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Archives for April 2015

Taipei, Taiwan: Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

As I entered through the main gate of this national monument, I felt like an ant walking up to this memorial, because of its grand scale, in honor of one of the influential leaders of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-Shek. The memorial was officially opened 5 years after his death in 1980. chiang_kai-shek_memorial_hall_gate_taipei_taiwan_day_with_kaye To the left and right of the square after entering through the main gate are the National Concert Hall and the National Theater. chiang_kai-shek_memorial_hall_taipei_taiwan_day_with_kaye After passing through the square and walking up 89 steps, representing Kai-Shek’s age when he passed away, you’re at the foot of the memorial statue. chiang_kai-shek_memorial_hall_89_steps_taipei_taiwan_day_with_kaye chiang_kai-shek_memorial_hall_statue_gate_taipei_taiwan_day_with_kaye For myself, the statue was reminiscent of the Lincoln statue in Washington DC, posed seated in a chair. They do have a changing of the guard every 15 minutes (maybe it’s 30 minutes?). They stand at their post at the foot of the statue. chiang_kai-shek_memorial_hall_room_taipei_taiwan_day_with_kaye
When you turn around to look back at where I just walked, it’s simple, symmetrical and beautiful with the gardens flanked on both sides of the memorial. As you make your way downstairs (option of stairs or elevator), there is a museum with artifacts of Chiang Kai-Shek’s life, which is very educational.

Happy travels friends.

Taipei, Taiwan: Lungshan Temple

In continuation with my last post about vendors selling flowers as offerings for the nearby temple, we checked it out. There is no fee, but since Lungshan Temple is popular to locals and tourists alike, be prepared to be surrounded by lots of people if you decide to make the trip. It probably is not the best place for you if you’re claustrophobic.


Most of the original temple was destroyed during WWII, namely the main building. There was much rebuilding and renovating afterwards. The temple still showcases the beautiful Taiwanese architecture.


What I found interesting about this temple is it is both a Buddhist and Taoist temple (in the back portion). While the different altars are separated, it was interesting and cool to see both religious dominations coexist in the same space. Those who are active participants of the Buddhist sand Taoist faith go to the temple and give offerings of assortment of fruit (on the tables), and then saying their prayers while facing a certain direction (towards altar) while holding incense sticks. lungshan_temple_offering_fruits_taipei_taiwan_day_with_kaye lungshan_temple_incense_taipei_taiwan_day_with_kaye I learned about how they get answers for questions they have, family-related, work-related, and the like. They follow proper protocol when it comes to offering and prayer. Then they take 2 of these wooden crescent-moon-shaped objects, called jiaobei, and drop them on the ground 3 times . To achieve a “yes”, one is to be up and the other down (resemblance of yin and yang). A “no” is when both round moons are facing up, or when both flat-sides are facing up. I wonder if they keep repeating the process to get an answer they want? lungshan_temple_offering_jiaobei_taipei_taiwan_day_with_kaye Happy travels friends.