Highlights of Taipei, the vibrant metropolis of the Far East
The Concierges at Shangri-La Far Eastern Plaza, Taipei have compiled a one day comprehensive tour of Taipei, reflecting the culture and spirit of the vibrant metropolis of the Far East.
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is located in the heart of Taipei City. The area is 250,000 square meters and it is the attraction most visited by foreign tourists. Outside the gate of the Hall, there are poles carrying the sign of true rightness. The architecture is inspired by Tientam in Beijing. The four sides of the structure are similar to those of the pyramids in Egypt. The material is white marble. The roofs are decorated with deep-blue glass as part of the reflection of blue sky and bright sun. It adds a touch of grandeur. The garden is planted with red flowers. As a whole, the colors of blue, white and red express the National Flag and the spirit of freedom, equality and brotherhood.
The Presidential Office Building is located on Chongqing S. Road and facing Ketagalan Boulevard. On the back it is Bo-ai Road, on the left it is Baoqing Road, and on the right it is Guiyang Street. The Presidential Building is close to Taipei Main Station and Ximending. The building was built during Japanese colonization period. It was the governor’s mansion then. During the ending period of World War II, the building was seriously damaged due to bombing. After Taiwan was reclaimed, the building was re-constructed in 1946. The building was re-named as “Jieshou Building” in celebration of the 60th birthday of former president Mr. Chiang Kai-shek. The building has been used as the presidential mansion after the central government of R.O.C. was re-instated in Taiwan.
Longshan Temple is a famous old temple in Taiwan. It is for worshiping Guanshiyin Budda and other divine spirits. It is facing the South, a three-section design in shape. There are the front hall, the rear hall and the right/left dragons protecting the middle hall. The layout is square and serene. It was built in Qianlong 5th year in Ching Dynasty. Due to natural disaster and damages caused by men, the temple was restored for several times. The doors, beams, and poles are beautifully decorated. There are a pair of bronze dragon poles in the front hall, four pairs of dragon poles in the middle hall. The sculptures are delicate. There are also exquisite wood sculptures. Among them, the well and Budda setting in the main hall are highly appreciated. The temple has many Chinese poems, verses and lyrics.
Recipient of a Unesco Asia-Pacific Heritage Award for both its restoration and revival of temple rites and festivities, the Bao’an Temple is a must-visit when in Taipei. This exquisite structure is loaded with prime examples of the traditional decorative arts, and the yearly folk arts festival is a showcase of traditional performance arts. The temple was founded in 1760 by immigrants from Quanzhou, Fujian province, and its modern size and design began to take shape in 1805. The main resident god is Baosheng Dadi, an historical figure revered for his medical skills. The rear shrine is dedicated to Shengnong, the god of agriculture.
One of the oldest and most well preserved structures in Taiwan. Built in 1914, the factory was among Taiwan’s largest wine producers throughout the 1920’s. It had however, long since been abandoned. In 1999 the Association of Culture Environment Reform Taiwan, a non profit NGO, was established to oversee the restoration of the factory into a full fledged arts center. The factory was renamed the Huashan Creative Park and, in 2005, the rebuilding of the Creative Park officially began.
The Songshan Cultural and Creative Park is now considered the “creative hub” of Taipei. Its purpose is to provide art and exhibition space for those wishing to showcase artistic and creative ideas. These could be arts shows, exhibits, and even music concerts. It hopes to become a creative stage with an international focus in Taipei.
Originally the building was bulit by the Japanese in 1937 as an “industrial village” for tobacco production, the park is laid out with courtyards and larger open spaces so workers would feel more comfortable. These have been retained in the current version. There is now a ED-pond and tree lined area (The Nursery Room) for sitting outside and enjoying the area. There is even a Baroque Garden designed to host banquets and fashion parties.
Taipei 101 is an engineering marvel and the first building of its kind in the world. Spanning 101 stories above the ground at 508 metres, the building was designed as a symbol of technology’s evolution fused with Asian tradition. The building features many pan-Chinese and Asian elements mixed with a postmodern style, and is designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes common in Taiwan.
The Linjiang Street Night Market is one of the busiest street markets in Taipei. The market featuers not only local foods but dozens of exotic delicacies, including inexpensive Malaysian, Japanese and Taiwanese snacks. Having more than 100 vendors, Tonghua Street Night Market offers all kinds of products besides food such as clothes, shoes, accessories and other knickknacks.
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