Three Reasons Why I Admire Taichung

Visiting Taichung was like traveling in time or entering a whole new dimension. They had so many interesting spaces that it left my heart dumbfounded. It may have been somewhat a obstacle to get here, but I am glad I added it to my Taiwan go-to list. It was sight to see. In millenial terms – it was instragram-worthy! haha.

If I were to summarize our trip to three key points, I would narrow it down to three things I admired about Taichung, that I wish to see more of in my own country:

Otherwordly Architecture

I am a very visual person and I am drawn to pretty things; just as I fancy scrolling lovely images on the internet, I furthermore enjoy taking stunning photos and having a collection of my own. When I planned our visit to Taichung, I knew I needed access to beautiful architecture, one that was best displayed in Miyahara Formosa  (宮原眼科) – an ice cream shop constructed inside a historical building.

It was once the largest opthalmology clinic in Taichung during the Japanese colonial period. Miyahara Takeo was an eye doctor back in 1927 and this red-brick dream of an assembly was his piece of work. The interiors were inspired by Hogwarts and indeed, stepping inside seemed like I was hurled inside a Harry Potter novel.

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Back to being kids at Taichung Animation Lane

Mario wall in Taichung Animation Lane

Whenever my husband would go through bouts of childhood nostalgia, Goku would always come to mind. He would recall his make believe antics with his classmates as they take their place in the fictional universe of Dragonball and save the world before the bell rings. We are kids of the 90’s and we grew up with these juvenescent TV shows that inspired us to do our homeworks right away. While children these days are soaked up in their gadgets, we would bust out of our household doors and the reenactment of these cartoons will be underway. To be a kid again.

AND to be a kid, we did.

A friend told me about Taichung’s Animation Lane and that it should not be missed! It was this cute city alleyway showcasing animated characters of our youth. Like young ‘uns, we trailed behind a group of nursery students who were out on a field trip in the same vicinity.

After a day’s search for fountain pens, my dad did not and could not say a word about our tourist choices. Sorry daddy.

Like channels on a television set, we flicked through one cartoon group to the other – Dragonball, Ghostfighter, Looney Tunes, MY HERO ACADEMIA haha it was an explosion of illustrations. IT WAS A KID’S and KID’S AT HEART PARADISE. Ang cute ng asawa ko eh, nag-popose! He knew which position to take up and how to assume the attitude. I knew nothing of these things except Sailormoon. SAILORMOON WAS RIGHT UP MY ALLEY.

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Taiwan Travel Guide: Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial Hall

National Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial Hall ( National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall) is one of the most (if not the most) famous landmark and monument that is in every Taiwan itinerary on the internet. It is also in every Taipei album on feeds anywhere on social media. It commemorates the life and accomplishments of the former President of the Republic of China, Generalissimo Chiang-Kai Shek. Designed by C.C Yang, it was erected in the year 1980, and is part of a much grander complex comprised of a park, Memorial Hall Square, National Theater and National Concert Hall. 

This tourist destination goes by another name, it is currently called Liberty Square as indicated over the front gate. The change in its name was politically motivated, but most people still refer to it as what it is commonly known now – the CKS Memorial Hall.  

The building has a total area of 250 SQM, it is octagon-shaped (as for the Chinese, eight is a number associated with abundance and good fortune), white and rises to 76 meters high. It is topped off with blue tiles and red accents which is represented by the colors of the Taiwanese flag. The lower level is dedicated to the former president’s life, career and the history of Taiwan under his rule, while the upper level houses a huge statue of him and where a changing of the guards is witnessed from time to time. 

The whole area also recognizes music and the arts – it is a gathering place for locals, young and old who dance and sing traditional songs. The site is also a major venue for expert speeches and receptions of important foreign guests; it has also witnessed numerous local and international performances and exhibitions. All in all, the history of the monument as well as the modern-day fetes have been supremely significant for the over-all culture of Taiwan. 

How to get there:  

By Train:  Take Red Line 2 or Green Line 3 to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂), sometimes labeled as C.K.S. Memorial Hall

By Bus:  Bus route 15, 18, 20, 22, 37, 204, 208, 214, 236, 248, 249, 251, 252, 261, 263, 270, 297, 621, 623, 630, 65, exit Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall station(中正紀念堂站) or Nanmen market station(南門市場站).  

Opening hours: 

Memorial Hall: Open daily from 09:00 to 18:00, except for Chinese New Year Eve and Chinese New Year 
Memorial Park: Open daily from 05:00 to 24:00 
Raising and Lowering the National Flag: 
Summer time(4/1~9/30): Raising the flag: 06:00/ Lowering the flag: 18:10 
Winter time(10/1~3/31): Raising the flag: 06:30/ Lowering the flag: 17:10 
Changing of the honored guards: 
Morning: 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00 
Afternoon: 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00 

It was kind of a challenge navigating through the rain. As I have said in my previous post, it poured for five days so most of our photos are with umbrellas. 🙂

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