on January 27, 2007
With all of the treasures of China taken from the mainland when the leaders fled, the National Palace Museum was one of my favorite stops on our tour of Taiwan. There were several pieces that everyone seemed to marvel over – a piece of jade carved to resemble cabbage, another rock said to look like a piece of pork, huge collections of impressive miniatures (my favorite was a set of ivory balls – nearly 20, I think, carved inside each other). They were interesting to look over but the ceramics really stole the show for me! Gorgeous examples of celadon made for the emperors of olden days. I am not very familiar with Chinese history or art, but I was still able to marvel over some of their pieces. Even the entry to the museum was photo-worthy! We took the free English tour that was offered by the Museum and the tour guide did a great job of highlighting the important pieces of their enormous collection. Early in the morning, however, it was packed with other tourists and tour groups. To get there, take the Metro to Jiantan Station, take bus Red 30 to the National Palace Museum Stop… you might want to ask others on the bus to let you know when you get there because the stop’s not as obvious as I had hoped. There were several shops and places to eat around the metro station, but around the museum, we weren’t able to find any restaurants, though there seemed to be a nice café, along with a very nice gift shop. The National Museum has a couple of buildings; the side buildings and gardens are easy to miss when you see the main collection in the center of the plaza. Someone said it would take 12 years to view their entire collection – I would definitely recommend talking to the people at the information booths to make sure you see the collections that you most want to see, and maybe even avoid the crowds in the process.
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