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Chengtian Bridge

As one of the most ancient urban civilization region of Taiwan, the Anping District of Tainan City owns the most important traffic means in the early trading environment, namely the “water canal” channel. Prior to the invention and availability of transportation such as the railway, automobiles and airplanes, massive number of merchants must be transported via vessels before successfully accomplishing the purpose of circulating economies form trading. Due to the lack of natural and fixed river canals inside Anping District of Tainan City, artificial canals were built by the government during the Qing Dynasty and Japanese Ruling Period. Such canals were used as important water canals for trading vessels. The Guyun River was reclaimed during Japanese Ruling Period due to silt piled up while the Tainan Canal seen today was designed by Japanese Torata Matsumoto, an artificial canal completed and started working in 1926.

This river canal is 3.782Km in length with 37 meters in river surface width and 27.3 meters in river button. The depth is 1.8 meters during low tide. During the Japanese Ruling Period, it was an early water canal connecting Taiwan City and Anping Port in early days, which not only successfully replaced the old canal that was no longer suitable for sailing but also allowed overseas vessels carrying merchandise and goods to follow the waterway straight to downtown after entering Tainan City from Anping. The water canal saved the time costs for loading/unloading merchandise and goods, and the vessels directly sailing to downtown also drove to the prosperity of Anping City.

Now, although this Tainan Canal that once revitalized Tainan’s economy for years is no longer as prosperous as back then, nor is it the major traffic path, Tainan City passing through Anping District still preserves certain historic significance. In recent years, Tainan City Government takes actions in repurposing the historic spots, straightening the canal, and cleaning the sewage to restore the clean water to Tainan Canal. To reproduce the ancient atmosphere of canal cruise and to help more tourists from other cities and the local residents acquaint with the history of Tainan Canal, the Taiwan City Government fully exerted to launch the “Anping Port Tourism and Canal Cruise Development Project” so that tourists can re-perceive the significant impact of Tainan canal brought upon Tainan City reclaimed over one hundred years ago via canal cruise. The regions flown by Tainan Canal consist are the most important administrative and cultural historic spots. The vessel sails on the canal and starts from the recreational dock by taking the draft boat, passing through Anyi Bridge, Chengtian Bridge, Wangyue Bridge, Lingan Bridge, Xinlingan Bridge, Jinghua Bridge, Xinnan Bridge, Younghua Bridge, Angong No. 4 Bridge, Leli Bridge, Jiangxin Bridge, and Anping New Port Bridge. A total of 12 bridges are flown by and finally circulating the Anping Port, passing through the Anping Port Mangrove Preservation Area, Eternal Golden Castle Artillery, Te-Yang DDG925 naval vessel, and Lin Mo-Nian Park, as well as other famous scenic spots.

To introduce the cultural journey of Tainan Canal to people through more innovative means, the Tainan City Government also schedules to cooperate with “Anping Port Tourism and Canal Cruise Development Project.” First, Water cruise is introduced to the canal cultural journey. After the canal sails to Lingan Bridge, the cruise cooperates with the canal star urban renewal project by introducing a water-continental device that includes port journey from Anping Port to Chinatown by driving. Nonetheless due to the excessively low Chengtian Bridge in midways, the beams for Chengtiang Bridge must be elevated to allow the direct introduction of water cruise into the canal and then driving to Lingan Bridge. Hence, Tainan City Government has prepared a budget of NTD130 million to carrying out the Chengtian Bridge Renovation Project, which was already completed on June 30th, 2012. Tainan Canal crosses 12 bridges from the north coast to the south coast, including Anyi Bridge, Chengtian Bridge, Wangyue Bridge, Lingan Bridge, Xinlingan Bridge, Jinhua Bridge, Xinnan Bridge, Yonghua Bridge, Angong No. 4 Bridge, Leli Bridge, Jiangxin Bridge, and Anping New Port Bridge. Many other bridges will also undergo renovation projects.

After completing the renovation Of bridges on Tainan Canal, tourists interested in visiting secluded sites can take the cruise from the old site of canal shipyard and pass through the custom of Tainan Canal, famous snack Zhou’s Shrimp Rolls, Elate Pudding, and more shops and art streets scheduled for the future for souvenirs. Moreover, tourism can take the cruise to visit the Canal Museum and then enjoy the authentic Tainan food after entering Anping Town; or take the cruise around Anping Port for seafood feast. Tourists can then visit Eternal Golden Castle Artillery and Te-Yang DDG925 naval vessel, followed by visiting appreciating the mangrove ecology before returning to Chinatown. Although the vessels today are not the ancient vessels, such canal cruise following the ancient canal to visit famous historic sites of Tainan seeming put oneself in a lively Tainan from one hundred years ago. Under the progressive renovation of bridges by Tainan City Government and the improved public infrastructure, it is expected that Tainan Canal will soon have vessels in the near future that reproduce the past glamor of Tainan City.