The Generalissimo and the Revolutionary

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.

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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.

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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. 

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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?

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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.

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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.

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As I left the grounds,  I took a selfie with guess who.

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