November 24, 2008Our day had begun at the Chiang Kai Shek Shilin Residence Park around 10:00 in the morning. Our cab driver dropped us off at the back of the entrance of the park and we were admitted free of charge. This place was originally one of Chiang Kai Shek's homes but it was abandoned by Mrs. Chiang when her husband died. It remained closed until 1996 and later the residence and park was opened to the public and often used as a place for exhibitions showcasing the flowers at their colorful best.
Entering into the huge complex, there were very few people around the park some young and old couples seating on the garden bench and a number of tour groups. As we made our way through the cement trails there are green houses, pavilions, and beautiful gardens which are the highlights of the park.
I'm quite impressed by the tranquil environment, the formal Western and Chinese gardens, the interspersed meandering walkways, the lushly landscaped with expansive green vegetation, and the nicely laid out plant sculptures. I was awed by this giant ornamental face of Mother Earth that has been shaped artistically.
We didn't try the "Madame's Breakfast" that has become the best advertisement to attract the tourist. This meal which consists only of toast, coffee and celery salad is offered at the Youth Cafe near the main entrance.
All in all, we were there only for about 25 minutes and our experience wasn't that exciting since there were no exhibits presented at that time and many of the flowers are not yet in full bloom. :( If you're planning to stop by here, it would be best to call ahead and inquire if they have flower exhibitions for that day just to make sure that your visit will be more interesting. I only recommend this place for those who are seeking a delightful walk, a nice relaxation in a laid back quiet atmosphere, and for those who are interested in CKS history.
The C.K.S. Shilin Residence Park is located at the triangle of Fulin Road and Zhongshan North Road, Section 5, Taipei, Taiwan. The garden is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Entry is free.