Article Date: 30-01-2017
Address - No. 139, Beian Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, 104
So before I begin with this blog, let me point out one thing quickly. I don't think this place is worth visiting on its own. That's unless you're mad into this kind of history then you might like just paying a visit here without going somewhere else too. If you're not that mental about history I would advise you to see this as well as other tourist places in the area like: the National Palace Museum, Shilin Night Market and Yangming Shan.
Anyway I have known about this place for donkeys practically since the day I arrived in Taiwan and had a google of what to see in Taipei. For some reason or another I have never got round to having a bit of a peek at it.
Due to my failed attempt to go to the hot springs due to it being the most crowded place I have seen in Taipei since the Chinese New Year holiday started, it give me the chance to eventually pop in here on the way back.
There was a massive lack of parking spaces. We managed to find about 6 scooter spots in total about 10 minutes walk down the road from the entrance to the square, and that was it. There were no car parking spots, and cars were just sat outside the entrance.
We managed to get to the Shrine at a good time as they were in the process of changing the guard. I managed to barge my way through the other tourists to get into a good snapping spot. It's odd when they change the guard here, your not behind a fence like in London, there is just a little red ribbon. There was a bit of novelty added to it all as some other bloke came out and corrected the guards uniforms for them when they eventually stood up on the little podium. I thought it's probably a good job he didn't have a wedgie. When their routine was finished we decided to go and have a nosey around the rest of the place.
As you walk through the entrance you enter onto a big square that is reminiscent of Chaing Kai Chek Memorial Hall without the Theatre and the Concert Hall. Once you walk through the main square you arrive at another entrance. This entrance is shaped and designed more like how a temple would look. Inside this area there is a smaller square, and it has a big shrine area which is blocked off and guarded.
At the left of this area, there is another room with plaques. On the plaques it looks like they have all the martyr's names who died fighting to create the Republic of China, if your not reading this in Taiwan and don't know the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China are not the same country. The ROC equals Taiwan, and the PRC equals China, no matter what your told by Chinese media about them owning everything from their new man made islands to Haiwai...it's just not true. Taiwan is an indpendent country.
Around the place, there were some small signs explaining different things like how the Canton Uprising was the Catalyst for the Republic of China being born.
The Shrine was generally interesting and good to see, but on the downside there wasn't much information around telling you about the history of the place. This is why I would only plan a trip there coupled with a visit to the National Palace Museum (at the very least) which is close by.