The Cihu Mausoleum and Memorial Statues Park pays homage and respect to Taiwan’s history under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek and his son, Chiang Jing-guo. Whatever your political opinion may be regarding the Chiang family, one cannot disagree that their influence on Taiwan’s history was both important and fundamental to the development of Taiwan as a nation.
Cihu pronounced “Si hu” (meaning :“Benevolent Lake”) ,is the name of the lake and nature compound where Chiang and his family enjoyed visiting to escape the hot summer months of the city. The grounds are peaceful, un-developed, and alive with greenery and nature. The area had always been heavily guarded and entrance was limited. Chiang died in 1975, but the area is still well guarded, however, tourists are allowed to visit the grounds, view the lake and see the mausoleum which houses Chiang’s body is a black marble sarcophagus.
The mausoleum is guarded 24 hours and there is a changing of the guard every hour. Visitors are expected to be respectful. The caretakers on duty are not shy about reminding visitors to whisper and even bow when they enter. Photography is strictly prohibited inside the mausoleum.
The Memorial Statues Park is also now part of the grounds and is quite a sight to behold. Established in 1997, it is the only memorial garden in the world dedicated to the sculptures of a single individual: Chiang Kai-shek.
The garden lays on an open green grassy field surrounded by low hills. There are over 176 sculptures of Chiang in the park. He takes many forms from bronze busts, to standing poses, to even riding a horse. Most of the statues were donated by government organizations and schools since the 1970’s. Each statue has a description of its origin and the year it was donated. Some actually show a photo of the original placement of the statue.
One thing to note: Not all the statues are of Chiang. This write found a few of Chiang Jing-guo and even of the founding father of Taiwan, Sun Yat-sen!
The largest statue in the park is a seated bronzed Chiang. The statue originally was placed in the Kaohsiung Cultural Center in Kaohsiung City. In 2000, the Kaohsiung City government removed the statue and donated it to the park.
Cihu Lake, the Mausoleum, and the Statues Park are all connected by well signed footpaths through the beautiful grounds.
Admission is free.
The best way to Cihu is by car. It’s a about a 30 minute trip south from Taoyuan City to the Cihu/Daxi Exit.
The exit is off National Highway 3. Once you get off the highway, you have about a 20-30 minute drive to the mausoleum. Road signs are aplenty.
After your visit, stop at the famous Daxi Street Market for some famous foods.