Tainan, Taiwan Travel Guide

Rising from the southwestern coastal plains of Taiwan is the city of Tainan. About 110 miles off the coast of mainland China and less than 2 hours from the capital Taipei by bullet train, this is a city of many names. Tainan is often called Taiwan’s birthplace and is the oldest city in the country. Just as the city’s environment has been continually shaped by the tides, so too has the waves of migration and conquest defined Tainan’s culture.

The historic quarter of Anping is a great place to start your Tainan journey. A fort was established on this sandy peninsula by Dutch traders in 1624. However, the Dutch were driven off this island by Chinese forces less than four decades later. Wander the nearby ruins of a merchant house and the fort’s ramparts, the ideal metaphor for a city that embraces its past. The Chihkan Tower rises closer to the city center. It is the first official seat of power of Taiwan and the keeping place of many of the earliest treasures and records of the city.

This city not only preserves its history, but it also reveres traditions, especially the spiritual. With more than 2000 shrines and temples, Tainan is sometimes referred to as the Kyoto of Taiwan. The temples here are places where daily life and ritual intertwine, from festivals noisy enough to wake up gods to residents quietly praying for guidance.

The Sacrificial Rites Martial Temple is just across the road from Chihkan Tower. Pay your respects to the patron saint of soldiers, Guan Gong, then pause for a while, beneath the shade of the 300 year old plum tree of the temple.

Pass through the Confucian Temple gates just as students have for more than 3 and a half centuries. It was created as the first center of higher learning in Taiwan and the remains a touchstone for many students who still come to pray for exam success.

Although this city ceded its political power to Taipei more than a century ago, Tainan still remains a powerhouse in one of the most important aspects of life, food. This is where the city’s locals, Chinese, Japanese, and Dutch heritages all come together. The servings are affordable and small, so you can try everything.

Tainan is also called The City of Snacks because it is like one traveling feast. Its markets are one of the best places to sample this city’s specialties. There are over two dozen night markets in Tainan, but none compares to the sheer energy, color, and size of the Flower Night Market.

The city has lots of places to stretch out when you are ready to walk off everything you have eaten. Lose yourself amid the ancient trees, pavilions, and bridges of Tainan Park. Or explore the mangrove forts and ancient shipping channels of Taijiang National Park, right in the backyard of the city.

The most annoying things about traveling

Presumably every single one of us enjoys the idea of traveling around the world, meeting different people, tapping into different cultures and seeing new spectacular sites around the world. Some even believe that traveling is necessary in order to live a fulfilled life. But we can all come to an agreement that due to innovation and globalization, traveling has changed in a more than a few ways for the better or worse. So we composed a list on some of the most obnoxious things we hate or tend to ignore whiles traveling.

Bringing our entire closet
Over packing is one of those rookie mistakes that we keep on repeating time and time again. We often pack clothes that we’ll never even get a chance to wear on our 7 day trip, chances are you’re not going to be needing that one shirt you bought 3 years ago and only worn it on one occasion. A good way around this problem is to pack ½ of the things you initially think you will need.

Spend more time on airports than on plane
If you’re traveling far abroad, chances are you’ll be catching more than one flight to your desired destination. And there is no greater ordeal than airport check-ins, luggage weighing and those long boarding lines, not to mention the overpriced foods and drinks at the airport.

Airplane Food
This goes without saying airplane food is awful and it just keeps on getting worse. Even worse, we keep on complaining about the food, knowing about the quality of the meals prior. Chances are if you’re flying economy class, you’re onboard meal won’t be a 5 start meal and you might even pay extra if you even stick to peanuts and drinks.

Wasting time
One of the most common mistakes we make whiles traveling is waste our time doing nothing. We often get caught up in things such as: getting ready for the beach, choosing what outfit to wear, oversleeping or just plain spend our time sitting in our hotel room doing nothing.

Staying in our comfort zone
People like to stay in their comfort zone even when their traveling to new locations and that’s not really a bad thing if it provides more entertainment for your trip, but in most cases it’s frankly the opposite. We spent months of planning, preparing and saving in order to travel and do the same basic activities and eat the same food that we’re used to back at home. Next time you go on a trip, be sure to try something new and different, as it will bring a lot more excitement and joy into your trip.

What To Do In Chicago?

Chicago started as a small trading post but it has boomed into a global center of culture and commerce. Chicago has always been driven by an unshakable optimism. The fire incident in 1871 destroyed half the city. The city seized this opportunity to reinvent itself. Recently, some friends of mine from CDM Waste Management visited Chicago and took in all that there is to see and do in the beautiful northwestern US city. What followed was the biggest building boom in the country’s history. This Windy City has a skyline that is beyond beautiful. Here are the top must see attractions in Chicago, Illinois.

The Loop
Start your tour of the city at the Loop. It is Chicago’s central business district. The streets within this place showcase different architecture from around the world. From the cloud piercing towers to the first high rises in the world. Willis Tower was the tallest building in the world for almost 25 years. There is a historic theater district and an amazing outdoor sculpture which makes this place feel like a cross between a film set and a museum.

You can take a ride to the Skydeck but you might feel the building sway a bit in a windy day. You don’t have to panic about this because the building was designed that way. Here you can get a wonderful view of this beautiful city.

The Magnificent Mile
The Magnificent Mile runs north from the Loop. Here you can even gaze up at more wonderful attractions from the School of Architecture. There are upscale boutiques around the Magnificent Mile where you can shop. When it is time to refuel, grab a taste of one of Chicago’s favorite – a deep dish pizza.

