My last post for Taiwan, ahh! Finally? Finally! A bit bittersweet but this has been postponed for a year and I’m glad we’ve finally reached the end, partly because that means my backlogs are less, now, haha. But more importantly, I’ve shared with you my vibrant experience in Taiwan.
It may have not started well, getting lost in the province and welcomed by storm at Yehliu, to non-stop rain for days 2 and 3 but it ended well on our 4th day as Taipei greeted us with that blue sky and cold weather combination. And you know how the saying goes, ‘All’s well that ends well’.
Full from our delicious lunch and reenergized from our bus ride naps going back to the city from Yangmingshan, we arrived at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, ready to take on this massive place. Similar to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine, this tourist attraction has a Paifang, an enormous open area (probably the biggest out of the 3) and the actual building / temple / shrine where the place is named after is being commemorated.
Chiang Kai-shek is a familiar personality in our household because my mum would randomly utter his name, often as an out-of-fright expression. When I asked her now why she’d do that, it is apparently because of a school who would always win the national quiz bee back in the day. The name of the school? Yep, named after Chiang Kai-shek.
A bit of history, Chiang succeeded Sun Yat-sen in leading their political party in 1925. He went on to expel Chinese communists in the party and his government focused on fighting Communism within China.
Only our second group photo, the other one is in Sun Yat-sen’s (with our makeshift, bags-and-umbrellas mount). This time, we transformed a trash bin into a tripod, haha.
Having a little shoot, because last day and sunny day! Woohoo!
This area could’ve been more massive if not for the Frozen ice-skating (?) event when we visited.
When we arrived, this woman (it was chilly, so kudos to her for wearing a mini) was photographed by multiple people and it didn’t finish even after we finished our own photoshoots. Must be a celebrity, eh?
The National Theater (left of the main hall when facing the Paifang) and National Concert Hall (right of the main hall when facing the Paifang), almost identical structures, stands on each side of the Memorial Hall.
89 steps on each side of the main hall representing Chiang’s age at the time of his death. Underneath these steps and the main hall is a library and museum depicting Chiang Kai-shek’s life.
This spot easily became my favorite because of its colors, white and blue. It was refreshing and clean to look at, contrasting the usual reds and greens of other structures in Taipei.
You may also notice the shape of the main hall’s roof, an octagon, 8 sides, 8 representing abundance and good fortune.
Chiang Kai-shek and Taiwanese flags. We were lucky enough to witness a guard mounting ceremony which takes place in regular intervals, which is every hour and lasts for 15 minutes starting at 9 in the morning to 6 in the evening. If you stay long enough, you’re bound to see it in action.
A snack similar to what I got in Ximending Night Market can also be found near the Chiang Kai-shek MRT station. Ground glutinous rice covered in ground peanut with ground sesame inside, yum!
The Taiwanese flag proudly stands and waves goodbye at me against that blue sky. Oh, what beauty, what luck!
How To Get There
This one’s the easiest among all of the attractions we’ve visited because the MRT station is underneath the memorial hall. Climb a few steps and you’re already at the right of the Paifang and the yummy snack vendor.
- You can either take the Tamsui-Xinyi (red) Line or the Songshan-Xindian (green) Line.
- Alight at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall station.