We walked to the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall after our traditional Taiwanese breakfast at Fu Hang DouJiang. Because of the direction we were coming from, we ended up at the back entrance of the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall rather then the front entrance where the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit System aka the subway) stop for the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall is located.
The Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark, and tourist attraction in Taipei. So I guess, we decided that we couldn’t miss making a stop here. We entered the unique traditional looking gate with the blue rooftops labeled 大忠門 (Da Zhong Men) which means “Gate of Great Loyaty” located at the north side of Hsin Yi (Xinyi) Road.
From the back entrance, we had a clear view of the back of the square shaped main hall. We walked directly up the stairs and around the building to the front of the building.
That was where we realized the hall was under construction and that we couldn’t enter from the second floor entrance which is where the big Chiang Kai Shek statue is located. But that’s ok, from the second floor (in front of the main entrance) we had a nice view of the rest of the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall(s).
Looking straight ahead is the main entrance. From my view it looks just like the entrance we went through. The main gate is anchored by two orange roofed traditional Chinese buildings. The building on the left (standing in front of the main hall looking towards the main gate) is the National Theatre 國家戲劇院 and the building on the right is the National Concert Hall國家音樂廳.
The National Theatre and the National Concert Hall are two of the first major modern performing arts facilities to be established in Asia. And although look like old traditional Chinese buildings, they are actually designed and equipped with modern theatre and concert hall set ups. It took us forever to figure out what these two buildings were.
Speaking of concert halls and music, while walking up to the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, I remembered walking towards a steady metronome like beat being played near the Memorial Hall. It turned out to be group of students (I think) practicing marching band. That sure did bring back memories of high school when my friends and I were in marching band.
Framed by the main hall, the National Theatre, the National Concert Hall, and the main gate is a big open square. This was where we took the opportunity to take a few jumping pictures. The square reminded me of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, and interestingly enough this square has been the location for many mass gatherings (often political).
The open entrance to the ground level of the main hall can be accessed from the square as well, but we opted to skip that after seeing a few large tour groups enter.
Did you know there are 89 steps that lead up the second level of the main hall? 89 represents the age Mr. Chiang Kai Shek was when he passed. Chiang Kai Shek was not only a former president of Taiwan and a military leader in China.
After exploring the Chiang Kai Shek memorial for a little, we headed toward the main gate to head to the MRT.