Open House at Lungtan Military Base
One thing I really miss from my childhood is the amazing parade taking place in front of the Presidential Office on the National Day of Taiwan. I’m always impressed by the lines of soldiers walking in coordinated steps, followed by tanks, cheerleading squads, and more.
For someone who has never set foot inside a Taiwanese military base, this is an opportunity I just couldn’t miss. So there I was, waking up at 5 AM to a noisy alarm and forcing myself out of the house within 30 minutes. I met up with my friend (who was on assignment) and drove from Taipei to the base. The entire trip took a little bit more than an hour, so it wasn’t that bad.
Now, I came to the base expecting to see some demos of tanks and helicopters. I was glad when I found the events I wanted to see listed on the agenda – but only 20 minutes? And no tank show!? What the xxxx?!
There’s an array of shows by local communities, schools, and god-knows-what (how about some divine puppet-guards dancing to techno music – like the ones you see at the temple procession?). To keep visitors entertained and fed, there’s a bunch of stands offering items from snacks to military gears on the main boulevard, giving you a place to spend extra cash.
Aside from these minor distractions, the 20-minute-long performance featured some of the essentials, including the appearance of arms such as AH-1W Super Cobra and OH-58 Kiowa Warrior (though the CH-47 Chinook was in the stationary exhibition area).
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