When in Taiwan: Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

While it's a top attraction, a landmark, and something that tourists shouldn't miss in their Taipei selfies, rich history lies in this place, standing as symbol of Taiwan's road to democracy--a democracy backed by a man whom this memorial hall pays tribute to. 

The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a tribute to former president of the Republic of China and Taiwan’s influential leader Chiang Kai-shek. He was responsible for unifying China and eliminated communism led by Mao Zedong. Chiang was also a member of Kuomintang, a Chinese Nationalist Party who took the leadership next to its founder Sun Yat-sen in 1926.
The memorial hall is surrounded by a huge plaza called Liberty Square, which is a good representation of Taiwan’s long road to democracy. Now, it serves as a venue for mass gatherings including ceremonies to welcome foreign dignitaries, festivals, and other cultural events.
This archway central entrance is called “Dazhong Zhizheng.” There are 2 other side entrances to the memorial hall namely the Dazhong Gate and Daxiao Gate. 
The structure of this memorial hall has a lot of symbolism. First, the white stairs outside have a total of 89 steps that represent the age when Chiang died. It also has an octagon-shaped roof with a total of 8 sides, a number that means good luck in Chinese beliefs. Lastly, the main colors of the memorial hall are white for the walls, blue for the roof, and red for the flowerbeds—colors that consist Taiwan’s flag.
I decided to do a bit of workout to climb and start at the 4th floor. At this floor, there's a huge bronze statue of Chiang Kai-shek.

There's a 15-minute exchange of guards every hour from 9AM-4PM here. Don’t miss this. And since it’s a tourist attraction, make sure to come earlier to get a good spot at the middle. Weekday mornings usually have lesser people.

The ground floor has exhibition halls that mostly contain important items related to Chiang Kai-shek. 
This is one of Chiang’s official state cars. It's a 1955 Cadillac bulletproof limousine manufactured by G.M. It was donated by an overseas Chinese in the Philippines (Yes, Philippines represent!)
These are sedan chairs that used to carry Chiang when he inspected military bases on and around Taiwu Mountain in Kinmen.

There's a replica of the Presidential Office.


Aside from Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall located at the east side, there's a National Concert Hall at the north and a National Theater standing at the south.

How to get there: Take either the Tamsui-Xinyi line (red line) or the Songshan-Xindian line (green line) and then go down at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall station.  

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
Address: No. 21 Zhongshan S.Rd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City (Republic of China)
Opening hours: 9AM-6PM
Entrance: free
Website: http://www.cksmh.gov.tw/eng/ 
Phone: 886-2-2343-110

View my Taiwan vlog here.


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