Applications are open for Spend a Night @ Taiwan’s Presidential Office Building

The Presidential Office Building (總統府) is one of Taipei’s most iconic buildings and 2019 marks its 100th anniversary. Occupying the block between Chongqing South Road and Bo’ai Road, the Presidential Office Building often holds open houses, granting members of the public access to the main entrance, entrance hall and auditorium, as well as the south and north courtyards and first floor exhibition areas.

In honor of its centenary, in association with the General Association of Chinese Culture (GACC), Ministry of Transportation and Communications, and the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, the Presidential Office will be granting greater access to the public, inviting 20 groups of overseas guests to spend the night at the historic location.

Spend a Night @ Taiwan’s Presidential Office Building will see the lucky guests hosted by their own personal housekeeper upon arrival in Taiwan. They will stay in a private room within the building that has been renovated into a cozy Taiwanese-style hotel room.

Mockup of the hotel room (image source: GACC)

Guest will be invited to the daily flag raising ceremony (if they can brave the 5.30am call time) and will also enjoy a special Taiwanese breakfast before joining a guided tour of the Presidential Office Building. The first group of guests (checking in on October 9) will also be invited to join the National Day parade.

The experience is available to non-Taiwan nationals only in an effort to help promote Taiwan to the world. For a chance to be selected, potential guests need to submit a video outlining their trip to Taiwan – why do they want to come here? – and why they deserve to spend a night at the Presidential Office Building? The successful candidates will be selected by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Taiwan Visitors Association, as well as travel writer Uğur Rıfat Karlova (Wu Feng), travel blogger Hsu Alston and teacher Chan Wei-Hsiung.

Call for submissions from August 12 to 31

Submissions are open between Monday August 12 and Saturday August 31 and applications can be made by visiting the official Taiwan Presidential Office website by clicking here. Winners are expected to be announced between mid and late September. Good luck!

Submit Your Application Now 👉

5 things you didn’t know about the Presidential Office Building

Thinking about spending the night there? You might as well get clued up on the building’s history. Here are five facts you probably didn’t know:

Presidential Office building. The structure originally housed the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan. Damaged in Allied bombing during World War II, the building was restored after the war by Chen Yi, the Governor-General of Taiwan Province. (image source: iStock)

It was built during the Japanese colonial era

The Presidential Office Building was originally built as the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan. It was designed by Japanese architect Uheiji Nagano and construction began in 1912 and was completed in 1919, costing 2.8 million Japanese yen.

It was damaged during WWII

The building was bombed by the Allied Powers in 1945 during the Raid of Taihoku. The bombing caused considerable structural damage and the resulting fire burned for three days. It was not repaired until 1947 when the Taiwan Provincial Government carried out a restoration plan using funds from private donations. The restoration’s completion coincided with President Chiang Kai-shek’s 60th birthday.

It became the office of the President in 1950

Following the conclusion of the Chinese Civil War and the ROC losing control of the Mainland, the Presidential Office Building became the official office of the Taiwanese President. The office of the President has been at this location ever since.

The building’s central tower used to be Taipei’s tallest structure

(image source: Taiwan Tourism Bureau)

Standing at 60m high, the tower was the tallest structure in the Taipei basin during Japanese rule. Nowadays, it is of course, Taipei 101.

It’s in a tourist friendly location

Not too far from Taipei Main Station, the Presidential Office Building is within a walkable distance from National Taiwan Museum, 228 Memorial Park, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and the Ximending shopping district. So, it’s a perfect location to add to your itinerary for a day of sightseeing in Taipei.