Taipei Air Station - 1966 - - - " What you have in the end are memories"......... Photo Courtesy of Richard Reesh.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Walk Down the Old Haggler's Row Street

Double Click on this and all photos for better view.
This map shows the route of the videos I took of Ximending,

All photographs below are courtesy of Shu Linkou Web Site

Earlier this month I rode the MRT =Taipei subway to Ximending and walked down the east side of the street that once contained the old "Haggler's Row" of buildings. Most of us ventured into Ximending at one time or another to visit the movie houses, shop in the stores or just sight-see. During my days in Taipei, Ximending was the "hot spot" of town.

This photograph was taken on the west side of Haggler's Row, in the rear of the buildings, looking south east.

The long stretch of buildings in front, going off left to right, including the railroad tracks were taken down and the road was widened.

The railroad tracks were put underground, along with the MRT tracks and Ximending MRT Station, which is very large.

Looking north toward the north gate and the old American Embassy.

Looking South. The new Chien Sheng Theater is seen on the left side of this photo.

Another view looking north, the First Department Store is the tall building on the right hand side of the street as well as the Chien Sheng Theater.

There are 3 videos in my walk, you can see where I began filming and where video 2 & 3 picked-up and ended by opening the Google Earth Map, the first picture on this page.

I hope you enjoy your walk down the old Haggler's Row Street.

Video # 1 starts here.

Video # 2 starts here.

Video # 3 starts here.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Return to Taiwan in 2011 - UPDATED

We are thinking about sponsoring a 10-14 day tour of Taiwan in 2011.

We would spend a few days in Taipei on arrival. Give everyone an opportunity to see the old sites in the Taipei area.

Then travel down island to see Haualien, Taroko Gorge,
Taitung, Oluanpi, Kenting, Kaohsiung, Tainan, Taichung, Sun Moon Lake and back to Taipei for a day before leaving for our homes.

If there is interest in a visit to Tainan AB and CCK AB it could possibly be arranged.

If you are interested in a trip let us know how many would be in your party, couples or singles, so we can work with some numbers and come up with a firmer cost factor.

We are all getting older and there may never be another opportunity to relive our fond memories of our times spent in Taiwan.

Next year will be the 100th year anniversary of the Republic of China. The big celebration will occur on 10 October 2011, 'Double Ten Day.'

The trip excluding air fare to and from Taiwan will run around $100-150 US per person per day, ball park and will include Hotel and bus transportation and guide.

The only out of pocket expense will be food, souvenirs and miscellaneous. Food will probably run somewhere around $30-40 US per day per person.

The final cost will be determined once we have a somewhat indication of how many we are working with. Cost will be reduced for couples.

If we go forward with this, the time frame will be in
November 2011. This is the best weather in Taiwan as the Typhoon season is over, temperatures and humidity have dropped, much more comfortable weather. The 4th of July 2010, Taipei had a record high of 102.5 with humidity of 95%. You will definitely suffer in that type of weather.

Let us know your feelings on returning to Taiwan with us in November 2011.

Our trip last September was great, you can't imagine the stories that flowed throughout the trip and the laughter and joy it brought to our hearts, not to mention the fun of it all. A bunch of old folks walking around and just enjoying the sights and sounds, reliving the old days and having a great time with others that were in Taiwan themselves.

Can you come with us?

UPDATE - 4 August 2010----

We have received questions regarding spending a few more days in Taiwan before, or after our trip dates..

Certainly you are welcome to spend time in Taiwan or you may want to visit other Asian cities before or after our trip. We can arrange for you to stay at our Taipei hotel for those extra days if you would like. The free "Tourist Visa" you receive at the airport on arrival in Taiwan is good for 30 days.

In addition to our around the island itinerary, we hope to visit the old Club 63 for dinner one of the evenings we are in Taipei. We had dinner at the old club on our 2009 trip and everyone enjoyed visiting the old club again. Today, it is a beautiful and modern club serving the International Business Community.

Leave a Comment below, or email us at

From Taipei, Tsi Gen......

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Chung Shan N. Road & Nanking E. Road

This Google Earth View shows the route of the video.
Click on the photos for a larger view

A mid 1960's view of Nanking and Chung Shan Roads.
This is looking north on Chung Shan toward HSA and the Grand Hotel.

