Posted in Taiwan

TW-1651701: Taipei, Taiwan

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Postcrossing ID:  TW-1651701
Originating City:   Tainan City, Taiwan
Distance Travelled:  1799 miles/2896 km
Date Sent:  2 July 2015
Date Received:  13 July 2015
Days Travelled:  11

It’s been quite a while since I’ve received a postcard through Postcrossing.  The last one arrived in mid-March after travelling some 39 days to reach me in Phuket.  The average is around 25 days so this card from Tainan City in Taiwan was very speedy at just eleven days travel time!  The last time I had a card arrive so quickly was way back in 2006 when a card reached me from Finland in ten days.

The oldest city in Taiwan, Tainan is a special municipality located in the south of the country, facing the Taiwan Strait in the west and south.  The region has been inhabited for 20,000 to 31,000 years and by the 16th century, Chinese merchants and fishermen were using the area as a base of operations.  The Dutch East India Company established Fort Zeelandia in 1624 on a raised sandy bank at the entrance to Tayouan harbor, off the coast of modern-day Tainan.  After Dutch colonists were defeated by Koxinga in 1661, Tainan remained as the capital of the Tungning Kingdom until 1683 and afterwards the capital of Taiwan Prefecture under the rule of Qing Dynasty until 1887, when the new provincial capital was moved to Taipei.

Today, Tainan is one of Taiwan’s cultural capitals, for its rich folk cultures including the famous local snack food, extensively preserved Taoist rites and other living local traditions covering everything from child birth to funerals. The city houses the first Confucian school–temple, built in 1665, the remains of the Eastern and Southern gates of the old city, and countless other historical monuments. Tainan claims more Buddhist and Taoist temples than any other city in Taiwan.

The postcard pictures Kara, better known by its Japanese name of Karasumi, on drying tables.  The roe is deveined, and progressively pressed, dehydrated and salted until the desired firmness or texture is achieved. Mullet roe is considered a delicacy in Taiwan as well as in Japan where it is a high-priced delicacy eaten while drinking sake.  The town of Tungkang in Taiwan specializes in the delicacy. Mullet fishing in Taiwan can be traced back to when the island was under Dutch Colonial Rule.

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