Soon the memorial was officially opened and we were led up to the main hall where a crowd of tourists were already gathered.  The hall’s main feature is the massive 3-storey high bronze statue of a smiling Chiang, in traditional Chinese dress, sitting on a  dais. An elaborate caisson is set into the ceiling  which is also decorated with the emblem of the Kuomintang (KMT).  Chinese inscriptions on the walls are the characters for Ethics, Democracy, and Science.

The bronze sitting statue of Chiang Kai-Shek

Five members of the Taiwan Marines , in immaculately white uniforms and helmets, were guarding the main hall with rifles with fixed bayonets. The branch of service represented here changes periodically according to a rotating schedule  (every 4 months).  The Army wears green uniforms, the Navy wears  black in summer and white in winter, and the Air Force wears blue.

The Main Hall’s ceiling

The much anticipated, impressively synchronized Changing of the Guards ceremony soon took place at the appointed time (it takes place every hour). At this formal, elaborate and precisely choreographed ceremony, the ceremonial guards are relieved by a new batch of sentries. This ceremony is also conducted at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and the National Revolutionary Martyr’s Shrine.

The Changing of the Guard ceremony

Chang Kai-shek Memorial Hall: 21 Zongshan South Rd., Section 1, Zhongzheng District, Taipei, Taiwan.  Tel: (+886-2) 2343-1100. Open daily, 9 AM-6:30 PM. Admission is free.

How to Get There: Take THSR or train to Taipei Station then transfer, via Taipei MRT, to Chiang Kaishek Memorial Hall Station.