Saturday, June 25, 2016

Zhongzheng Memorial Hall (Taipei Trip Day 5)

Back to Taipei from Jiufen and Jinguashi at Ruifang, we headed to our next destination- Zhongzheng Memorial Hall (中正纪念堂). Zhongzheng Memorial Hall or Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall was built to commemorate Chiang Kai-shek, former president of the Republic of China. He was the first president of Taiwan as well. The memorial hall is much more larger than Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall that we visited few days ago.

The memorial hall was build with octagonal shape, representing prosperity, while staircase with 89 steps represent the age of the leader. The memorial hall is located at Zhongzheng area in Taipei. We took MRT to Zhongzheng Memorial Station, gate 5 led us right to the compound of the memorial hall. The entrance was free, but we need to climb the stairs to the hall installed a huge bronze Chiang Kai-Shek statue at the top level. Several exhibition halls were located at the lower levels. The honour guards changing ceremony was held hourly. During our visit, the last round of ceremony was held around 4:55 till 5:05 pm. Many visitors were there, but it was not squeezy as the hall was large.

The arch in front of the memorial hall was previously named Dazhong Zhizheng (大中至正) or Impartial and Rightous. However, the name was changed to Ziyou Guangchang (自由广场) or Liberty Square in 2007 by the government led by Chenshuibien. We took this photo at the middle of the square, with the memorial hall behind us.

 Zhongzheng Memorial Hall is a big white square building with blue octagonal roof. 
 We need to conquer stairs before reaching the main hall.

The Liberty Square from Zhongzheng Memorial Hall. We can see the National Concert Hall on the right and the National Theater on the left.

A closer look on the National Concert Hall.

National Theater looks similar in design as National Concert Hall.
 The honour guards changing ceremony was more interesting compared to the one in Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall.

We took a quick tour to the lower levels of the memorial hall, which a series of exhibitions were housed. Some of the personal items used by Chiang Kai-Shek was displayed. These exhibition halls had more items to display compared to Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall.

No doubt, Zhongzheng Memorial Hall was the biggest Memorial Hall that we had ever visited. It is a big structure, with beautiful garden within the compound. It will make our visit more interesting if we can do some research and prior reading on Chiang Kai-shek, the person who this big-white structure was built for. The guard changing ceremony was interesting, and we believed the ceremony and performance were the main attraction there. Is it a must visit site in Taipei? No, unless you know Chiang Kai-shek and the history of China-Taiwan. If you wish to watch the guard changing ceremony, then Zhongzheng Memorial Hall is a right place for you. 

We stayed in the hall for around 1 hour. We then went down town to Eslite 24 Hour Bookstore before having dinner at Du Xiao Yue Restaurant with our friend. Both Eslite Bookstore and Du Xiao Yue Restaurant were not far away from Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT Station.

Du Xiao Yue was famous with Southern Taiwanese food (upper left). We tried several dishes, including the famous noodle (upper right), the oyster (lower right), and some fried snacks. The food there was nice with reasonable price. The restaurant was popular and we had to queue for a while to get an empty table.

After dinner, we went to Dong Qu Fen Yuan for dessert. Fen yuan is made by tapioca, red bean, pumpkin and other plant-based ingredients, prepared in chewable way. It was special and tasted good.

We strolled around Mengxia Night Market again before we went back to our hotel. We took our opportunity to try onion pancake, and the taste was like roti canai in Malaysia and roti prata in Singapore. On day 6, we strolled around Mengxia streets and found a good place to buy souvenirs. Stay with us.

More about our experience in Taipei:

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