After leaving the port you will drive to the Martyrs' Shrine, built in 1969. Its magnificent architectural style is similar to that of the hall of the Imperial Palace in Beijing and symbolizes the brave spirit of the martyrs. Before the establishment of the Republic of China, 330,000 men sacrificed their lives to the revolution, falling during the Sino-Japanese war and the Chinese Civil War, and they are commemorated here.
Next you will drive to the Grand Hotel, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2002. Surrounded by the lush Yuan Shan Mountains, it is Taipei's most magnificent landmark. Modelled on the Forbidden City in Beijing, the hotel is housed in a 13-storey building with traditional palace-style architecture featuring vermilion pillars, stately archways and a brightly tiled roof. The Hotel regularly hosts government meetings and visiting foreign dignitaries. Guests are sure to be impressed by its huge lobby, pillars and archways.
You will then drive to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, which has recently reverted to its original name after a brief period as the National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall. The great building has become a landmark of Taipei. It stands opposite the twin venues of the National Theater and Concert Hall. World-famous musicians (such as cello virtuoso Yo Yo Ma and the great violinist Shao Lian Lin) and renowned theatre companies have performed here. The complex is set in beautiful traditional Chinese gardens. After this visit you will have some free time for shopping.
Finally, you will drive to the unforgettable Taipei 101, the world's tallest building, which surpassed the height of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur in late August 2003. Taipei 101 holds the world record in three of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat's height categories: tallest to the structural top, tallest to the roof, and highest occupied floor.
The outdoor observation deck is the highest in the world, although it is expected to be surpassed by the outdoor deck in the Shanghai World Financial Center. The tower's design specifications are based on the number eight which is considered lucky in traditional Chinese culture. It features eight upward-flaring sections, and is supported by eight super-columns. The Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai also employs this numerology in its design. Most aspects of the design, layout and planning were reviewed and approved by a Feng Shui master. The base of the tower houses the large Taipei 101 Mall, which opened before the tower on November 13th, 2003. Finally you will drive to a restaurant for lunch before returning to the ship.