My yesterday’s visit to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall ended abrutply due to heavy rain. Today I went back and visited the Hall once more, hopefully the weather would be good today. I’d also heard and read a lot about a shopping area nearby called Ximending. So my second destination for the day was to visit this shopping district to see what’s buzz with that place.
From my new central located hostel, it was quite easy to walk all the way to the Memorial Hall. However I took a short detour to my favourite vegetarian market to eat the delicious bean dessert before continuing to the Hall.
Arriving at the Memorial Hall I was stunned by how large it actually is. The area consists of a giant entrance “gate” with the main Hall further down on the opposite side of the complex. There were also buildings on the side of the complex leading to the main Hall. I assume these buildings were museums of some kinds. Leading up to the entrance of the main Hall were 89 stairs. The number symbolised 89 years of age of which Chiang Kai-Shek became before he passed away. Inside the hall was a giant statue of the man himself sitting and looking outward to the gate and the city.
Chiang Kai-Shek was actually one of the main reasons I came to Taiwan. From my high-school days I learned a few things about him; about how he resisted and fought against communism and communist China. So to actually be here and visit his Memorial Hall, felt a bit unreal. But at the same time it also felt a bit bittersweet due to my recent acquired knowledge about him. The “228” incident really gave me a new perspective of the man. Chiang Kai-Shek was no longer the saviour or hero like I used to think of him.
After visiting the Memorial Hall I went to the shopping district called Ximending. The area consisted of walking streets accompanied with a lot of shops and restaurants, both domestic brands but also quite a few international brands as well. Like other shopping streets there were a lot of people strolling along the streets buying stuffs or eating at the many restaurants along the streets.
To be honest, I didn’t find the area that much interesting mostly because I’m not a shopper. Besides it was not much different than any other shopping streets I’ve visited before either. However it was nice to have visited and experienced the area once and to get a feel of the different districts of Taipei.