in the southwest of Taiwan is its oldest city and erstwhile capital. Bursting with history, Tainan's architecture, food and people tell a fascinating story and visitors are enthralled by its charm. Known affectionately as the Phoenix City, Tainan has been through a number of iterations and comebacks. Originally built as a Dutch colony, much of which is still in evidence through towers and fortresses, it was taken back by the Taiwanese in 1661. And while Taipei assumed the title of capital in 1887, Tainan is still regarded as a cultural capital, famous for its unique snack foods, preservation of Taoist and Confucian buildings and ancient folklore. Visitors will enjoy exploring Tainan's rich heritage from Buddhist to colonial architecture, quiet, peaceful temples, Japanese houses and crumbling Dutch defence towers. Meanwhile, modern Tainan is alive and well with bustling department stores, night markets and sporting events, filled with young, vibrant people. Surrounded by nature, the city boasts a beautiful park within, as well as mangroves, hot springs and national parks in close proximity.