National Taiwan Museum 國立台灣博物館
The National Taiwan Museum is the oldest and one of the best in the country and focuses on the natural, geological, and human history of Taiwan. Located in downtown Taipei, it is easily accessible, and you can spend an entire afternoon here. It is definitely worth a visit on your next trip to Taipei.
The National Taiwan Museum was originally established in 1908 to commemorate the opening of the north-south railway in Taiwan and began with over 10,000 items related to Taiwan's academia, art, and industry. A Newer building was later built to house the collection in 1915. After the ROC took over Taiwan, it was known as the Taiwan Provincial Museum until 1999 when it changed its name to the National Taiwan Museum. It is the only museum established during the Japanese era that still stands today. The museum also underwent renovations in 2017.
The museum has four areas: the main National Taiwan Museum (which is the focus of this blog), the Land Bank Exhibition Hall, Nanmen Park, and Railway Department Park. In the future, the Monopoly Bureau and the Mitsui Bussan Company Building will be added.
9:30 AM to 5 PM, closed Mondays
30 NT per person.
You can book tickets here.
How to get there:
By MRT: The closest MRT station is NTU Hospital Station, and is about a 5 minute walk from the museum. It is also about a ten minute walk from Taipei Main Station.
By car/scooter: Driving or taking a scooter there can be hard because there is limited paid parking nearby.
Looking for a hotel? Find out where to stay in our Taiwan hotels guide or search for the best hotels deals in Taiwan here.
The Taiwan Railway Museum (officially National Museum of Taiwan - Railway Department Park) is perhaps the best railway museum in Taiwan. It is built inside the old Railway Department of the Governor General of Taiwan and features multiple interactive exhibitions, thousands of artifacts, and a large miniature of Taipei's railway. It is definitely worth a visit on your next trip to Taipei.
The beginnings of railways in Taiwan began with Liu Ming Chuan, Governor of Taiwan during the Qing Dynasty in the 1800s. The current site where the museum lies was once an artillery factory. After Japan took control of Taiwan, it was converted into the Taipei Railway Factory and was mainly used to repair locomotives and cars.
After the ROC took control of Taiwan, they removed many of the buildings due to urban planning.
The factory used to include over 40 buildings, but after the destruction of most of the buildings due to the construction of Taiwan's MRT in 2005, only 10 buildings remain.
The main brick building that remains was once the Railway Department Office, which was used by subordinate railway officers. Other buildings that remain on the site include the cafeteria, the male washroom, the electrical room, the construction room, and the war command center. There are also remnants of the Artillery Factory used in the Qing Dynasty and the Taipei Railway Factory on the site.
The Railway Museum began planning for restoration in 2009, with work commencing in 2014. The Museum finally opened to the public in 2020.
For a deeper look into the history of this area, you can check outthis blog by Josh Ellis.
9:30 AM to 5 PM, closed Mondays.
How to get there:
By MRT: I recommend the MRT Beimen Station to get there.
By Car Scooter: You can try to visit by car or scooter but there is really nowhere to park or stop along the side of the road, but there is paid parking nearby.
Academia Sinica's Museum of History and Philology is one of the best museums in Taiwan. It has the largest collection of Chinese oracle bone remains in the world. It is also free, usually devoid of people, and has some of the most amazing ancient artifacts from Taiwan and China. It is like a mini National Palace Museum, and is worth a visit on your trip to Taipei.
The museum first began in 1933, just after the Institute of History and Philology was created in 1928 in Beijing. After 1949, the museum was moved to Taiwan as part of the ROC retreat to Taiwan. In 1965 the museum did merge with the National Palace Museum, and was reopened in 1986 when the museum building at Academia Sinica was completed. The building also underwent renovations from 1997-2002.
Much of the collection comes from when the institute was located in China, and includes thousands of pieces from prehistoric times, as well as the Shang, Chou, and Han Dynasties.
Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM
The museum is kept at a cool 20 degrees Celsius, so dress accordingly.
How to get there:
By car/scooter: There is paid car parking at Academia Sinica, and scooters must park outside.
By MRT/Bus: Take the blue MRT line to Nangang Exhibition Hall station, then transfer to any number of busses from exit 5 to Academia Sinica.
Please see below:
Guide to Toucheng 頭城懶人包
Toucheng Township in Yilan is known for its amazing beaches, but there is much more to do here, such as visit Lanyang Museum, visit Turtle Island, enjoy seafood, traditional fishing harbors, recreational farms, hiking, cycling, surfing lessons, and much more. Here is a short guide to Toucheng, to let you know the variety of activities that you can enjoy here.
Before Chinese settlers came, the area around Toucheng was inhabited by the Ketagalan Aboriginal tribe, whose language is now extinct.
The name Toucheng literally means "first town" in Chinese, because it was the first settlement in Yilan, settled in the late 1700s. With the nearby Wushih and Touwei Harbors around the same time, it became the economic focal point of Yilan. However in the late 1800s and early 1900s Wushih Harbor and Touwei Harbor silted in, reducing their function.
