Welcome to Taiwan
Taiwan is called Treasure Island for its beautiful natural sights and abundant products. Currency is New Taiwan Dollar (TWD).
With a fluctuant landform and its characteristic landscapes, the island has become a highly popular destination and is especially renowned for its grand mountains. If you will visit just one of these mountains, you should make it Jade Mountain, which has the highest peak in the northeastern Asia. The second choice should be Mt. Yangming, which boasts of volcanic sights, natural valleys, waterfalls, hot springs and a lot of flower and plant varieties. It is the largest and most beautiful natural area, being one of the four famous parks in Taiwan.
Ali Mountain and Sun Moon Lake are the most noted scenic areas that are dreamed to go by all visitors willing to Taiwan. Ali Mountain is indeed the general name of eighteen hills, famous for its five rare sites including the Sunrise, Forest Railway, Sacred Tree, Grand Sea of Clouds and the Flamboyant Cheery Blossom. Getting its name for the resemblance as a rhombus-shaped sun in the north section and a crescent in the south, the Sun Moon Lake (Ri Yue Tan) is the largest natural lake in Taiwan, located between Jade Mountain and Ali Mountain.
Seashore sightseeing is an activity not to miss in Taiwan. Its west coastline is gently sloping and holds many fine bathing beaches. The surf and wind have eroded the seaboard bays and capes, wind has blasted rocks, and marine erosion has shaped the landform; together creating glamorous seashores for tourists' aesthetic enjoyment.
Additionally, various cultural relics enrich the sightseeing resources even further. National Palace Museum collects tens of thousands culture relics from the Palace Museum in Beijing, Shenyang Imperial Palace in Liaoning and Rehe Imperial Palace (today's Mountain Resort and Its Outlying Temples of Chengde) in Hebei.
Apart from the majestic mountains, green forests, bright sunshine, beautiful seacoast and splendid cultural and historical sites, you can also enjoy a modern Taiwan and its friendly people. Gaoshan ethnic group accounts for over 300,000 of Taiwan's total population and its nine tribes have their own features. Comfortable weather, convenient transportation and superior tourist facilities are also valuable chips for Taiwan's Tourism.
Below are the attractive places in Taiwan:
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), the National Palace Museum is located in the outskirts of Taipei City, Taiwan. Construction started in 1962 and the museum 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, the museum 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 museum 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 museum 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 museum 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 symbolisms 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.
1. No photographing in the Taipei National Palace Museum from June 1, 2005.
2. Please call or write in advance to make arrangements if you intend to visit the Chang Dai-ch'ien Memorial Residence.
Museum: TWD 160 (about CNY 35) for general audiences; TWD 120 (about CNY 30) for groups of 10 or more
Chih-shan Garden : TWD 20 (about CNY 5)
Chih-te Garden: Free
Museum: 9am-5pm; 5pm-8.30pm on Saturday (free of charge)
Chih-shan Garden : 7am-5pm from Tuesday to Sunday
Chih-te Garden: Daily
The Chang Dai-ch'ien Memorial Residence: 9am-4pm, closed on Monday and holidays (need to reserve a week ago)
Bus Routes 255, 304, 18, 19,101 to Palace Museum Station