I visited the area on 6 July 2010 and took a short video of what the corner looks like today. Click HERE to watch the video.

After crossing the street, I walked north on Chung Shan toward the old official residence of the U.S. Ambassador. As I was walking through the residence, my video card filled and the film comes to an abrupt ending. There was not much more to see. I will follow up with another video of the residence at a later date.

If you have some place in mind you'd like to see, email me -

Note: When the video begins, move it to full screen view and up the quality to 480p, this way you have the largest screen with the highest quality view of the video.

Also, push your audio slider to full blast if you would like to hear my comments, there is a lot of street noise.

Tsi Gen from Taipei.....

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Visiting the old "MND" Building

A new photo of what we used to call the Ministry of National Defense"MND" building. In the early years, many of our folks worked in this building.

The building is now the Presidential Office Building.

By chance, an article in the newspaper made reference to a new web site coming on-line for the Presidential Office. I visited the site and noticed that an "Open House" was scheduled for Saturday, 3 July 2010.

I headed out after breakfast on the MRT for National Taiwan University Hospital station which is the stop closest to the old MND building.

Saturday was a clear fresh day, the sun was hot, the skies just about clear and a great day to take everyone along on my walk to the Open House.

My video begins just outside the old National Taiwan University "NTU"
Hospital MRT station in the 228 Peace Park, called Central Park back in the day.

I could not take video inside of the MND Building, only still photos, so the walk from the park to the entrance of the building is all I have. But, it's worth watching, you get a feel for the area today, and it will certainly bring back memories.

Click here for the Walk to the MND Building Video.

A couple of notes, push up the video resolution on You Tube to 480p, which gives you a larger and clearer picture, and crank up your audio slider to easily listen to my commentary as we walk along the streets...

These folks operate like the airport, everything out of your pockets and walk through the metal detector before you are allowed to make your way around the building and into the front central entrance. I understand security and the vigilant measures.

I appreciated the opportunity to visit the building. I had walked past the building on the sidewalk a couple of times on my way to the Military Museum and Hero House Military Hotel. On those walks I was cautioned by military guards not to take photographs and I came away with the feeling that I would never get any closer than the sidewalks surrounding the building. The place crawls with security personnel, cameras and vehicles.

I was in Taipei for nearly 3 years during the mid 1960s when you could have just walked-in anytime when in uniform. But, back then, I was always busy and who cared about visiting another office building if you had no reason to be there.

Funny how our priorities change as we age.

Walking up the driveway toward the main entrance where dignitaries are welcomed.

It was exciting to be there this beautiful Saturday in July, and a special honor being afforded the opportunity to enter through the main doors of this beautiful old structure.

Who walked up these carpeted entrance steps in the past?

As you stand in the beautiful grand entrance room, the bust of Dr. Sun Yat-sen peers down onto the grand room and entrance way.

Dr. Sun Yat-sen

The Taiwan Heritage Reception Room

The President's Hall. Used for receiving Heads of State and guests.

The WW II. Instrument of Surrender document. Notice some of the signatures.

I looked closely at this document and it appears to be an original. I have no idea how many copies were signed, but I would guess each signatory was given a copy.

Here it is! Formosa is returned to "The Republic of China."
This is only a press release, but there is other materiel in the building saying the same thing.
I'm sure these documents are available other places on the Internet for further review.

Chiang Kai-shek's military hat.

I really like this hat!

There are two court yards in the old building. One contains a pond with "Koi" fish. The fish quickly headed for me when I stuck my head out over the water.

I took video of the beautiful fish.

I am claiming a technicality...
I was outside the building in the Court Yard....

On the court yard level, most of the rooms contain museum type displays of the building's history and the Republic of China in Taiwan and her leaders.

The displays are crisp, clear and interesting. Some of them had English notes, unfortunately, most were only in Chinese.

I was fortunate to get a photo taken with President Ma who happened to be in the building when I visited.

NOT................. but, the rest of this post is true..........

Of course, please leave your comments or suggestions below,
or email me,

From Taipei, Sunday, the 4th of July 2010 - Tsi Gen....