Exploring Taipei the second day was a much richer experience. Seeing the major sites and learning about the country’s history adds a lot more to a visit, rather than running through a place without knowing a thing about it. I still have much history to learn, however this is a start.
On this day, I decided to explore the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial, dedicated to the late leader of the Republic of China, and later on, the establisher of what is known as Taiwan. His history spans many important world turning points. However, I have to admit that I don’t know much about this influential figure. Much of history taught in the American school system completely ignores the entire asian history. Our last impression of Asia in school is World War II (WWII) (with Japan) and later on with the American-Vietnam war – but only briefly. During the time between WWII and the twenty-first century, much has changed, and visiting a site like this gives inspiration to learn about this entire period of history.
I think an important note is the ability for Chiang Kai-Shek to still maintain power and be recognized by the UN. Support for Taiwan’s defence from the US was consequential.
After visiting the monument, I took the metro and explored the Xihu hill, an alternative to the famous Elephant Mountain . It was a nice, tranquil experience and I saw other parts of Taipei without the crowds.