No two people have shaped Taiwan’s history more than Chang Kai Shek and Sun Yat Sen.
I first came across Sun Yat Sen on a family trip to China many years ago when I was still a kid. I remember visiting a small house with white walls which was his birthplace. With the Generalissimo, his name evokes one of the more well-known Chinese schools in Manila. My most historical encounter with the two is courtesy of “The Soong Sisters.”
I admit I went to both memorials more out of tourist curiosity than anything else. With MRT stations at both places, why not take the mandatory been-there-done-that pictures.
The Chang Kai Shek memorial is a massive edifice set on equally massive grounds. You actually feel so small.
Up 89 steps (which represent his age when he died), you are dwarfed by the general who sits sternly looking out to the direction of China. is it a look of longing or a look of good riddance?
Loads of Chinese tourists make getting a decent picture impossible.
The National Theater and National Concert Hall anchor both sides of the memorial grounds.
They were grand structures and going by the schedules displayed out front, Taipei has an active performing arts scene. Sigh. I wish I lived here.
The Concert Hall has a music shop with a massive to-die-for classical music selection. Quite expensive, though.
Sun Yat Sen’s memorial hall is of a smaller scale.
Of course, there’s a large crowd of Chinese tourists gawking at the massive sculpture of the man. Is he also looking out to China?
The galleries inside are a history lesson on the creation of the Republic of China. All history galleries should look like this so it’s interesting to walk through.
The highlight of a trip to the memorial hall is the hourly changing of guards. I got pushed and shoved by little old grandmas angling to take the perfect video to show back home.
As I left the grounds, I took a selfie with guess who.