This blog was created for USASTRATCOM Long Lines Battalion Army personnel who served in Taiwan during the 1965-72 time frame. Specifically, those who lived and worked in and around Taipei are the target. If you worked at the Grass Mountain or Gold Mountain facilities or anywhere in downtown Taipei, we would like to hear from you. All are welcome to visit and contribute to this blog. Your comments and pictures are encouraged.

Monday, January 9, 2012

When The Grand Hotel Became Grand

Before the Ambassador, President and Mandarin hotels were built, the place to stay in Taiwan for tourists who wanted a first-class look at Taipei was the Grand Hotel at the northern edge of Taipei.

As Taipei became more tourist-friendly, hotels sprung up. Between 1969-71, five hotels opened right on Chung Shan North Road. So, now, the ball was in the Grand Hotel's court.

Photo courtesy of

Looking south from the Grand Hotel, the Chinese Gate can be seen as well as a smoggy downtown area. A relative of ours actually stayed here in the early 1960s. He enjoyed the hotel as well as Taipei.

Photo courtesy of

The hotel certainly was ornate and oriental with a large dining area, assembly hall as well as a theater.

Photo courtesy of

Looking across the Keelung River, you can see the expanse of the hotel. This picture was taken before the Vietnam War, as many of the American contributions in building architecture cannot be seen.

Photo courtesy of Chris Snyder

As the Vietnam War was coming to a conclusion, the Chinese began a massive expansion of the hotel.

This photo is really impressive as the bamboo scaffolding, which was the norm in construction, overwhelms the top of the hill on which the hotel is located.

From what Chris has already said, this photo was taken from an area near where he and his wife, Fae, lived.

Photo courtesy of Chris Snyder

With the new front gate and addition brightly illuminated, the Grand Hotel regained its place as the star of Taipei hotels.

Going north on Zhongshan (Chung Shan) North Road, you can't help but see the Grand Hotel.

If you continued on this lane you might be injured by oncoming traffic.

Here's the Chamber of Commerce shot.