Where's the Art? The Taipei National Palace Museum

 There's a lot to see and do in Taipei, but perhaps you're wondering where all those priceless cultural artifacts are. Head out to the National Palace Museum
 The museum looks like a palace, with an enormous approach, high terraced stairs and regal landscaping.
 The museum itself is quite impressive, so I made sure to take plenty of pictures outside!
 I don't have any pictures of the art inside, though. Photography isn't permitted, which may be a good thing. (Some art is shown below from Wikipedia.) The museum is very crowded, with several tour groups led by guides holding little flags huddling around historical artifacts.
 The art is presented as a history lesson, as it spans hundreds of years and several periods in history. This guardian lion stands... guard.
 In the summer sun, it's no surprise there are very few people relaxing on the promenade.
 The arrangement of the buildings on hills make them look even more imposing. The last expansion and renovation finished in 2007, just five years before my visit.
 While only a small amount of China's cultural artifacts made it to Taiwan (the story is told about how these artifacts came to be here) they are some of the most important. This massive museum has about 690,000 artifacts and can display only about 1% at a time!
I have a feeling that being inside that box would have meant death in the heat of summer.

Here are a few artifacts from inside the museum (images from Wikipedia):
This is the Jadeite Cabbage, a very beautiful artwork carved from a half-white half-green piece of jade. It might be my favorite item from the museum.
Less appetizing is this meat stone,  But it's still pretty cool.
Click on this to enlarge - this is a painting from the Qing dynasty era titled A Hundred Steeds.  It's very beautiful and realistic!
Finally, a Ming Dynasty sitting Buddha statue.

The National Palace Museum is enormous, and will take several hours to see everything. Plan on having lunch there, or eat just before and just after your visit! It's open from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM every day, though the garden and memorial residence are both closed on Mondays. Tickets for the museum itself are NT$160; the garden is NT$20 or free with your museum ticket.  To get there, take the MRT Danshui Line to Shilin Station and catch bus R30 (Red 30) to the museum, or take the MRT Wenhu Line to Dazhi, and take bus B13 (Brown 13).

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