Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
The Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall is one of the iconic landmarks and must-see place in Taiwan. The park is dedicated in memory of the former President of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-Shek. I first heard of Chiang Kai-Shek when I was a small kid since some of my cousins studied in Chiang Kai Shek College here in the Philippines. I thought it is just the name of the school but years later I found out that CKS was a great military and political leader in China and eventually ruled as President of Taiwan (ROC).
After President Chiang’s death, the government of Taiwan decided to build a memorial hall and park in honor to his name. Think of it like the Luneta Park here in the Philippines dedicated to our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. The park was also built and intended to be used for big gatherings and events, hence the reason why there’s a wide open area at the center. It also includes the National Concert Hall to the left and the National theater to the right. Read more on this post for pictures, directions and some helpful tips.
For recommended accommodation in Taiwan, read Hey Bear Capsule Hotel Review – New Taipei City.
When we first saw the park, we were surprised with how big the open area is. It wasn’t crowded that time so it adds to the immensity and peacefulness of the place. We saw people doing tai-chi, exercising, elderly people strolling and of course, tourists taking pictures.
If you will be arriving from the MRT, one of the first things you’ll see is the Main Gate or the Gate of Great Centrality and Perfect Uprightness. You’ll immediately notice it because of the structure’s impressive design, architecture and blue and white color. The gate’s Chinese inscription at the middle is translated as Liberty Square. The park was actually renamed as such in 2007 but was subsequently restored to the original name due to Kuomintang officials protesting it.
As I’ve mentioned, the CKS Memorial Park or Liberty Square is used for big gatherings in Taipei but there are also two big halls that they use here. Two of the first major modern performing arts facilities to be established in Asia is the National Concert Hall at the left side and the National Theater to the right.
Walk straight and you’ll get to the main hall, The Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall at the east end of Liberty Square. There are many symbolism behind the design of the hall. The shape of the building itself is octagon-shaped which has 8 sides, representing the number 8 which the Chinese people believes it to be a lucky number. The color of the roof which is blue and red symbolizes the color of the flag of ROC. The two sets of white stairs each with 89 steps represents Chiang Kai Shek’s age at the time of his death.
Climb up the stairs going to the hall and once there, take a moment to appreciate the view of the whole park. The big park now looks small up there.
Inside the upper level of the hall you’ll see a large statue of Chiang Kai-Shek and behind it are Chinese inscriptions which means Ethics, Democracy and Science. The ground level of the hall on the other hand has a library and museum documenting Chiang’s life and career. I really love to know more about his life but didn’t have the time to explore the museum.
Besides the magnificent structures and buildings in the park, there’s a beautiful garden and man-made pond at the right side of the main hall. Take a leisurely stroll along the garden, sit and relax by the pond and if you’re there around late Feb or March, cherry blossoms starts to bloom that time. Perfect for your mandatory travel selfies.
Where to Eat
I know you’ll spend lots of time in CKS memorial and will definitely get hungry walking around the park. So where to eat then? I know a delightful place that’s just at the back of CKS main hall. It’s Hangzhou Xiao Long Bao along Hangzhou road. The prices are cheaper than Din Tai Fung but the quality and taste of the food is good too! Order their XLBs and soup! It’s really good.
I’ve documented it here in our Taiwan Food Trip post
Take MRT Red Line 2 or Green line 3 then exit at Exit 5.
Or you can book an unlimited bus ride for either a ‘4 hour’ or 1 day pass here in Klook and explore top attractions such as Taipei 101, National Palace Museum, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, Ximending and many more!
If this is not what you’re looking for, check out these recommended accommodations:
Or search and compare accommodations in Taipei here.
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