Thursday, August 02, 2012

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Zhongzheng Walking Tour, Taipei

8/02/2012 Taiwan Explorer
My suggestion for a short tour in Zhongzheng

If you find yourself in Taipei for only a few days, perhaps even just few hours, you won't have time to explore the city deeply. However, there are ways to be more efficient and save time, if you plan your sightseeing tours well. If you don't know the city well, then I hope my suggestion will help you with that. One of the must see parts in central Taipei is the Zhongzheng district, which is known as the area with the most governmental institutions. Most of the ministries and the presidential palace are located here, as well as the monumental Liberty square, Taiwan's biggest public square. This is also the part, where the Japanese occupation from 1895 to 1945 left its biggest mark on the city, a lot of buildings from the early 20th century are found here.

Check the photo below, every marked spot on the map matches with an image below.

This tour might take between 1h 30min to 3h, it depends how long you want to stay at a certain spot. Be sure to have comfortable walking shoes and no reservations regarding humidity and noise and possible rain showers, if you happen to visit during summer. Start this tour at the Taipei Main Station and walk westwards towards Beimen (North Gate), where you'll see some historic buildings. The second area will be around the 228 Peace Memorial Park, where you can take a rest on one of the benches. Walking further, you will see the massive Office of the President of ROC building. This might be one of the most interesting parts of your tour. Walking further, you will pass the Judicial Yuan and South gate only to arrive at the Liberty Square with the colossal neo-classical Chinese architecture and the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, the landmark building of Taipei City. Here you can spend some time to walk around. If you arrive close to a full hour, you can see the changing of the guards inside the Memorial Hall. After seeing this prominent square, you will walk up north and pass by the NTU university and Control Yuan only to arrive at your final destination: The Sun Yat-sen Memorial Park with a Japanese garden and house. You can take a rest there and slowly walk back to the nearby Taipei Main Station and your Zhongzheng walking tour will be over. You will see over 90% of the historic sights in the area. I once went on the same walking tour and it was a lot of fun.

Here is an overview of the buildings you will see (please refer to map above):

21 interesting sights to see during my suggested tour.

This suggestions is meant for first time visitors to Taipei. There are lots of hidden gems in between these famous sights listed here, but you'd need some more time and knowledge of the city to find them. Even I haven't seen all of Zhonzheng, but I'm planning to do so soon.

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