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Friday, 8 November 2013

Taipei 101

Taipei 101 was the tallest building in the world when it was completed in 2004. It is ranked No. 4 now and soon it will drop to No. 5 when the Shanghai Tower is completed.




It was cloudy and raining occasionally on the day we visited this tallest building in Taiwan. We were supposed to go up to the observatory but were told that the waiting time was 45 minutes or more. Furthermore, due to the cloud and mist, visibility was low. We decided to give it a miss and just roamed around at the shopping wing.


We didn't stay for long as the shopping wing was just another typical high-market shopping centre lined with branded shops which is more or less the same everywhere in the world.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

The Square of Liberty and Freedom

The Liberty Square, or some call it Freedom Square (自由廣場), is a place that mass gatherings always take place. It is an important landmark for the modern democracy in Taiwan. It houses the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂), National Concert Hall and National Theatre.

The gate that we entered through at the north side is called the Gate of Loyalty (大忠門).


The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall at the eastern end of the square is dedicated to the generalissimo who relocated himself to Taiwan after Kuomintang (國民黨) was overthrown during the the Chinese Civil War. In fact the square was also named after him after his death in 1975 before it became Liberty Square in 2007.



Inside the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a statue of Chiang in sitting position. There is a Kuomintang emblem right at the centre of the deliberately decorated ceiling. The statue is flanked by two guards with changing of the guard ceremony during changing shift time, but we were not in time to witness any.



There are two similar buildings occupying the north and south sides of the square. These are the National Concert Hall and National Theatre.


The west side is where all three buildings are in sight. The National Concert Hall and National Theatre are flanking the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.


The west side of the square is also where the main gate is, with the name of the square inscribed on both sides. Almost every tourist has a picture taken with the main gate.


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