A glimpse of history at Taiwan History at Chang Kai Shek and Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
Though we weren’t able to start early, we still tried to make the most out of the day by trying to visit as much sites as possible and with more adept understanding of the Taipei MRT System, we travel from place to place until night fall…
First stop was the Taipei Botanical Park, which is enveloped in a 9 hectare area. The picturesque view across the pond and the different flowers, plants, lakes and animals in the park made us more interested in the scenery than the information about the different plant species. The best part about the place is the admission is free and that the opportunity of being one with nature is such a pleasant reward at no cost.
Next, we proceeded to the nearby Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, which is both large and has lots of wonderful sites as well. Chiang Kai Shek was one of the early leaders in Taiwan. At the time during our visit, there was a program and several booths, which served food and sold various items. The Shrine dedicated to Chiang Kai Shek is big and the garden surrounding it is such a nice place to visit and quite relaxing to look at.
Then we took the MRT to Sun Yat Sen station to visit the Memorial Hall of Sun Yat Sen, who was the first provisional president of Taiwan (Republic of China) when it was founded in 1912 and is revered by both mainland China and Taiwan. The memorial hall is quite big and like Chiang Kai Shek Hall, there were several gardens surrounding the place. A barrage of flowers, lake and fountains provided additional attraction to this historical site.
We then walked towards Taipei 101, which at 508 meters is the world’s tallest sky scraper eclipsing the Petronas Towers of Malaysia (452 meters) and Sears Tower of Chicago (442 meters). Taipei 101, not only holds the record for being the tallest skyscraper it also holds the record of having the world’s fastest elevator at 1,010 meters per minute, meaning reaching the observatory at the top of Taipei 101 in just half a minute. We went to the indoor viewing deck at the 89th floor (which cost NTD350) to take a birds eye view of Taipei. The highest point accessible to the public is the 91st floor, which happens to be the outdoor viewing deck of Taipei 101 (which cost and additional NTD100). It was real cold and foggy then so tried to jog a few rounds just for fun. Before leaving Taipei 101, I had coffee at Lavazza at the foot of Taipei 101.
Before heading home, we took an MRT ride to Ximen, which is a shopping, food and games district enjoyed by both young and old alike. Ximen is a lot similar to Causeway Bay in Hong Kong (though I’d love shopping in Hong Kong better) and Xintiendi in Shanghai (a nice place for foreigners in China). In the spirit of fun, I tried one of the basketball games similar to what we have at time zone though this had a surprising twist at round two, the ring would be a moving target thus increasing the difficulty. After a short stroll along the place, we went back to the hotel and call it a day… and that’s my travel 101 class for the day… hehe…
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