Secret escape passage of Grand Hotel in Taipei opens to visitors

Thursday, March 25, 2021

A secret underground passage located in the east wing of the Grand Hotel in Taipei opened to visitors for the first time Thursday, over five decades since its construction, CNA reports.

The 67-meter passage, according to the hotel, was built during the hotel's refurbishment in 1970 to serve as an evacuation tunnel for the late President Chiang Kai-shek, who ruled the Republic of China (Taiwan) until 1975.

Two secret underground passages were built, one on the east side and the other on the west side of the building, with the latter opened to the public from September 2019.

The east passage contains 84 steps and was deliberately designed to spiral underground rather than going in a straight line to slow an enemy chase and to avoid the escapee from being hit by bullets fired from a straight distance, the hotel said.

According to the Grand Hotel, the tunnel walls were also paved unevenly to provide better sound dampening, so as not to give away the president's actual position during his escape.

The east tunnel leads to a garden that used to be part of the Taiwan Grand Shrine, which was the highest-ranking Japanese Shinto in Taiwan during the country's Japanese colonial era, the hotel said.