Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Taipei - Shilin - National Palace

The world famous National Palace Museum, sitting in the quite mountain side of Shilin District, Taipei, is a must visit for anyone visiting Taiwan for the first time.

The building itself is constructed in 1965 to hold the collections originally placed in the Imperial Palace in Beijing during the Chin Dynasty. All these national treasures had been migrated many times due to the instableness of early China. After the first establishment of the museum in Beijing in 1925, the first migration took place in 1931 from Beijing to Shanghai on Japan's invasion to the North East region of China. In 1937 when China officially declared war with Japan, these collections were again ship to inland cities of China. In 1945 when the war was over everything was again shipped back to the capital city of the time, Nanjing. Last in 1948 when Chiang Kai-Chek lost the civil war to Mou everything was shipped to Taipei.

There are many precious art collections from acient Chinese dynasties on paintings, callingraphy,boos, bronzes, ceremics, jades, curios, tapestry and more. The museum is consisted of four floors with exhibition on three floors and tea house on the fourth floor. Unfortunately due to the vast amount of collections the museum couln't display everything at the same time so you would have to visit more than once to see all the collections.

The most important collection of the museum is the famous Jade Cabbage(yes, its jade you see in the picture) and a pork belly meat right beside it... actually not the real meat but a natural rock formation which looks exactly like port belly meat. .Wow.

Hours and Direction
The museum is opend daily from 9 to 5 with admission fee of 100 NTD or about 3 dollar US. Because the museum is not by any Taipei Metro Line so you'll have to get off at the Shilin station of Metro Red Line and take bus red 30 which will take you directly to the museum. Other buses such as 255, 304, minibus 18, minibus 19 and cultural bus 101 would also stop by the museum.


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