The National Palace Museum features both permanent and temporary exhibitions displaying amazing collections of paintings, calligraphy, rare books, historical documents and Chinese bronzes.
The permanent collection features carvings from the Ming and Ding dynasties, a history of Chinese calligraphy, plus themed exhibitions on religion, furniture and exquisitely carved jade. The Special Exhibitions have recently featured works of digital art, the history of Chinese painting, paintings for animation, Western Court jewellery and the art of writing. Currently on exhibit are works by the artist Hua Yan with his “Album of the Sketches of Life”.
There is also a large children’s gallery geared towards the 7 to 12 age group, featuring an interactive exhibition area and a theatre that runs two 13-minute animations: “The National Treasure Maze” and “Adventures in the NPM”.
The museum is also served by three cafés. Most notably the Sanxitang Teahouse not only offers coffees, teas and snacks, but also a live “Guzheng” show to entertain its visitors between 1:30 and 3:30pm every Saturday and Sunday and also on public holidays. Free tours of the museum are available in English.
The museum also has a wonderful park, Zhishan Garden, based on Chinese garden design during the Sung and Ming dynasties, with a canal, ponds and three pavilions.
The museum is open daily from 8:30am until 6:30pm year round (Zhishan Garden is open every day from 7am to 7pm) and is easy to get to from central Taipei by taking the MRT Danshui Line to Shilin Station and then taking the R30 bus direct to the museum. There is also an hourly shuttle bus running from Jiannan Road Station on weekends and public holidays.