Taiwan’s Tainan offers free guided tours of back alleys on weekends

The back alleys hidden in an old section of the city still keep some of the city’s authentic elements

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(Photo courtesy of Tainan City's Bureau of Tourism)

(Photo courtesy of Tainan City's Bureau of Tourism)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – What’s there to see in Tainan, the ancient capital city of Taiwan, besides the numerous historic sites and monuments? The back alleys hidden in an old section of the city still keep some of the city’s authentic elements that set the city apart from other modern cities in the country, and therefore it’s worth taking a guided tour of the city’s old communities.

The back alleys zigzagging the area encircled by Minsheng Rd. (民生路), Ximen Rd. (西門路), Zhongzheng Rd. (中正路), and Yongfu Rd. (永福路) are generally referred to as the Snail Alley, which denotes the laid-back quality of the communities in the allies. Therefore, visitors are recommended to relax and take a slow walk while taking in the simple, quiet atmosphere that permeates the area.

While exploring these alleys, visitors might come across a neighborhood injected with installation art, painted walls, and symbols of snails that hark back to the old time. Visitors will also find small shops and cafes in the alleys.

Tainan City Government provides free guided tours of the back alleys on weekends, but charges a fee for the same tours during weekdays, according to a news release posted on Travel Tainan website by the city’s tourism bureau. A guided back alley tour takes about two hours, the agency said.

Advance online registration is required for participating in a guided tour, according to the release.

More free guided tours of the back alleys will be provided during the New Year’s Day holiday, the agency said, adding that there are a couple of different routes to choose from.

For more information about the guided tours, please refer to this site (Chinese), call 06-3901179, or write to zhengchi013@gmail.com