Learn the past 300 years of Taiwanese history in a 3-hour walk
Visit all the essential attractions in West Taipei, the old Taipei
Get to know Taiwan in different eras - from memories of colonization to remains of Chiang Kai-shek’s Chinese dream
The west end of Taipei was once the center of political and economic activities of the city and where modern development started. This tour takes you through Taiwanese history, looking from the traditional beliefs of the late Qing dynasty, to the cultural shifts under Japanese ruling, then to the political landscape after the arrival of the Nationalist government in 1949. The Historic Tour covers all the essential attractions in West Taipei as well as the stories and legends behind them. Walking from the past to the present, you will see how Taipei is shaped by multiple cultures and historic events and get a clear picture of this amazing city.
Every Sat / Sun 10:00 meet up with guide
Meeting point: Exit 1 of MRT Longshan Temple Station
Our guides are recognized with a green and white paper fan saying "Like It Formosa".
1. Longshan Temple
Longshan Temple is located in the heart of west end Taipei, and serves as the religious center of local community. The temple was first established in the 18th century by Chinese immigrants coming to Taipei, who later built Monga District as their settlement for trade and business. In the following years, Longshan Temple went through a series of earthquakes, typhoons, as well as wartime air raids, but has always remained resilient thanks to renovations, enthusiastic believers and the gods’ blessing. Today, Longshan Temple is one of the most iconic buildings of historic Taipei and a popular destination for sightseeing among foreign visitors and worshipers.
2. Bopiliao Historical Block
Bopiliao, literally meaning “skin-peeling” was once the commercial center of northern Taipei where Chinese immigrants conducted trade with the indegineous community. During its most glorious years, you would find its street filled with hostels, shops and public bath houses to accomodate the traders and local residents. Here you will also find the best-preserved architecture from Qing dynasty China in Taipei, some of its features have even been incorporated into modern Taiwanese style!
3. Ximen Red House
Originally constructed as a public market, Ximen Red House features strong architectural characteristics of Colonial Japan. Following the end of World War II and retreat of Japanese rule, the building was turned into a theater and became a hub for the hidden LGBTQ community in Taipei. In recent years, as Taiwan embraces a more diverse and multicultural trend in society, Ximen Red House has become a popular venue of the vibrant social movements taking place in Taiwan.
4. Midway Break
During the break, guests are free to explore the fascinating and spirited scene around Ximending on their own - with recommended list of food, drinks and shopping. Just don’t forget to come back so we can continue with our walking tour!
5. Presidential Office
Only a few steps away from the dazzling Ximending is the Presidential Office - the political center of Taiwan. Established in 1919, the building was initially designed to house the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan during the Japanese Colonization. Following bombing throughout World War II and the arrival of the Republic of China (R.O.C.), the building was restored as the Presidential Office in 1950. In appearance, the red bricks, western-styled architecture and its 130 meter-wide facade facing the spacious Ketagalan Boulevard made it a favorable landmark among visitors and protesters alike - you might even be able to witness some political activities here yourself!
6. 228 Peace Memorial Park
Formerly established in 1908 as “Taihoku New Park” during the Japanese colonial period, it was built as the first European-styled park in Taiwan. In 1947, the park became the scene of protest against the Kuomintang-led R.O.C. government. The action later led to a chain of events that is now referred to as the February 28 (228) Incident, which led to severe actions from the Nationalist government, and resulted in Taiwan's period of White Terror under thirty-eight years of Martial Law. The park was eventually renamed “228 Peace Memorial Park” in dedication and acknowledgement of the past misconduct of the government.
7. Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai-Shek (C.K.S.) Memorial Hall is a national monument, landmark and tourist attraction erected in memory of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, the former President of the Republic of China (R.O.C.) from 1948 to 1975. The construction started following Chiang’s death and was completed five years later. The architectural theme centered around imperial Chinese style and the life of Chiang as a political figure. Our guides will also tell you the long road of how people of Taiwan went from worshipping Chiang in the past as the “great national leader” to seeing him as a symbol of an authoritarian regime during the Martial Law era.
Every Sat / Sun 13:00 tour ends
1. On-site registration is welcomed. Please meet the guide directly at the meeting point: Exit 1 of MRT Longshan Temple Station.
2. The guide is recognized with a green and white paper fan saying "Like It Formosa".
3. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a bottle of water or an umbrella if needed.
4. This tour is wheelchair, stroller and kid-friendly.
5. This tour will take place rain or shine. However, if Taipei City Government announces a day off because of natural disasters, the tour will be canceled and you will be notified via email one day in advance.
6. If you are joining this tour with a group of more than eleven people (11+), or a group arranged by travel agencies, please fill in our private tour request form to customize your needs. The idea of our free walking tours is to show the city to individual travelers and small groups, and is not suitable for last minute big groups. If no advance notice or booking is made, Like It Formosa and our guides reserve the right to refuse your participation in our tours.
7. In the event of emergency situations, please call the guide or message our Facebook Fanpage.
8. Anything not covered hereunder, Like It Formosa reserves the right of final modification.