In every city, there are certain places you can reasonably assume everyone knows to go to if visiting. The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House in Sydney. The Louvre and Eiffel Tower in Paris. The Big Ben and Buckingham Palace in London. In Taipei, I would hazard that Taipei 101, National Palace Museum, and Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall are the places that are most recommended as “Must Visit” sights.
“…Hey, I got this amazing tip off about this super secret place called Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall- apparently not even locals know about it!”
Yeah, I would feel silly dedicating a whole entry to writing about how essential it is to visit Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, as you will either have already visited it- multiple times if you’ve had visitors- or have plans to on your next trip here.
Rather, I want to recommend you visit Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall at night.
Of course first time visitors to CKS Memorial Hall should go during the day in order to see the vivid bright blue rooftops and see the incredible architecture in detail.
But after you have been to a day viewing pop down for a night trip as it feels like an entirely different experience.
Whilst the colours of the rooftops are of course subdued by the cast of the night sky, there’s a certain beauty in the transformation of such a grandiose building appearing in a more modest light.
A hint of romanticism with the rumble of endless day time crowds replaced by the sound of insects chirping.
Although you cannot climb up the stairs late at night, you can stare up at the looming building and simply appreciate the craftsmanship and vision the architects had to build such a mesmerising sight.
I know that Chang Kai Shek is a divisive figure and he has many detractors in Taiwan. I know some people feel uncomfortable admiring a building for someone who they vehemently do not support.
I can appreciate such a sentiment- the history and memory of Chang Kai Shek is intrinsically tied to this hall in its walls and its name. However, I think the building can be appreciated in itself as a brilliant work of architecture.
Visiting a sight at night is a simple, but often overlooked way to give a fresh perspective on a place that has dulled through over exposure.
So it’s with that I suggest you go out and see a sight in a new light- or rather, a lack of it.
(Let me know in the comments below what “day time places” you have explored at night!)
N.B.If you’re armed with a good camera I’m sure you could take some much more impressive shots too- alas, I only have a mobile phone so excuse the quality!
Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
Where: No. 21, Zhongshan S Rd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City
Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM every day (and beyond!)
MRT: Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall-Exit 5 (Red Line)
For more information please visit: http://www.cksmh.gov.tw/eng/index.php