Shangri-La in Tainan

By Kevin O’Brien
This item appears on page 34 of the August 2014 issue.
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While my wife, Jane, and I were on a group tour of Taiwan in May 2013, we decided to take a side trip via train to Tainan, four hours south of the country’s capital, Taipei. We knew there were several Taoist temples in Tainan.

Traveling by train was easy there. About six weeks before our trip, I ordered the train tickets for our trip to Tainan online. We picked them up at the station.

Jane O’Brien and the statue of Lady Linshui at Lady Linshui Temple in Tainan, Taiwan. Photo by Kevin O’Brien

When we got off the train, we were only a few steps from our hotel, the Shangri-La Far Eastern Plaza (89 Section West, University Road, Tainan 70146, Taiwan; phone 886 6 702 8888, fax 702 7777). The hotel cost $145 per night — worth it for what you get. 

I would give the hotel 5-plus stars. The service was first class. Our room was huge. The breakfast was incredible, with approximately 60 stations of food, literally from soup to nuts. There was delightful live piano music from 7 to 9 p.m. every night. The swimming pool was great. Internet was free.

The hotel was attached to a department store that had a food court in its basement with choices of Chinese, Korean or Japanese food. There was also a bakery, an ice cream shop and a supermarket. 

The concierge, Albee, helped us arrange a private tour of the temples outside the city, which would have been hard to get to on our own. Our favorites were the Dongyue and Lady Linshui temples. 

Dongyue Temple features fantastic hell scenes, including stabbings, boiling and disembowelments, presided over by gods of the underworld. People go to Lady Linshui Temple to ask her to protect their children. Lady Linshui doesn’t do this work by herself; on the sides of the temple are 36 small statues of her assistants.

We would recommend Taiwan to anyone. It is a beautiful island with beautiful people. If you have questions, send an email to me through ITN.

KEVIN O’BRIEN

Savannah, GA

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

While my wife, Jane, and I were on a group tour of Taiwan in May 2013, we decided to take a side trip via train to Tainan, four hours south of the country’s capital, Taipei. We knew there were several Taoist temples in Tainan.

Traveling by train was easy there. About six weeks before our trip, I ordered the train tickets for our trip to Tainan online. We picked them up at the station.

Jane O’Brien and the statue of Lady Linshui at Lady Linshui Temple in Tainan, Taiwan. Photo by Kevin O’Brien

When we got off the train, we were only a few steps from our hotel, the Shangri-La Far Eastern Plaza (89 Section West, University Road, Tainan 70146, Taiwan; phone 886 6 702 8888, fax 702 7777). The hotel cost $145 per night — worth it for what you get. 

I would give the hotel 5-plus stars. The service was first class. Our room was huge. The breakfast was incredible, with approximately 60 stations of food, literally from soup to nuts. There was delightful live piano music from 7 to 9 p.m. every night. The swimming pool was great. Internet was free.

The hotel was attached to a department store that had a food court in its basement with choices of Chinese, Korean or Japanese food. There was also a bakery, an ice cream shop and a supermarket. 

The concierge, Albee, helped us arrange a private tour of the temples outside the city, which would have been hard to get to on our own. Our favorites were the Dongyue and Lady Linshui temples. 

Dongyue Temple features fantastic hell scenes, including stabbings, boiling and disembowelments, presided over by gods of the underworld. People go to Lady Linshui Temple to ask her to protect their children. Lady Linshui doesn’t do this work by herself; on the sides of the temple are 36 small statues of her assistants.

We would recommend Taiwan to anyone. It is a beautiful island with beautiful people. If you have questions, send an email to me through ITN.

KEVIN O’BRIEN

Savannah, GA