2-28 Peace Memorial Park

Park in Zhongzheng
Image by Jui-Chi Chan / Getty Images

Established in 1908, this was the first urban public park in Taiwan built on European models. Known as Taihoku (Taipei) Park under the Japanese, then Taipei New Park under the Kuomintang (KMT; Chinese Nationalist Party), its present name hails from 1996 in recognition of one of the pivotal events in Taiwanese modern history, which began here: the killings known as the 2-28 Incident.

The incident involved an uprising in which Taiwanese protested against the post-WWII Chinese government set in place by Chiang Kai-shek. Tens of thousands were killed in the following months.

In the centre of the park stands a memorial to 2-28 and at the southern end of the park is a museum dedicated to the event. Otherwise this lovely little area of old trees, ponds, pavilions, pathways, bandstands, shrines and a large outdoor stage is used just as its founders intended: as a meeting place, a hang-out and a general refuge from the city. In the days before smartphone dating apps, this park also used to be a cruising area for gay men. Today it's overrun by bold brown squirrels.

There are multiple entrances to the park; the two main ones are off Ketagalan Blvd and Xiangyang Rd. In addition, two exits of NTU Hospital MRT station open onto the park.