souvenir shops and buy some for yourself. Most importantly, since you’ll be walking a LOT, bottled water could be very helpful!
Make the most of your time in the lovely street and discover the vast and exciting options this place can offer.
How to get there
If you’re currently near the Tainan Train Station, check out the nearest bus stop across the street and take bus number 5, 7, 14, or 18, then get down at Ximen and Minquan Road.
Alight at Minquan Road, and across the red lights is the Shennong Street sign.
But if you’re a non-Chinese speaking tourist, don’t worry! There is a tourist information booth at the station with friendly English speaking staff who will teach you how to use the bus system. Also, if you’re feeling a bit of spontaneous, there are also scooter rental shops in Tainan you can check out!
Tainan City Travel and Tour Packages
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