Keelung (Taipei), Taiwan
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Approximately 8¼ Hours
Take in Taiwan's incredible history with this visit to some of Taipei's most extraordinary sights. Your journey commences with a relaxing drive from Keelung City, Taiwan's second-largest port.
On the slopes of the Qing Mountain, you will visit the Martyrs' Shrine -- a stately monument constructed in 1969 to honor the 330,000 brave men who sacrificed their lives in key battles. With a style reminiscent of Beijing's Taihe Dian Imperial Palace, this stunning shrine is surrounded by more than eight acres of grass and features a bright red main gate guarded by white-uniformed officers.
Back on the road, head through the bustling city of Taipei, where taxis, buses and motorcycles zip along the busy streets.
Explore the Pao-An Temple, a magnificent place of worship dedicated to Pashen Tati, the god of medicine. Built in 1830 and restored to its original glory from 1995 to 2002 after years of neglect as a bamboo factory and Japanese language school, this splendid temple impresses with ornate dragon pillars, stone lions and valuable tablets inscribed by eminent Chinese scholars. This magnificent temple, boasting superb architecture, is the foremost of about 30 Confucian temples in Taiwan. In addition to its many intricate halls and gates, marvel at the two sets of stone steps leading to a carved dragon on an inclined stone at the main hall's entrance. Known as the Imperial Way, this special entrance was designed for use by the emperor and gods alone.
Enjoy a feast for the senses at the palatial Grand Hotel, which was built in 1952 in the decadent style of classical Chinese architecture. Ronald Reagan and Dwight D. Eisenhower both stayed here. Today it's your turn to relax here and savor a traditional Asian-style lunch.
At the National Palace Museum, take in one of the largest collections of ancient Chinese objects and art in the world. Spanning more than 8,000 years, the impressive collection includes bronze, paintings, jade, ceramics, and precious objects amassed by ancient emperors and more from the Sung, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.
Next, head to Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall -- a regal monument paying to tribute to the former President of Taiwan. With its brilliant blue glazed-tile roof, gold apex, white marble and natural red cypress ceiling, the shrine is designed to convey sacredness, solemnity, hospitality and peace. Inside, discover valuable artifacts related to the late president's life, including photographs, cars and historic documents.
Before returning to the port, browse at the handicraft center for locally-made clothing, art and charming souvenirs that capture the spirit of this incredible place.
Please note: Tour does not operate on Mondays.