Sat, Jan 22, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taipei opens online reservation system for Chiang mansion

POPULAR ATTRACTION:Tickets for the mansion, which served as Chiang Kai-shek’s last residence, are often sold out within an hour of the doors opening

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Visitors to the Shilin Residence in Taipei will be able to make an online reservations next month as the Taipei City Government seeks to prevent the long lines that have formed since the mansion was opened to the public on Jan. 2.

The mansion, which served as late dictator Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) last residence, became a popular attraction in the city when it was opened to the public and advance tickets are often sold out within an hour of the doors opening at 9:30am, drawing complaints from many who are unable to get in.

Taipei City’s Department of Cultural Affairs said the online reservation mechanism aimed to make it more convenient for foreign visitors and Taiwanese who are traveling a long way to visit the residence.

Michael Teng (鄧文宗), a division chief at the department, said those wishing to visit the mansion next month can make a reservation starting at 10am today on the department’s Web site at Visitors can also still go and wait in line at the mansion.

The department has also increased the maximum number of daily visitors allowed from 860 to 990.

The two-story mansion was where Chiang and his wife, Soong Mei-ling (宋美齡), resided for more than 25 years from 1950 to 1975 before his death on April 5 of that year.

The picturesque estate situated in Shilin District (士林) is considered the core of the site known as the Shilin Official Residence.

The surrounding garden and tree-lined roads have been a popular tourist destination since 1996, but the mansion was off-limits until earlier this month when the city government completed a NT$116 million (US$3.86 million) restoration project that began in 2008.

The mansion is open from 9:30am to 11:40am and from 1:30pm to 4:30pm from Tuesday to Sunday. The mansion will be closed from Feb. 1 to Feb. 6 for the Lunar New Year holidays.

For more information, call (02) 2883-6340.

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