Have you been considering joining a walking tour and would like to know how will be?
I will write about a Like it Formoso tour (the historical tour) to give you an idea on what to expect.
What is Like it Formosa?
In short, an organization that does walking tours for free with a few paid tours.
More can be found on their website https://www.likeitformosa.com/.
As of writing, there are four free tours and two themed (paid) tours.
The tour guides come from different backgrounds, some are students and some working.
They do it on a voluntary basis.
Although the tour is entirely free, it is in my opinion worth to give some donation.
They use their time and energy for us and provide quite good information.
A guideline of the donation amount can also be found on their website.
For example for “Nice” 100-200 NT” and “Great” 300-500 NT.
Registration and start of the tour
I was browsing through the Meetup website for Taipei activities.
There the walking tours were listed.
You will need to sign up if you find them outside their website and therefore not registered.
I did the historical tour. The gathering spot was at the Longshan temple MRT station, exit 1.
I was asked how I found them.
Knowing it was Meetup, they gave me their mobile phone with the registration form.
If you book a tour on their website, then you will do the registration there.
After a round of self-introduction, the tour guide explained the name “Like it Formosa”.
There are two tour guides, each doing the talking half the tour.
Like a “proper” tour, we stopped at places to hear the stories and explanations of that place.
As an independent freedom lover, I didn’t do walking tours before.
Because I like to keep my own pace and freedom to go where I want based on how I feel.
For a change, I wanted to be lazy and be a follower, so I gave this walking tour a try.
And the result was good: appreciation and seeing the value of doing a tour.
Hearing the stories and facts was really inspiring and a richness added to the experience.
Did you, for example, know how many steps there are at the Chiang Kai-Shek memorial hall? Spoiler alert! There are 89 steps and that number is the age Chiang Kai Sek died.
The tour was about 3 to 3.5 hours.
With many stops at sites and also space to take some pictures.
To me, the pace was not too fast and also not boringly slow.
- Longshan temple
The first stop was at the Longshan temple.
Here we heard a.o. about the stories of the four different gods.
We had 8 minutes to wand around freely and to take pictures.
- Bopiliao Historical block
Then we moved on to the Bopiliao Historical block.
Very interesting to hear the history behind and why for example the street is crooked. 🙂
- Yongfu Ice Cream shop
Then we had a stop at Yongfu Ice Cream shop.
The ice cream here is not so creamy, more like that of a sorbet.
- Ximen Red House
Did you know that there are many gay bars in Taipei?
We saw this in the next stop, the Ximen Red House.
In May there will be a law that allows gay marriage in Taiwan.
But also that 60% or over 60% (I could not remember exactly) of the people do not accept gay marriage.
However, as Taiwan wants to have equality amongst the people, they will implement this law anyway.
Here we have a small break of 10-15 minutes, I don’t exactly remember the timing.
- While walking to the next stop, we got to hear that the building with the sign Party World is actually a karaoke building.
Each window you see is a karaoke room, people are singing in there!
Can you imagine this? Wow!
- The Presidential building
From afar, at The Presidential building, we could take pictures.
Here we hear about the Taiwanese politics, which I will not further elaborate.
- 228 Peace Memorial Park
Then we moved on the “228 Peace Memorial Park”.
It’s really a beautiful park.
Here we heard about the sad history where in the past people were killed.
They were killed if they could not speak Mandarin Chinese.
At that time, Mandarin Chinese was not the main language.
Many people did not speak it.
- Then we moved on to the last stop, the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.
This was also the moment of giving the donation and saying goodbye.
Worth to do the tour
I would definitely recommend doing the tour.
The tour guides have a passion for their country and like to share that with us.
Also meeting other tourists from different countries is very nice.