With the advent of the Japanese built Yilan railway line in the mid-1900's, as well as constant floods and continually silting of the harbors, Toucheng quickly lost its importance economically and fell into decay.
After residents of Turtle Island were relocated to Daxi in Toucheng, Daxi Harbor was expanded and has become one of the largest fishing harbors in the area.
Due to its close proximity to Taipei, Toucheng has become a major tourist area and may be the most popular surfing location in Taiwan.
How to get there:
By TRA: Take the TRA to any of the stations in Toucheng,
By Car: From Taipei, take National Freeway 5 to Toucheng. Be careful to note that on Sundays there are highway controls for cars travelling from Yilan to Taipei from 3 PM to 8 PM, so avoid travelling back to Taipei at that time to beat the traffic.
See below for a map of places that are covered in this blog:
Farglory U Museum 遠雄建築館暨文化館
The Farglory U Museum, aka Farglory Architecture and Culture Museum, is a architecture museum in Xizhi, New Taipei. The museum give a brief history of world architecture and also has play areas and reading areas for children. Overall it is a worthwhile visit for the family while you are at IFG Mall.
The Farglory U Museum is part of an exhibition space that is 250 pings on the fourth floor of the iFG mall. The museum was opened in 2015 and includes exhibition space and educational activities.
The museum also celebrates Farglory's founder Zhao Tung-Xiong and tells the history of the company's rise to become one of the largest corporate conglomerates in Taiwan.
10 AM to 6 PM, closed Mondays.
How to get there:
By car/scooter: From Taipei, take provincial highway 5 to the iFG mall in Xizhi. There is parking in the mall which is free if you buy something. The museum is on the fourth floor of the iFG Mall.
By train: The museum is within walking distance of Xike TRA station. The museum is on the fourth floor of the iFG Mall.
Please see below:
Cihu Lake (aka Cihu Mausoleum 慈湖陵寝, or Mausoleum of Late President Chiang) in Daxi District of Taoyuan is one of the most interesting parks in Taiwan. Much of the park is full of statues of a former dictator, Chiang Kai-shek. Also, Chiang Kai-shek's former residence and his mausoleum are on the site. It is definitely a unique place worth visiting.
People often don’t realize that Taoyuan has a lot to offer to tourists. Many of the places here aren’t represented as well in English as other sites in Taipei, which is why we want to help everyone realize what a great place it is.
Chiang Kai-shek's residence at Cihu lake was built in 1975, and it was known as his favorite residence because it reminded him of his home town in Fenghua, Zhejiang, China. When Mr. Chiang died, he requested that his body be kept in a sarcophagus at Cihu until Taiwan took back the Chinese mainland, at which time he could be buried again in his home town.
The area around the lake was controlled by the ROC army until 2007, when it was transferred to the Taoyuan City Government. The area was closed briefly in 2008 and then, at which time many statues of the former dictator were moved to a park nearby, under the direction of DPP president Chen Shui-bian. Later the park was reopened when KMT president Ma Ying-jiu won the election in 2008. In 2018 the mausoleum was vandalized with red paint, after which it was closed to the public.
As of 2017 there were 219 statues in the park, 190 of which are of Chiang Kai-shek, 27 of Sun Yat-sen, and 2 of Chiang Ching-kuo.
Seeing statues and visitors' center: Free
Back part of Cihu park: 100 NT per person
50 NT for cars
Hours: 9 AM - 4:45 PM
How to Get There:
By Car/Scooter: From Daxi, take provincial highway 7 east until you reach Cihu, it is hard to miss. There is a large paid parking lot near the park.
By Bus: From Taoyuan, take bus No. 116 or No. 7.
Please see below.
The Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park in Machia Township of Pingtung is a large area in southern Taiwan that has traditional aboriginal villages, museums, exhibitions, live performances, artwork, and indigenous cuisine, as well as amazing mountain scenery. If Taiwan's biggest tourism draw is indigenous culture, then this place is a must stop on your trip to Taiwan.
Taiwan Indigenous peoples have inhabited Taiwan for over 10,000 years. After Chinese and Japanese colonialism, they were pushed back mainly to the mountains. There are currently 16 officially recognized tribes, and a population of over 500,000 people, making about 2.5% of Taiwan's population.
The Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park was established in 1987, and is 82.65 hectares. It includes museums, live shows, and shops showcasing Taiwan Indigenous culture. The park is located in Machia Township of Pingtung, and is nearby Sandimen, a township also know for its indigenous culture.
How to Get There:
Bus: From Pingtung you can take bus 8232, 8337, or 8233 toward Sandimen but it is about a 20 minute walk from the bus stop.
By Car/scooter: From Pingtung City, take provincial highway 24 toward Sandimen and then turn on to Fengjing Lane. There is parking in front of the entrance.
150 NT per person
8:30 AM to 5 PM, closed Mondays.
Map: Please see below:
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.