Just Like Chinatown, plus the 228 Memorial Park, Presidential Protests, and the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial

It was raining when then airport bus dropped me off near the Taipei train station. According to the person I talked to on the phone, my YMCA Hotel was "right across the street". But I saw that the train station was huge; walking around it could take an hour. Not fun with three bags in the rain.

So I flagged down a taxi and took it to the hotel instead. It ended up being an easy two blocks away. Oh well, next time I will know better.

After checking in and taking a much needed shower, I left the hotel for a little walk. One block later, I had the same amazing earth-shattering revelation as I did in Hong Kong: "This looks just like China Town!"

Duh.

I spent the rest of the day exploring the area around my hotel on foot. The first stop was the 228 Memorial Park. As I walked through the park admiring the modern sculptures and the traditional Chinese pagodas, I heard someone over a loudspeaker and what sounded like a large crowd chanting in unison. Curiosity got the best of me, so I walked towareds a partk exit in the general direction of the noise. A policeman stoppped me from leaving the park, however, and that is when I noticed the barbed wire and police in riot gear.

Eventually I made it to the chanting crowd. Everyone was wearing yellow parkas (it was still raining) and waiving Taiwanese flags. Studying my map again, and reading the few English signs such as, "Democracy is Dead" and "We want Truth. We want Justice" I realized that I was witnessing the historical election protests in front of the Presidential Building.

I made my way through the crowd, taking pictures here and there. For the rest of the afternoon, I walked around town, visiting the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial (reminiscent of DC's Lincoln Memorial), the Museum of History (actually more like the Musueum of Art History), and the Botanical Garden.

Tonight, I am meeting my friend Ike for dinner and maybe a little more sightseeing. But for now, it's time to rest my weary legs after my all-day city hike.

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This page contains a single entry by Stuart published on March 26, 2004 7:21 PM.

Rainy Taipei was the previous entry in this blog.

Lang Shan Temple and Taipei 101 is the next entry in this blog.

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