The Taiwan Presidential Office building is the office for all presidents of Taiwan, past and present. One of the many historical buildings in Taipei, it is a beautiful Japanese era brick building, with a built in museum inside. It is open for tours to the public on weekdays, and is definitely worth a visit.
The building was first constructed during Japanese rule of Taiwan for the Governor-General of the island. A plan was chosen that included an eleven storey tower and European style elements. Like other Japanese buildings in Taiwan, it faced east toward the rising sun.
Construction began in 1912 and it was completed in 1919. Some of the bricks for the building came from the Songshan Brick Kiln which we have blogged about earlier. It was the highest building in Taipei until it was overtaken by the Hilton in 1973.
The building was damaged during an air raid in 1945 and was not repaired until the Taiwan Provincial Government under the ROC raised funds. When the ROC retreated to Taiwan in 1950, it became the Office of the President Chiang Kai-Shek. Since then, every sitting president of the ROC has used this building as their office, and it is currently used by President Tsai Yingwen. For more information click here.
How to get there:
The building is close to the NTU hospital MRT station:
The office is open for visitors from 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon on weekdays and on some Weekends. For a list of Weekends schedules click here: https://english.president.gov.tw/Page/124
If those times don’t work, alternatively you can reserve a tour yourself here:
On an overcast day last February, we made our way to the presidential palace on one of the few days that it was open on Saturday.
Before you go in, there is a security check. Be prepared to show your ID and let them check your bag. My DSLR camera made it in fine.
You will notice from the get go that there are guards everywhere, so don't try any funny business.
The grand entrance.
A close up of the upper tower. This was the highest building in Taipei until it was overtaken by the Hilton in 1973.
Prepare to enter the building.
The first room inside is a large room dedicated to Sun Yat-Sen.
Sun Yat-Sen is an interesting historical figure. He wrote the ROC constitutions, and is considered the father of the PRC, KMT, and DDP. He has a good rep.
His head sits on a pillar that says "Father of All Under Heaven." Kind of like the Emperor of China or something.
View of the ceiling in the same room.
Plaque to Sun-Yatsen.
Some info about Sun Yat-sen: the founding father of the ROC. I assume you can read what is on the sign here.
The main meeting room on the second floor, decorated with ROC and Sun Yatsen as the centerpiece.
Ceiling of the same room.
Private meeting room for the president. I don't know how often these rooms get used.
In the hallway there are many random art objects which may or may not be ancient.
Also there are rooms everywhere that look like this, locked up. I don't know if half the office building is even being used. Maybe its too old? Notice the fire extinguisher there. There have been quite a few fires in this building over the ages.
Some info about Chiang Wei-shui, Taiwan's Sun-Yatsen.
Power to the People! Much of the museum on the lower floors is covered with DPP propaganda, which makes sense, and its totally fine. They are in power.
Looks pretty much the same as it did back then. Except somehow along the way they made it in color.
The presidential stamps (chops), they're huge!
This office desk used by every ROC president! President Tsai stopped using this one only after students from a nearby university gave her a new one.
There is also a Taiwanese aborigine exhibit:
This is the boat that a few Taiwanese people used to sail to Japan, just to prove that Taiwan aborigines could sail all over the Pacific.
A view from one of the inner courtyards.
Here is the Hall of Presidents. No paint on CKS! A few weeks ago a few vandals threw paint on his grave.
The other presidents until now, each with famous quotes and video presentations.
Holographic meatloaf? There are also some random are exhibits in here.
Don't forget to buy your pin before you leave! But seriously there is a pretty good gift shop there if you want to buy some souvenirs for your relatives.
There you have it! You've seen the presidential office! Just kidding, you should still go there yourself. You will see and learn much more in person, especially if you follow one of the tour guides.
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We are US Expats that have extensive experience living and working in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.