CHIANG KAI-SHEK MEMORIAL HALL

CHIANG KAI-SHEK Memorial Hall is a tribute to the founder of Taiwan, Chiang Kai-shek. It opened in 1980, 4 years after his death in 1975.

A visit to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a must for any tourist to understand the culture and colorful history of Taiwan. I’ve visited the hall twice now: the first with the family and our friend Meg Kho, and the second with the Taiwan Fam Trip Group via Jeron Travel. 

Here’s a guide to having an awesome experience when visiting Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall…

CHIANG KAI-SHEK MEMORIAL HALL
The main entrance to the Liberty Square, with Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall on the east end.

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Trivia: Chiang Kai-shek’s body is not buried here but in the Cihu Mausoleum in Daxi Township, Taoyuan County.

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It’s best to enter from the side entrance, which is nearer the memorial hall.

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The main colors of the memorial hall are Blue (Roof Tiles), White (Walls), and Red (Flowerbeds) — the same colors of Taiwan’s Flag. 

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The memorial hall has four sides and an octagonal roof, to symbolize the number 8 — a sign of good luck and abundance in Chinese.

 

CHIANG KAI-SHEK EXHIBITION HALL

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(Bronze Statue of President Chiang Kai-shek commissioned by the Ex-servicemen’s Engineering Agency and cast by Mr. Chen Yi-fan).

Visit the Exhibition Hall before the Changing of the Guards, which happens every hour from 9am to 4pm, with the last change at 4.40pm.

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A painting of two of the most prominent personalities of the Republic of China (ROC): Sun Yat-Zen, Founding Father of the ROC, and his successor Chiang Kai-shek, former President of Taiwan and General of the ruling Kuomintang party. 

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(Photo: the lovely Daphne Oseña-Paez of Daphne.PH)

This is one of the best spots in the exhibition hall for a souvenir photo. 

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Chiang’s official state car — a 1955 GM-manufactured bulletproof Cadillac. It’s a four-door, seven-seat limousine, donated by overseas Chinese in the Philippines. 🙂  It was used only once.

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On the other end is another of Chiang’s official state cars — the 1972 GM-manufactured Cadillac.

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It was a great pleasure having Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks as our tour guide, explaining the story of the Soong Sisters — the most powerful sisters in China:

  • Soong Ai-ling who married H. H. Kung, richest man and finance minister of China,
  • Soong Ching-ling who married Sun Yat-sen, Father of Modern China and first President of the Republic of China, and
  • Soong May-ling who married Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of the Kuomintang (KMT), and President of the Republic of China.

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Check out the display of Chinese books and documents from Chiang Kai-shek’s time.

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I was also fascinated by the Chinese wardrobe often seen in Chinese movies.

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Sedan chairs used to carry Chiang when he visited Jiaobanshan Guesthouse, his residence in Taoyuan.

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A display of medals and many other distinctions.

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The most recent photos of Chiang Kai-shek, before he died in 1975.

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Chiang Kai-shek in his Presidential Office. 

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You should see these guards marching their way up from the ground floor for the Changing of the Guard.

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Make sure you make your way to the 4th floor Bronze Statue Hall 15 minutes before the hour so you can reserve your spot for watching the Changing of the Guard.

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On your way to the elevator, don’t forget to appreciate the political paintings on display. 

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You can also check out some souvenirs at the History Hall Center.

 

CHANGING OF THE GUARD @ CHIANG KAI-SHEK MEMORIAL HALL

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TIP: Best to use the elevator and arrive on the left side of the hall instead of walking up the 89-step stairs.

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The Changing of the Guard happens every hour. The best time to go is around 10am on a weekday.

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Guard duty rotates among members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Military Police.

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We watched the Air Force last June 2014, and…

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…the Navy last November 2013. 

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The Changing of the Guard exhibition lasts for 15 minutes.

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At the top of the structure is the symbol of Kuomintang, which means “The Sun is Always Shining”. 

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Inscribed in Chinese above Chiang Kai-shek’s statue is his legacy of Science, Democracy, and Ethics. 

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(Photo of the Diaz Boys: Aidan, Joshua, and Raphael of Our Awesome Planet)

Make sure to take a photo right after the exhibition for a clear view of Chiang Kai-shek.

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Reserve your spot at the center as early as you can for the best view of the Changing of the Guard.

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A close-up view of the Men in Uniform. 

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The smiling bronze statue of Chiang Kai-shek faces the west, with the hope of reuniting China.

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The Memorial Hall is 76 metres (249 ft) above ground, with 85 steps + 5 steps = 89 steps (symbolic of Chiang’s age when he died) going to the Bronze Statue of Chiang Kai-shek.

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After the Changing of the Guard, it’s easier to leisurely go down the 89 steps. 🙂

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(Photo: The beautiful Jenni Epperson of JenniEpperson.com)

Don’t forget to take a selfie or souvenir photo mid-way down the steps for a great shot of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in the background.

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It’s the perfect spot for a group photo as well. 🙂 

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On your way down, you’ll see the National Theater on your left…
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…and the National Concert Hall on your right.

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Make sure you drop by this beautiful garden with a lake.

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Another awesome spot for a souvenir photo. 🙂

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall PanoramaHere’s a beautiful panoramic view of Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall by Ma Jien-kuo. (Originally uploaded by Denglong at en.wikipedia)

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CHIANG KAI-SHEK MEMORIAL HALL
No.21, Zhongshan S.Rd., Zhongzheng Dist.,Taipei City 10048, Taiwan (R.O.C)  
Telephone: +886 2 2343-1100
Opening Hours: 9.00am to 6.00pm
Official Websitehttp://www.cksmh.gov.tw/eng/

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Awesome Taiwan #CometoTaiwan Series (2014):

Flavors of Taiwan Series (2012):

Live an Awesome Life,

Anton
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

Disclosure: We paid for our family trip to Taiwan last November 2013. Our Fam Trip last June 2014 was courtesy of the Taiwan Visitor’s Bureau, Eva Air, and Jeron Travel. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.  

P.S. We were lucky to experience a lifestyle fair when we visited last November.

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A view of the Memorial Square from the 4th floor of the Memorial Hall.

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They set up booths that sold Taiwanese food and products.

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Just be sure to bring an umbrella because it always seems to rain in Taipei.