The Old Five Channels Cultural Zone (五條港文化園區) 

It’s one of the most impressive historical sites in Tainan’s West Central District.The Taijiang area gradually silted up around the middle of the Qing Dynasty.In order to transport the goods, there were five channels built from the coast to the city. The area surrounding the five channels became a busy center of commerce, and served as the foundation for the modern downtown in the West Central District. The five channels from north to south were : Xingangqiang Port (新港墘港), Fuotou Port (佛頭港), Nanshi Port (南勢港), Nanhe Port (南河港) and Anhai Port (安海港). The area ranges from the south of Chenggong Road, west of Xinmei Street, and to as far the south of Zhongzheng Road.

The place of Loku was at the tributaries of Xingangqiang Port.The eastern section of Xinyi Street across Jinhua Road was the part of the Xingangqiang Port, which was known as 屎溝墘 in the ancient time. It means the channel was specifically used to transport manure as fertilizer. At that time, people would gather into the same community based on selling the same products.or technologies, ex: Shoes St.,Hats St.,and Rice St,…etc. The famous technology of the Xinyi Street is a traditional Wood carving skill called  茄冬入石榴 (The technology of a wood inlaid into the other kind of wood).

Works by artist Nanyang Chen.

Dui Yue Gate (兌悅門)

As we mentioned, it’s gradually prospering with the development of business here.The merchants and resident began to be attacked by thieves and pirates, so they built fences by using woods, bamboos, Thorny Bamboos and Milk Bushes to protect themselves. 

1835 AD, the government of Qing Dynasty began to build the city wall and the city gate. And the city gate was completed built in 1836 and named Dui Yue Gate. It was built on a coral stone base and located on the Xing Yi Street. The street was close to the port and ships used coral stones as ballast ,so it was named Coral Stone Street at that time. The Chinese pronunciation of Coral Stone Street is close to Loku Street, so we named our Homestay as Loku. 

“兌” means “west”.If you stand on the Dui Yue Gate, the direction you look out of the city is towards the west.Although the Dui Yue Gate is no longer as important as it once was, it’s the only door that still in use and well preserved. The traditional old city gate contrasts with Xinyi Street’s new trendy stores, it’s like merging elements from different times into a new life style.

Photos from The National Historic Monuments of Taiwan

Faith Culture

Since the 17th century, lots of immigrated people arrived Tainan. Because this area is close to the sea, many people work on ships or in related goods trade. People pray to the gods for safety, so there are many temples nearby. For example: Guang An Gong (米街廣安宮)、Tainan Grand Mazu Temple (大天后宮)、God Of War Temple (開基武廟)、Shui Xian Gong (水仙宮) and more.

Ji Fu Temple (集福宮) is the faith center on Xin Yi St. since 1736 AD when the people came from Fu Jian. It had been through several renovations, and it’s one of the most important temples in Tainan now. Besides, temples are also like small community centers. People always get together for chatting, playing chinese chess or just doing nothing. There will also be a grand celebration during every festival.If you walk through the old five channels culture zone ,maybe you could visit the temples which have protected Tainan for hundreds of years!