Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Taipei 2014

The Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall is an interesting piece of architecture. According to exhibitions within the hall, architects were directly inspired by a number of iconic buildings, the most obvious of which is the Tian Tan (in Beijing). As a memorial to Chiang Kai Shek, there was a comprehensive exhibition detailing his life and times, a little corny at times with the food reproductions of what his family ate but it did help as an introduction to the man.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sunny Day, Taipei 2014

Was I ever glad to see the rain finally stop and for blue skies to appear in Taipei. Before I met up with some conference friends, I took a walk, exploring the Shida (師大) neighbourhood, enjoying the sunshine and having a little breakfast.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Around the National Palace Museum, Taipei 2014

As part of the conference itinerary, we went for a guided tour of the National Palace Museum. Photography isn't allowed in the Museum itself but the exterior architecture is amazing. I am currently watching a documentary about the history and collections of the Museum and it is absolutely fascinating! I am in awe of the countless men and women who dedicated their lives to the protection of this invaluable collection of Chinese cultural relics through wars, rough sea journeys and inhospitable rural environments.

The Museum is ridiculously crowded with tourists and it's not going to be a quiet, serene type visit where you are able to admire the priceless relics. I highly recommend a guided tour by one of the docents. Although audio guides are available, the museum is so vast, so full of crowds and each piece of relic has such a deep history and tradition behind it that only a docent will know the best way to maneuver through the crowds to show you the best of what the museum has to offer.

Of the various relics that we looked at, my favourites were the chicken cup and the Ru kiln ceramics. Both were so delicate, elegant and pretty, it's hard to imagine that these ceramics were once used for practical purposes.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Confucius Temple, Taipei 2014

While researching this trip, it was difficult figuring out what there was left for me to check out in Taipei (I really need to get out to Taichung or Kaoshiung next trip!), the one thing I knew for sure I wanted to visit was the Confucius Temple in Taipei. I arrived there around lunchtime and the temple complex was quiet and barely had anyone else around. I had a peaceful half an hour strolling around the complex, enjoying the slight drizzle and the cool breeze.
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