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Anping Old Street (安平老街) in Anping District of Tainan City is sometimes called “Taiwan’s First Street”, as it is the center one of the oldest merchant areas in the country. It is one of the most fascinating places to visit in Tainan for foodies and those interested in the early history of Taiwan.
Today, tourists flock to Anping Old Street to buy its signature delicacies, especially candied fruits (蜜餞), shrimp crackers (蝦餅), traditional peanut candies, and other Taiwanese street foods that Tainan is famous for. The street also features traditional Taiwanese crafts like fans, puppets, and more.
Anping Old Street is also surrounded by atmospheric historic alleyways where you can stumble upon ancient temples, traditional rammed earth houses (土角樓), and images of lions with swords in their mouths, traditional house markers which have become a symbol of Anping.
In this article, I’m going to cover everything you need to know for visiting Anping Old Street, including its location, the best hotel nearby, what to eat, a self-guided walking tour, and other places to see in Anping near the Old Street.
Also read my guide to Taipei’s oldest street, Dihua Street!
I’ll be linking to some deals on Klook below. If you sign up for Klook with this link, you’ll get TWD 100 off your first booking!
Where Is Anping Old Street? (and opening hours)
The actual street name of Anping Old Street is Yanping Street (延平街). The Old Street starts on Castle Street (古堡街) just a few steps south of the southeastern corner of the Anping Old Fort grounds. The GoogleMaps location marker for Anping Old Street is just above the entrance to the Old Street.
It’s only a 2-minute walk from the fort’s entrance (on its southern side) or from Anping Mazu Temple. From the fort’s exit, which is at its northeastern corner, it’s a 3-minute walk to the Old Street. From Anping Treehouse, budget about 6 minutes to get there.
From its entrance on Castle Road, Anping Old Street runs about 270 meters to its end at Pingsheng Road (平生路). It would take less than 10 minutes to walk all the way to the end and back, but a typical visit might take about an hour if you want to do some shopping and/or buy snacks.
Most of the stalls and shops on Anping Old Street don’t open until 11 AM or noon, so I don’t recommend going there until lunchtime. Most of them close around 6 or 7 PM, after which the street is very quiet. I also noticed that many stalls seem to close one day per week, usually Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, so those days aren’t ideal.
I recommend visiting Anping Old Street at the end of your explorations in Anping. It makes most sense to start your day at Anping Mazu Temple (opens 5 AM), then Anping Old Fort (opens 8:30). The entrance to the fort is just behind the temple. The exit of the fort naturally leads to Anping Treehouse.
After taking in those sights, make your way to the Old Street. If you end up buying lots of snacks to take home (including large bags of fragile shrimp crackers, a very popular souvenir), you won’t have to carry them around to the sights after.
Save Anping’s Eternal Golden Castle for the late afternoon, when the low rays of sun truly turn it golden, then enjoy the sunset from Qiaotouhaitan Park, Lin Mo Niang Park, or the large beach on Yuguang Island.
Where to Stay in Anping
If you have the time, I highly recommend spending the night in Anping like I did. This will give you enough time to explore some of the area’s lesser known attractions (see the end of this article or the Anping section of my Tainan attractions guide) and enjoy some quiet after all the tourists go home.
I highly recommend An-Ping Inn Here (see on Booking / Agoda). It is conveniently located a few minutes away from Anping Old Street. It is brand new, clean, has an elevator inside and views of Anping Canal from the upper floors. And, most importantly, the owner is super friendly. She even let me borrow her scooter because a bus I needed wasn’t running that day!
A Walking Food Tour of Anping Old Street
Your tour of Anping Old Street will begin on Castle Road, the road that runs down the eastern side of the Anping Old Fort complex. Castle Road itself has a few spots worth checking out.
Chen Oyster Roll (陳家蚵捲) is a locally famous restaurant specializing in oyster dishes and other famous Tainan specialties. I LOVED their signature deep fried oyster rolls (蚵捲), which you get to cover in as much sweet soy sauce, spicy sauce, white pepper, and wasabi as you wish.
