Another touristy thing to do in Taipei is to pay your respects to 2 giants of modern Chinese/Taiwanese history. Sun Yat-Sen and Chiang Kai-Shek both have memorial halls so huge that they have their own MRT stops. Well maybe that was done to make it more accessible to tourists.
Anyway, it is interesting to contrast how the two memorial halls are done. Both have gigantic statues inside complete with unmoving guards. Here’s a smiling and serene statue of Mr Chiang. It is said that he faces mainland China, expressing his hope for the KMT to go back and kick some communist butt.
Compare that to Mr Sun. Man does he look serious! I guess revolution and toppling millennia-old dynastic tradition is serious business.
The exterior of the memorial halls couldn’t be more different. Chiang Kai-Shek’s building is bold, bright and is quite awe-inspiring as you walk up the steps.
In contrast Sun Yat-Sen’s hall exterior is very muted and traditional. It recalls the classical Chinese emphasis of being very horizontal and symmetrical in its architecture.
Which one do I like more? Personally I prefer Chiang Kai-Shek’s memorial hall. But then again I’m a sucker for big grand gestures 🙂
Check out my other posts in the Taiwan series here!
Taiwan #1: Old Streets of Beitou
Taiwan Bonus: Geothermal Valley, Beitou
Taiwan #2: Old and New Taipei
Taiwan #3: Tale of Two Leaders
Taiwan #4: Maokong
Taiwan #5: East Coast Taiwan
Taiwan #6: Taroko National Park
Taiwan #7: Kaohsiung
Taiwan Bonus: Kaohsiung Dome of Light
Taiwan #8: Tainan
Taiwan Bonus: Transport
Taiwan Bonus: People
Taiwan Bonus: Blur