If you are visiting Taipei, you might be asking, should you take the time to visit the CKS Memorial Hall? After all, there is so much to do in Taipei and your time is limited, so is it worth it? If you love art, history and grand public spaces, the answer to this question is a resounding yes. Not only should you visit – but really take your time, explore far beyond the usual tourist spots Many tourists who come here only see the statue and perhaps the changing of the guards. And they are really missing out! Keep reading for the ultimate guide to visiting the CKS Memorial Hall.
Before we get started, I’d like to say a big thank you to my sponsor, Vero Social Media. In a world of social media, Vero is a force for good, bringing together people from diverse backgrounds together to enjoy art, photography, music and more. Don’t forget to follow me on Vero – @ Traveltipster.
How Do You Get To CKS Memorial Hall?
The easiest way to access the memorial hall is via the Chaing Kai Shek Memorial Hall Metro Station. You can reach this station on the red or the green line.
How Much Time Do You Need At Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall?
Give yourself at least 2 to 3 hours to explore the hall and the grounds. Schedule your visit around the changing of the guards, which takes place every hour. Get there early for the best spot at the front. The hall itself is open until 6 pm, every day except major holidays such as the Chinese New Year.
What Time Is The Changing Of The Guards At CKS Memorial Hall?
The changing of the guards at Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall takes place at the following times:
- 9:00 am
- 10:00 am
- 11:00 am
- 12:00 am
- 1:00 pm (13:00)
- 2:00 pm (14:00)
- 3:00 pm (15:00)
- 4:00 pm (16:00)
- 5:00 pm (17:00)
Things To Do in CKS Memorial Hall
Like most visitors to CKS Memorial Hall, the first thing you are likely to do here is to ascend the stairs to the large statue of Chiang Kai Shek. After you view the changing of the guards, proceed to the small museum on your left and then take the staircase towards the first floor. Many tourists miss the enormous museum under the statue – and its a shame.
The enormous museum beneath the CKS Statue was originally constructed to honor just one man. But things changed and in modern Taiwan, the museum plays host to dozens of rotating art exhibits every week. This huge artist space is free to access. An ideal getaway from the oppressive Taipei heat, this space is both practical and beautiful.
The exhibits here rotate every few weeks so each time you visit the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall you will find something new. I spend about 3 hours inside – and only saw a half of the exhibits currently on display. In addition, you can tour the traditional museum and learn about the life of Chiang Kai Shek. I found this part to be a little boring and skipped through most of it.
History of Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
To understand the history of the Memorial Hall, you’ll first need to understand a little bit Taiwan’s history. General Chaing Kai Shek was a nationalist Chinese leader, one of the founders of the modern nation of China. However, a civil war erupted in the mainland in the late 1940s and Chiang Kai Shek found himself on the losing end. He and his troops retreated to the island of Taiwan, which consequently became the seat of his new government.
Why is this important to understanding the history of Memorial Hall?
As you wander the hall, you might notice the same phenomenon I have. Originally, the memorial hall was founded to memorialize one man. However, as time went on and Taiwan became more democratic, the memorial hall changed. As you explore further inside, you’ll notice dozens of art exhibits in the rooms previously intended to honor just one person. The hall itself became more democratic together with the country around it.
The CKS memorial hall was constructed in 1980. Initially used primarily for government events, as Taiwan became more democratic the hall grew to become the artistic center of modern Taipei. Today, the hall, which is free to access, hosts thousands of exhibitions and performances ever year. Altogether, a more fitting tribute to the spirit of democratic Taiwan than a memorial hall intended to honor just one man.
Things To Do Near Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
The CKS Memorial Hall is located in Liberty Square. On this square, in addition to the Memorial Hall, you will also find the National Concert Hall (left) and the National Theater. If you are traveling with a group of 10 people or more you can schedule a free tour. Otherwise, the only way to enter the spaces is with tickets to an event. Thousands of events take place here every year – so there is plenty to pick from.
Also Read: Things to do in Taipei
Taipei Packing List
- Light Rainjacket (1)
- Hiking sneakers (1)
- Bikini (1 to 2)
- Cute around the city sneakers (1)
- Ballet Flats (1)
- Tank Tops (2 to 4)
- Shorts (1 to 2)
- Day time dresses (3 to 4)
- Evening dresses (3 to 4)
- Short hiking pants (1 to 2)
- Jogging Bra (1)
- Hiking Top (1)
- A Light Backpack (1)
- A cute purse big enough to fit the essentials (1)
Where To Stay in Taipei
The most convenient area to stay in Taipei is next to the Main Station (located in Zhongzheng District). From Main Sation, you can easily explore the city in all directions. In addition to being the most convenient transportation hub in Taipei, here you’ll find great restaurants, night markets, and major attractions. Main Station is sometimes alternatively called “Taipei Station” or “Taipei Main Station.”