They’ve also got roasted whole oysters, oyster omelets, deep fried individual oysters, oysters in bean sauce, and more. The restaurant is 50 meters south of the entrance to the Old Street, at the intersection of Castle Road and Anping Road.
At the same intersection as Chen Oyster Roll, there are shops on the northwest, southwest, and southeast corners selling take-away bags of shrimp crackers, convenient for picking up a bag or two just before hopping on a bus back to central Tainan City.
Bus #2 departs from Gangzai Village bus stop (港仔里) just a few steps east on Anping Road.
Another must-stop on Castle Road is Li Peanut Brittle (阿麗花生糖). Besides the usual peanut candies and peanut brittle, which Anping Old Street is known for, the owner does an amazing soft peanut candy rolled around a sprig of fresh cilantro (coriander).
Due to the freshness factor, you have to ask for it, and he’ll make it right in front of you, taking a piece of hard peanut brittle and softening it in a rolling press. He’ll do it even if you just want a single piece. It’s really delicious!
The entrance to Anping Old Street is right across the street from Li Peanut Brittle, and right beside Zheng Oyster Omelet shop (鄭家蚵仔煎), with its red signs (but this restaurant receives very poor reviews from locals!) The green street sign for the Old Street says “延平街” (Yanping Street).
On the right, watch for super narrow Jasmine Lane (marked “茉莉巷”), which veers off from the Old Street and is decorated with many plants.
The first few shops and stalls you’ll see on the Old Street, on the left side, are bakeries. Watch for the ox-tongue cookies (牛舌饼), a staple local snack, at Love Castle (戀戀府城, Yanping Street #132). There’s a dried sweetmeats shop (also #132) just past it, then a lane leading north to a small temple called 海頭社文朱殿.
On the side lane to the temple, Anping Xuji Stinky Tofu (安平許記臭豆腐) is a popular stinky tofu stall.
On the next block of the Old Street, Master Tailor’s Late Night Coffee Bar (裁縫師深夜咖啡館Bar, #122) is pretty much the only thing to do on the Old Street at night.
I’m kicking myself for forgetting to go check it out at night, but it looks like an old-timey, antique filled bar with creative cocktails and coffee-based drinks. It’s open 7 PM to midnight (closed Wednesdays).
Huang’s Oyster Omelet (黃氏蚵仔煎, #120) is a miniature food court serving famous Tainan snacks, including Coffin bread, (棺材板), oyster omelets (蚵仔煎), deep fried wontons (炸餛飩), and grilled oysters (烤鮮蚵).
This is one of the few spots serving actual meals on the Old Street.
Jipin Preserves (吉品蜜餞行, #114, on the left) is one of several popular candied fruit (蜜餞) stores on Anping Old Street. A generous little bag of any of the dried or candied fruits costs only NT50.
Westerners like me will recognized some fruits (kiwi, pineapple, etc.) but I guarantee there will be several others you won’t. Some are coated in plum powder, sugar, salt, chili, or other spices, so the flavors can be surprising!
Just after Jipin, there’s a small temple on the left called Zhoulong Hall (周龍殿). If you look at the outer side wall near the top, you can see one of the famous sword-holding lion, a traditional house marker and symbol of Anping. The marker is even labeled on GoogleMaps, as 神氣(周龍殿)劍獅.
Lane 104 turns north off the Old Street right beside the temple. You can follow this lane to reach a few other local attractions, such as Haishan Hall and some really cute narrow lanes. See the “other things to do in Anping” section below for more details.
On the next block of the Old Street, watch for Jinquan Candied Fruit Store (金泉興蜜餞行, #77, on the right), a grocery store specializing in nostalgic toys and candies, with several Japanese and old-timey Taiwanese food items.
Right after the grocery store, Tainan Anping Authentic Shrimp Crackers (台南安平正宗鮮蝦餅, #73) is the first of several shrimp cracker shops on the Old Street. They are sold in large bags right on the street, with crab, seaweed, and regular flavor.
