This is gonna be a big mess of photos, folks. Those of you prone to sensory overload and fainting may want to close this window immediately. (Or tab, if you are one of those people. Though I myself do not understand tabs. They offer no benefits over windows. None. And they have some shortcomings that windows do not. You can disagree if you want, but you are wrong.)
I went to Anping on Saturday with one of my fellow foreign students. She's from Belgium and is a native Flemish speaker, but like all Europeans from small countries, she speaks pretty much flawless English.
Anping is the are where the Dutch originally settled in Taiwan and set up their colony. It was an island at the time, and by controlling Anping, the Dutch controlled access to the nice bay behind it, which was key for controlling trade in the area. The Dutch, ever the able seamen, understood this and put up a fort (called Zeelandia) and encouraged the growth of a small village near the fort. (Note: The Dutch did not actually call the island Anping. They called it Taiyuan, which I think was based on an aboriginal Formosan word. It's also the origin of the name "Taiwan" for the entire island. The Anping name for the area came later.)
Some of the walls of the Dutch fort still remain, and much of the rest of it has been reconstructed.
元々の塀がちょっと残っている。Some of the original walls of the fort.
Like everything in hot, tropical Taiwan, the wall is covered in plants. The other day, I was standing around waiting for someone and some vines started growing up my legs. Fortunately, I was carrying my weed killer spray, so I was able to avoid being leached of too many nutrients.
"Know what this historical fort needs? A gaudy looking tower with no elevator so that people can turn it into a steam bath by climbing its 4 stories to get to the top." It was a pretty nice view though...
This statue is of Zheng Cheng Kung, also known as "Koxinga" in the west. He is the guy my school is named after. He was born in Hirado, Nagasaki to a Chinese father and a Japanese mother. He fought the Dutch and took over Taiwan. Because he was the first person of Chinese descent to control (part of) Taiwan, he is often viewed as a sort of founding father of Taiwan nowadays. He was a Ming loyalist, and he used Taiwan as a base from which to fight the Qing Dynasty, which had taken over the Chinese mainland recently.
Trees with beards. We're in the tropics now.
This is the building at the top of the fort now. Obviously a modern reconstruction.
The view from the fort.
This is a gate in front of a temple near the fort. There's a lot of historical touristy stuff in the Anping area, and I didn't even see the half of it.
One of the rivers around Anping. Though much of the former bay to the east of Anping has been filled in and is now part of Tainan City, Anping is still kind of surrounded on four sides by water.
The Banyan House. This is a building near Fort Zeelandia. It was built as a trade house and traded hands a couple of times, but at some point it was abandoned and taken over by tropical growth. Some enterprising person took the overgrown, condemn-worthy house and made it into a tourist attraction.
They have to fix up the building sometimes to keep it from totally disintegrating. Someone figured out how to avoid messing up the roots.
It says "Anping".
This is the Tait & Co. building. It was originally a trading house, but it's now a museum about the history of the Anping area, with displays on how various people there--Dutch, Chinese and Formosan Aboriginal--lived.
These old seawalls were put up to prevent erosion of the Anping island.
There's still a lot more to see in Anping, but I got a late start, and it's hard to walk around for hours and hours in this heat anyway. I'll probably be posting more photos from this area at some point in the future.