National Palace Museum

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by billmoy on July 22, 2002

The National Palace Museum is open every day from 9AM to 5PM. This is the world-famous depository of imperial palace treasures spanning the Sung, Yuan, Ming, and Ch'ing dynasties. Many of these great Chinese relics and art masterpieces were smuggled out of mainland China and buried in safety bunkers for years before being displayed in this wonderful museum.

Local buses pass by the front of the museum. There is a majestic staircase leading to the main entrance of the formal Main Exhibition Building. The impeccably manicured grounds include a library, the Chih-Shan Gardens, an Administration Building, small post office, and a driveway leading to and from on-site parking. By far the most popular museum in Taiwan, there are always many tour groups visiting. There are some guided tours available in English and Chinese; inquire at the information desk. No photography is allowed within the museum. I spent three hours examining the exhibitions and wished I had some more time.

The first floor features bronze vessels, Buddhist sculpture, and an interesting display showing parallel timelines of art and civilization in China and elsewhere in the world.

The second floor features painting, calligraphy and porcelain.

The third floor has a variety of mixed media: carvings in jade, wood, ivory, bamboo, and even rhinoceros horn. There are also rare books and documents, and a room of lacquered wood "curio cabinets".

There is a rather pricey Museum Restaurant on the grounds. It is basically an upscale cafeteria, serving serviceable and typical Chinese dishes. I had a decent plate of sweet and sour rib tips with a bowl of rice and a soda. The Main Exhibition Building also has a cafeteria and formal tearoom on the fourth floor. There is a pretty nice gift shop with a tasteful assortment of artistic Taiwan gifts.

National Palace Museum
221 Chih-shan Rd. Sec 2
Taipei, Taiwan

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