The Riverwalk
Winding between the canyons of steel and glass and following the South Bank of Chicago River, the Riverwalk offers you a relaxing change of pace from the bustle of downtown.

Millennium Park
The Millennium Park used to be the site of car parks and railway yards, it had now been transformed into what is now known as the ‘future of parks’. At the centerpiece of the Millennium Park are the BP Footbridge and Jay Pritzker Pavilion designed by Frank Gehry. There are also some public sculptures here including the Cloud Gate, a stainless steel archway also known as ‘the Bean’.

The Art Institute of Chicago
The unique thing about this place is that its exterior is a work of art in itself. Set a day aside to explore this treasure house of Asian, American, and European masterpieces.

The Garfield Park Conservatory
This is most couple’s first date favorite and an inner city haven for nature lovers. Nearby is the Oak Park where you can step inside the home and studio of Frank Lloyd Wright. He pioneered a new architectural vision for the US for up to 20 years here.

Unity Temple
The Unity Temple was completed in 1908 and it is widely known as the first modern building in the world.

Chicago truly lights up as the sun sets but don’t go to bed early because this city offers the best theater, blues, and jazz in America. Regardless of how windy the city maybe you will take away memories that will last you a lifetime.

New York’s Worst Tourist Traps

There are tons of fun things to do in New York City; however, there are also many tourist traps. This article will show you the tourist traps to avoid in New York City.

Times Square

Times Square is a massive tourist trap and the only good thing about this place is the Broadway shows. Everything here is overpriced and try as much as you can to avoid Ripley’s Believe it or Not and Madame Tussauds when you are in Times Square. That is one of the biggest tourist traps you should avoid in New York.

Avoid Expensive Souvenir Shops

If you want to buy any New York souvenir, don’t go to any of the souvenir shops you will find all over the Midtown area of New York. Instead, go to Chinatown, Walgreens, or Duane Reade to get them at a much cheaper price.

Avoid Empire State View

Avoid going to places like the Empire State Building or the Freedom Tower. Those places have really long lines and are very expensive. Instead, go to one of the amazing rooftop bars in New York. There are so many of such bars and they offer better views than what you get at the Empire State buildings. A few of my favorite spots are St. Cloud at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Times Square, Monarch Lounge, and Jimmy at The James. There is also an amazing rooftop bar overlooking Central Park.  These places have amazing views and there is usually no one there. It is just so much better than going to the Freedom Tower or the Empire State Building.

Don’t Shop on 5th Ave

Avoid shopping on 5th Ave because it is very expensive, and it is where you will find most tourists. Instead, go to where real New Yorkers shop such as Union Square or the West Village, Nolita. Any of these spots have tons of cute boutique stores that are better priced than all the items you will find on 5th Ave.

Do Local Tours not Bus Tours You will be offered a lot of pamphlets when you are walking on the streets of New York for big bus tours. This is a huge scam, so avoid it because they don’t offer a good tour of the city. They will just crowd you into a big bus full of other tourists, and dish out blanket information about New York City as the bus goes past all the city’s attractions and landmarks. You can instead go on a small group tour or a private tour. There are many of these companies all over New York and offer fun tours that are really personalized.

Eco-friendly travel

You feel your feet itching for adventure but your bad conscience nagging about the environmental impact of tourism?

Than you belong to the 67% of travellers who are looking for ways to make their trip more climate-friendly. About 2/3 of holidaymakers are worried about tourism destroying biological diversity and the environment.

The bad news is, around 5% of climate-damaging global emission is due to travelling.

The good news is, each and everyone of us can make a difference!

How? Here are some ideas:


75% of tourism related CO2 emission is caused by traffic. 40% thereof is air traffic, 32% is car traffic and merely 3% is caused by bus and train traffic.

The first trick is, you probably guessed it, avoid emission heavyweights like air planes and cruise ships. However, from time to time you may find yourself in a situation where you need to get a plane ticket, don´t lose heart just yet! There are options for voluntary contributions to non-profit organisations and airlines which invest in climate-protection and sustainable development projects. Keep an eye out for the “Gold Standard” certificate and organisations supporting projects which compensate the amount of emission you cause.


Generally, however, it is always better to prevent damage than to compensate for it. This short list helps you to choose eco-friendly options for your next trip:

  • Check-out the possibilities you have by using the bus and train for your trip. Most people can find some holiday-gems less than 800 kilometers from their homes!
  • Once you´ve reached your destination, get informed about public transport. Especially on city trips, this should not be too big a challenge.
  • Behave in an environmentally-conscious way. Use water economically especially in places where clean water is scarce. Try to avoid pools, golf courses and ski slopes with artificial snow as they use tremendous amounts of water.
  • Planning on a nice pick-nick? Don´t use disposable products. Buy local fruit and vegetable and avoid meat and animal products. And always clean up after yourself. (These tips can be used at home as well!)
  • Travel light! Less weight equals less emission.
  • Choose your souvenirs carefully. Many souvenirs contain ecologically harmful and sometimes even illegal materials.
  • Avoid mass tourism and wildlife in captivity like zoos and aquariums.
  • Look for accommodation with environmental certificates. Many hostels, hotels and bed and breakfasts receive them for their choice of organic foods, economic use of water and energy, waste management or commitment in species protection.
  • Consider the option of a house-swap or flat-share. Especially in metropolitan areas with housing shortages this can be an ideal way of using existing living space.

As often in life, there is a plethora of options and awareness is the first step in the right direction. Everyone can make a difference and if everyone does their best, many more people will have the opportunity to discover the marvelous wonders of this planet.