Established in 1908, the National Taiwan Museum is the oldest museum in Taiwan. The museum’s main focus is in four areas of science:
- Earth sciences
The museum consists of three buildings, two of which are located close to the 228 Peace Park, with the third building a 15 minute walk (or 1 MRT stop) away.
The Main Building sits right on the edge of the park and is where all the newest and best temporary exhibitions are.
The most impressive of the three buildings, the main lobby area features Renaissance-style windows, huge columns and dome shaped roof.
There are four floors in the main building, although 1 or 2 are sometimes closed while they prepare for new exhibitions.
The lower floors are where you’ll find the temporary exhibitions, while the third floor has a permanent one.
When I visited, there was a very good exhibition on insect life and plants that featured a number of interactive exhibits which are ideal for children.
More recently, the National Museum of Australia lent the museum a collection of Aboriginal bark paintings.
The permanent exhibition on floor three focuses on the natural history of Taiwan.
Discovering Taiwan: Re-visiting the Age of Natural History and Naturalist of Taiwan, has exhibits on the most important naturalists during the early and mid 20th century, along with many of their findings.
Land Bank Exhibition Hall
The Land Bank Exhibition Hall is just across the road from the Main Building. Formally home to the state-owned Land Bank of Taiwan, it was later restored and renovated into the museum.
Although there are four floors, only the ground and first floor have exhibitions.
Both floors contain permanent exhibitions.
The first focuses on the history of the Land Bank building, from its origin as the Kangyo Bank during the Japanese colonial period to the establishment of the Land Bank after the war, and includes a section on the restoration of the building.
The large Evolution Hall contains an impressive dinosaur exhibition, featuring both real and artificial bones/skeletons, with many displays of fossils and bones.
The exhibition also includes fossils and stuffed animals from the periods before and after the dinosaurs.
The second floor of the hall also has a nice cafe with an outdoor terrace should you need to rest your legs for a while.
Located between the Main and Land Bank buildings within a transparent enclosed structure are two old Locomotives.
Used in the late 19th and early 20th century, the steam engines are two of the oldest examples left in Taiwan.
The third building is just one stop away south on the red line.
The Red House building was originally the camphor warehouse, while the Little White House was used as a warehouse to store the finished products.
The museum here focuses on the history of the camphor industry, and the medicinal products harnessed from the camphor.
The Red House building contains models of the factory and the equipment used.
Camphor was also used in the production of opium.
The site also has a courtyard area with what remains of the cistern, the wasted water generated from the manufacturing process that was used by the fire department. The white house building can be found next to this.
While I would only recommend visiting the Nanmen Park site if you have a particular interest in this industry, the buildings close to the park contain some great exhibitions, many of them child-friendly.
The National Taiwan Museum is one of the best places to visit for kids and adults alike. Why not visit this as part of a walking tour I’ve devised?
- Lots for kids
- Very cheap
- Impressive buildings
- Some floors in main building may be closed
Main and Land Bank Buildings (1 ticket for both):
Children aged between 6-12 years and senior citizens over 65 years can enter for half price at both.
Child under 6 years enter free of charge
Easycards are accepted
09:30 – 17:00
Closed on Mondays, Chinese New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year’s Day
Free guided tours in English and Southeast Asian languages every Sunday afternoon.
See here for a list of current exhibitions in the main building.
Main and Land Bank Buildings
Closest MRT: NTU Hospital Station (red line – exit 4)
To get to Nanmen Park, it’s a 15 minute walk or take red line from NTU Hospital Station (1 stop south)
Closest MRT: Chiang Kai-chek Memorial Hall Station (red line – exit 1)
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