Tainan: Rider Heaven

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Earlier this week, a melancholy mood overtook me.  To shake myself of this feeling, I jumped on the HSR (high-speed rail) for Tainan in southern Taiwan.    What’s in Tainan? According to friends, the south holds Taiwan’s culture and history.   Sure, I thought, let’s check it out.  Thus, over two days and two nights, I found myself visiting a handful of shrines, forts, and a hot spring resort.  Considering how all the placards were written in Chinese, I didn’t get much culture out of my trip down.  (My friend explained much of Taiwanese history for me.)

One aspect of Tainan reminded me of the Taipei of my childhood: mopeds.  Moped riders may yield to cars but pedestrians must yield to mopeds.  The frontage of every shop seems to a moped parking area.  Thus, you can easily expect a moped to ride up to the shop as you try to window shop.

Corner of a random street in Tainan

Corner of a random street in Tainan

Unlike Taipei, Tainan does not have a ubiquitous and affordable public transportation system of buses and subway.  Thus, the primary way normal Taiwanese move out is by scooter.

Need a helmet?

Need a helmet?

Right when you arrive from the train station, there is a booth for renting mopeds

Right when you arrive from the train station, there is a booth for renting mopeds

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