October 23, 2008

After we had seen the ceremonial change of Guard held at Martyr's Shrine, our group went to the National Palace Museum that houses the world's largest collection of Chinese art treasures. National Palace Museum covers almost the entire five thousand-old Chinese history. Most of the 650,000 art objects were part of the Chinese Imperial collection making it one of the largest and finest collections of its kind in the world.

Eventually we got our tickets and our tour guide provided us a quick tour to some important parts of the museum. Then, he allocated us some free time to explore the rest of the galleries on our own. The exhibits range from Chinese earthen ware like pottery to porcelain, as well as bronze, jade ware, sculpture, embroidery, rare books, curios, documents, calligraphy and paintings. It is said that the collection is too large to be displayed at one time. While many popular pieces remain on permanent display, other items are rotated regularly, making each visit unique. We observed that the poor lighting and design of the exhibit halls results in more than poor presentation. It does not complement with the magnificence of the collection. In addition, most of the halls were jampacked with people and sometimes there wasn't enough elbow-room for viewing. However, this museum is still one of the must visit places in Taipei especially if you're into historical and artistic value.

Please keep in mind that all forms of photography and filming in the exhibition areas are prohibited.

entrance to the Exhibition Area (Main Building)
Admission Booth

After admiring the treasures from the ancient imperial collection, I decided to go to the large open paved area adjacent to the exhibit hall while hb waited for the rest of the group. From the huge terrace I was stunned by the magnificent view of lush tropical gardens surrounding and adding to the charm of the museum.

huge terrace from the main hall
the main entrance gate to the main hall

Administration Building 1, Creative Workshop
and Exhibition area II (Library Building) on the right side

the Chih-shan Garden on the left side

Our visit to the place ended at the Museum Gift Shop located at the Exhibition Area 1 on the ground floor. It has reproductions of museum pieces, apparels, books, postcards, key chains and many other interesting items.

one of the pieces I bought
from the museum gift shop

The museum has no fixed path through the galleries but you can start at the Orientation Gallery 102 for an interactive introduction to the museum's history and a preview of the collection and "what's in the galleries".

If you are not in a group tour, I suggest you register in advance at Exhibition Area 1 First Floor Information Desk to join the free daily tours that are available in Mandarin and in English. If you want to have a tour at your own pace, you can rent an audio guide available in English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean for NT$100 (rate as of 2008) at the Audio Guide Center.

Audio Guide Booth

Apart from the exhibit halls and gift shops, there are also some available resources such as children gallery, multimedia kiosks, library, traditional Chinese gardens and auditoriums. The place also has restaurants and cafes that allow visitors to enjoy a casual and quick snack service.

National Palace Museum is located at No. 221, Chih-Shan Road, Taipei 11143, Taiwan. Exhibition building is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Regular admission to general audiences is NT$160.00 per person.

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  1. I always love to go to museums, specially when it is raining ;)

  2. How many hours you reckon to see this huge museum?

  3. Hi Kegler747,
    Hmm, I'm curious. :)

    Hi Borneo Falcon,
    We spent our time in the exhibit halls for almost 2 hours. But if you want to explore the whole place including the gardens and hang around a bit in the restaurant, most probably you need a half day here.

  4. This is an excellent travel guide to the National Palace Museum. A place worth visiting someday. Again, let me thank you for sharing this wonderful travel of yours. Looking forward to more of your fascinating adventures!

  5. and now you are in China? i've never been to a huge museum and i wonder how long it took you to look around the place.

  6. Hi Dennis,
    Thanks for the compliment.

    Hi idealpinkrose,
    I was in Taipei last August.

  7. Whenever I am in other countries I love to be always outdoors or on the move but if it is raining then I have no choice but to visit museums so I will not get wet and stay there until the rain stops. My best excuse that I visited a museum is that it's raining outside ;)

  8. I love museum and I will definitely enjoy this one :) You took good pictures! I like the Administration Building I picture :)

  9. what a majestic building! i bet you can't take pictures inside right?

  10. Hi kegler747,
    hahaha... it's pretty clear to me now.

    Hi Rintjez,
    Great to see you back. Thank you. :)

  11. Hi chrisau,
    Thanks for taking your time here. Yup, taking photos inside the exhibition hall is prohibited.

  12. Hello, amazing entry as usual! I still wish you had sneaked your camera in the exhibition area! LOL [just kiddin']

  13. Hi Share my Point of view,
    Erm, I've been brought up to be a nice girl, so, I always follow the rules. hehe

  14. What's a wonderful place ! Hope I have a chance to be there ! Thanks for your great post and have a nice weekend !

    Dinh Trung

  15. Hi Dinh Trung,
    Welcome! Nice to see you here. I visited you're blog but I don't understand a word. Are you a from Vietnam? :)

  16. What a wonderful blog! Travelling is what I most like and although I've already visited some asian countries, you show me a lot more! That's really great! I will be coming back for sure!

  17. Hi Asian Traveler! Great pictures as usual; but everything looks so huge... Are they trying to compete with anyone? ;))
    Meanwhile Blogtrotter just said goodbye to Mykonos 2007!! It shows the famous sunset scene at Little Venice, and the Pelican mascot of the island… ;)
    Hope you enjoy, comment and have a great weekend!

  18. I have same reason as kegler747. But you have tempted me to visit the place. It is so colourful and beautiful architecture.

    Let me see when can I visit this.

  19. Hi GMG,
    haha... not really. Like China, Taipei also has vast complexes. It's normal. ;)

    Hi JM and Cuckoo,
    It's nice to see you here. :)

  20. waaahhh.. taiwan is beautiful... hmmm, wonder when can i invade it.. aheeheheh.. happy travels


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AN ASIAN TRAVELER, Exploring Around Asia!