The next notable stop, Lin Yong Tai Dried Fruit Store (林永泰興蜜餞行, #84, on the left) is the single most popular store on Anping Old Street, and goes back decades. However, in my opinion, the assortment of dried and candied fruits they sell, which also cost NT 50/bag, don’t appear much different than what’s available at the other stores.
Perhaps it’s the picturesque jars at the front, but this shop always draws a huge crowd, even when I visited at a very slow time. It’s a classic case of a “famous” Taiwanese store outshining all the other ones just like it.
One shop past Lin Yong Tai, Zhaoxing Candied Fruit Shop (照興蜜餞老店, #82) sells a virtually identical product, but was devoid of crowds when I went. It also seems to have some history and fame, with pictures of famous Taiwanese politicians visiting it on display at the front. I bought several bags of candied fruit from here and really enjoyed them.
If you happen to be visiting Anping with kids or are interested in pottery, Anping Pottery (安平陶坊, a few steps south down a small lane at #53) offers DIY pottery making classes.
Continuing along, there’s more candied fruit for sale at 美芝玲蜜餞 (#60) and 舊李合興蜜餞 (#41). On the left side, watch for the Former Anping Yasumasa (neighborhood head) Chen’s Residence (原安平陳保正厝), a Qing-dynasty residence.
Make sure you continue past those to Anping Old Street Fude Temple (安平老街福德爺廟), which is visible at the end of a tiny, narrow, and picturesque lane on the left. Opposite the temple, on the right side of the Old Street, there are some active excavations going on.
As you approach the end of the Old Street at Pingsheng Rd. (平生路), there are a few typical food stalls, including roasted corn, almond flour milk (杏仁茶), and a noodle stall. 40年老店蕃薯糖 is a 40-year-old candied sweet potato stall right at the intersection.
Places to Visit around Anping Old Street
Here are a few popular as well as lesser-known attractions very close to the Old Street.
Haishan Hall (海山館) is a former military hall dating to 1736, with origins of the site going back to 1684. Soldiers from Haishan District of Fujian province, China used to gather there. In 1911, a local family moved in, and the house was later sold to the Tainan city government.
The building now houses a small museum and gift shop. Note the iconic lion holding swords in its mouth on the compound gate.
The hall is free to enter and only a few minutes’ walk from Anping Old Street. Get there by following Yanping Street lane #104 north for 75 meters.
The narrow lane heading east from Haishan Hall, called Xiaozhong Street, is really cute.
Watch for Anping Pottery House (安平陶坊), a temple called Anping Haitou Society Guangji Temple (安平海頭社廣濟宮), and a historic house called Anping Old Settlement (安平舊聚落).
Cultural Museum of An-Ping Oyster Shell Cement Kiln
A five-minute walk north of the eastern end of Anping Old Street will bring you to a small, free museum called Cultural Museum of An-Ping Oyster Shell Cement Kiln (安平蚵灰窯文化館).
The museum describes how oyster shells have traditional been ground and used as a building material. There is also information about oysters themselves, how they are grown, etc. It’s not a must-see, but can give you some context for all the oyster shucking you’re are likely to see being done on the streets of Anping.
The museum is easy to spot thanks to its fence made of oyster shells out front. If you’re interested in seeing a local wet market (morning only), you can stop at Anping Market (安平市場) on the way there.
Anping Matsu Temple, Anping Fort, and Anping Treehouse
These are the top three attractions in Anping. The Matsu Temple (which is one of the most impressive temples in Tainan) and entrance to the fort are only 2 minutes away from the western entrance to Anping Old Street (for those interested in temples, also see my guide to the best temples in Taipei).
Anping Treehouse, which is located on the grounds of Former Tait & Co. Merchant House, lies a few minutes north of the fort’s exit.
Other Anping Attractions
Other things you might want to include on your Anping itinerary are Sio House Salt Museum, the giant Matsu statue in Lin Mo Niang Park, 1661 Taiwan Warship Museum and Deyang Ship Destroyer Exhibition Hall, Eternal Golden Castle, and the large beach on Yuguang Island. One of the newest night markets in Tainan is also in Anping!
Learn more about these attractions in the Anping section of my Tainan things to do guide.