Visiting National Taiwan Museum to kill time 台灣博物館

LivingUKTaiwan @livinguktaiwanJuly 2019 · 4 min read

Its' not often I go to Taipei, the last time was a year ago. The other month I was in Taipei again, I had a spare afternoon and was looking for somewhere to kill time. I decided on the National Taiwan Museum for no reason other than it was a beautiful building.

The National Taiwan Museum was established by the Japanese colonial government, and this building opened in 1915. The corinthian pillars in the front of the building reminded me of the Federal Hall on Wall Street. Perhaps the sight of the bull at the main entrance reinforced this thought.

The Atrium

I was quite taken back when I stepped inside. For a moment I thought I was in a building in Europe somewhere. There was a stained glass dome ceiling window in the center of the building flanked by 32 pillars. Each of these pillars were 32 feet tall and 2ft 7 inch thick. Some of these pillars were round and others were square, but they were all of the same design.

It was an impressive sight to say the least, especially when I was on the ground floor looking up towards the three storey building. I was quite in awe of all this and I walked around quite a few times on both the second and third floor before I moved onto the exhibits. In turned out I didn't need to walk to kill time because the walk in itself was worth doing.

Discovering Taiwan

This is the main permanent exhibition and there are three parts to it. The Path to Discovery is the first part, then there is Taiwan's New Scope, and finally The Past is the Future. The exhibition focuses on the works of two Japanese naturalists from the early 20th century when Japan was colonized by Japan. It was like a walk through the time, looking at how the naturalists discovered the many facets of Taiwan and looking at what the past means for present oe the future.

Exhibition of Love

Taiwan is located in a tropical climate and have a rich diversity of plants and insects. All this dates back to as far as when the island was first discovered. The Exhibition of Love is "A Romance between Plants and Insects". It explores the relationship between plants and insects, and how they have evolved over the years.

This is the centre piece of the exhibition. There are a few stations surrounding the circular floral display. Each station plays a different video clip. You watch they clip through the viewer and the sound comes through the headset. The clips are actually cartoon games which involves some simple tasks controlled by the buttons on the frame. The one I played was about a bee flying around some plants. I had to click a button to make it landed safely on the plant. It was a simple game, and great for kids.


History can be found beneath the sea as well as on land. "The Exquisite Beauty under the Sea" looks at the marine microfosssils found around Taiwan. These microfossil are not only beautiful when magnified, they also help to determine the age of many of the rock formations. This provides an extremely useful insight into the geological landscape of the Taiwan. This was without a doubt, my favourite part of the whole museum.

Kill Time or not?

My original intention to the museum was to kill time, and to get away from the summer heat. Turns out it was a good decision as the musuem genuinely provided a lot of interesting things to see during those few hours.

之前兩個月到台北一天遊,下午閒聊沒事做, 去了台灣博物館參觀 。 台博館外面有幾支巨大羅馬柱, 再加上大門口一頭銅做的牛,讓我想起美國華爾街的聯邦國家紀念堂。 博物館樓高3層, 屋頂有一個圓形玻璃天窗。而 大堂四周設有32支羅馬式石柱,從樓下伸延到 3樓。 這樣華麗的歐式建築,我在台灣沒見過。當堂彷如回到歐洲的感覺。

台灣博物館現在有三個展覽。第一個名為《發現台灣》。 展品是日治時期幾位著名的日本博學家當年在台灣各地收集的物品。 第二個展覽名為《愛戀戀奏曲》是探討昆蟲與植物在台灣這個熱帶地區共處的關係。 最後,亦是我最喜歡的展覽是《微妙幻境》。 海底裏的微化石可以讓我們認識一個地方的歷史, 這方面會較少人留意到 。 在日治時期已有地質調查工作者走遍整個台灣 。他們當年的研究及考察,就有助我們 從另一個角度多了解台灣。


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This seems to be a very interesting exhibition. During my stay in Taiwan last October I was at the National Palace Museum, which is also worth a visit.


Yes, I went to the National Palace Museum previously, a must if you're visiting, like you must go to the British Museum if you're in London. It's probably the best thing the KMT did when they came over to Taiwan, bringing them over. Otherwise many of those items would have probably been destroyed by the communist.




這個真的很不錯, 想不到建築這樣美。


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What a beautiful building and the museum exhibition looks thoroughly fascinating too. You learnt a lot and thanks for sharing with us! Time very well spent I'd say 😁


Waiting for you plan a trip to Taiwan Nicky!!! You forgot about us this time!!!


Aha I didn't forget, just delayed the visit 😁 well now I have a new job starting on Monday, I will be able to afford some travelling again in 2020 so will have to see how it goes but you'll be the first person I reach out to when I plan on Taiwan 😀


I'm not a fan of museums because I prefer outdoor adventures, but this one looks different than anything I've seen before, and I love that! :)