Taipei National Palace Museum

The Taipei National Palace Museum and the famous Forbidden City in Beijing are derived from the same institution, which was split into two as a result of the Chinese Civil War. Covering a total area of 1200 mu (about 198 acres), it is located in the outskirts of Taipei City, Taiwan. Construction started in 1962 and it was inaugurated on November 12, 1965, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), the great Chinese revolutionary and founder of the Republic of China. Thus, it is also named as Yat-sen Museum. The splendid architecture of the structure is modeled on the Forbidden City in Beijing and incorporates elements of traditional Chinese royal design in feudal society. The architecture itself has four floors. The first, second and third floors are used for exhibitions, while the fourth floor is a lounge where visitors can rest.

The Taipei National Palace Museum houses the largest collection of priceless Chinese artifacts and artwork in the world, including ancient bronze castings, calligraphy, scroll paintings, porcelain, jade, and rare books, many of which were possessions of the former imperial family. The full collection, which consists of some 650,000 pieces, spans many dynasties. Each exhibit, however, puts on display only about 1,700 pieces at a time. At this rate, assuming a duration of three months for each exhibit, it will take 100 years to cycle through the entire collection! Incredible!

On the left side of the hall is Chih-shan Garden, which showcases many of the elements of traditional Chinese gardening art. Inside the garden, pavilions, little bridges, flowing water, winding paths and green trees combine to create an atmosphere of simplicity and serenity. On the pillars of the pavilion, verses of well-known calligraphers are carved, increasing the beauty of the area and the pleasure of visitors-even those who cannot read the graceful characters.

On the right side of the hall is Chih-te Garden. Strolling through it, you will marvel at the beauty of the pavilions, bridges and ponds that grace this garden, especially in autumn, when the cool wind carries the fragrance of the lotus and sweet-scented osmanthus.

Also part of the Taipei National Palace Museum is the Chang Dai-ch'ien Memorial Residence, which was the home of the celebrated painter Chang Dai-ch'ien (1901-1984).

One of the treasures of this museum is a jade cabbage, which was part of the dowry of Concubine Jin in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). What's amazing about this jade cabbage is that it is carved from a single piece of jade that is half grey and half emerald green. The artist carved the leaves from the green part and used the grey part as the outside of the cabbage. Two red katydids posed on the cabbage make this work of art so realistic that if you nipped it with your fingernails you would expect to see juice drip from the wound. When it was carved, cabbage stood for the purity of a family, while the katydids were the symbol of many children-obviously good symbolism for an object that was part of a dowry.

It is said that originally the jade cabbage was the dowry of Concubine Zhen. So why was it found in the room of Concubine Jin? The answer is that Concubine Jin and Concubine Zhen were sisters. When Emperor Guangxu chose them as concubines, their father prepared munificent dowries for them. Concubine Jin loved jewelry, so she was given a huge amount of money and valuables; while her little sister Concubine Zhen was fond of books, so her father gave the priceless jade cabbage to her. When Concubine Jin discovered that there was no jade cabbage in her box, she became angry and cried. In order to comfortable her elder sister, Concubine Zhen gave the treasure to Concubine Jin, thus making it part of her sister's dowry.

 

Tips: 

1. No photographing.
2. Do not wear slippers to visit the museum.  
3. Please call or write in advance to make arrangements if you intend to visit the Chang Dai-ch'ien Memorial Residence.
TEL: (02)2881-2021-683

Transportation:

 By Bus:
Take bus no. 255, 304 and 815, and minibus no. 19, and get off at National Palace Musuem Station.

 By MRT:
Take the MRT Tamsui-Xinyi Line to Shilin Station, and then take MRT shuttle bus Red 30, to reach there.
Take the MRT Wenhu Line to Dazhi Station, and then take MRT shuttle bus Brown 13 to get to there. Or visitors can take the MRT Wenhu Line, get off at Jiannan Road Station, and then take Brown 20.

Admission Fee: Museum

TWD 250 (about CNY 49) for general audiences
TWD 230 (about CNY 45) for groups of 10 or more
* Group visitors must use the audio system. The rental fee is TWD 30 per person.

Chih-shan Garden TWD 20 (about CNY 4)
Chih-te Garden Free
Children's Gallery Free
Opening Hours: Museum 08:30 - 18:30 (Sunday to Thursday)
08:30 - 21:00 (Friday and Saturday)
Note: Taiwan Citizens with ROC ID can visit the museum free of charge between 18:30 and 21:00 on Friday and Saturday.08:30 - 18:30 from Tuesday to Thursday.
Chih-shan Garden April to October: 08:30 - 18:30
November to next March: 08:30 - 17:30
 It's open from Tuesday to Sunday.
Chih-te Garden Daily
The Chang Dai-ch'ien Memorial Residence

It's open from Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Mondays, April 2 and national holidays.
Note: 
1. Visting hour for each time is 40 minutes. The total number of visitors admitted to enter the memorial residence per day is 60 and 15 are allowed for each time.
2. Visitors have to reserve the tickets one week in advance. If they have any question, please make a call at +886-2-6610-3600 (ext. 2683).

 
 The National Palace Museum Southern Branch was opened for trial service in Taibao, Chiayi County of Taiwan on Dec. 28th, 2015. It's open from 09:00 to 17:00 all year round (closed on Mondays). Currently, 5 permanent exhibitions, 3 special exhibitions and 2 international loan exhibitions are presented. The admission fee is NT$ 150 per person.
- Last modified on May. 15, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Taipei National Palace Museum
Asked by Su from USA | May. 24, 2017 03:53Reply
Is there Guided tour for the Taiwan Museum in English?
I like to know is there a Guided tour in English for the museum? If you do, what time of the day is the English tour scheduled. Thank you.
Answers (3)
Answered by Mike from IRELAND | May. 26, 2017 03:37
00Reply


Yes, there is. As I know, you just need to rent an audio guide machine when you arrive there. It charges TWD150/time.
Answered by Su from USA | May. 26, 2017 11:16
00Reply


Thank you. I am thinking more a real people English guided tour. I was there many years ago and they have that at certain time. I don't seems to be able to find any information on their web site.
Answered by Deborah from USA | Jul. 20, 2017 07:25
10Reply


This may be too late for your trip, but I was there last year and we had an arranged guide. The guide was knowledgeable but they are trained to do certain sections given how much time you have. We had one member who wanted to see the famous paintings. The guide refused because that is a much longer tour. She asked want we might like to see and we said jade. What we got was an hour or so tour that started with a very detailed history of China with some artifacts, which we did not need or want. We finally got to see some very early jade pieces that to most on our tour looked like old carved rock. We did not have time to see the wonderful amazing pieces that were in the next rooms. It was very disappointing. So maybe a guided tour for something you might want to see, but be specific and leave time to see the other parts of the museum. Maybe there is a highlights tour, but we didn't know about it and were not offered such a tour. Study up and decide ahead of time what you want to focus on - it's an amazing museum and you should not miss out on what you want to see.
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