Things to Do in Taipei - page 3
Recognized as the first museum in Taipei, the Museum of Contemporary Art is housed in the former City Hall and displays work from local and international artists. No permanent exhibitions exist in this Mecca for modern art (which, ironically, is stationed in an outdated building), so travelers’ experience hinges on collections displayed at any given time. MOCA, as it’s referred to by locals, offers free Wi-Fi, so visitors can use phones for free guided audio tours. A popular café connected to the museum is a perfect spot for grabbing an afternoon snack before heading back out on the town.
This unique museum in the heart of the Zhongshan District displays classic Taiwanese paper and artifacts that embody the history and culture of the city. Opened in 1995, Suho Memorial Paper Museum offers travelers an up-close experience using local guides to explain and demonstrate the art of papermaking. From old-world crafting tables to giant hand-woven banners, visitors to this four-floor wonderland can learn about different types of paper, a variety of paper production
methods, and even participate in do-it-yourself projects under the guidance of expert artisans.
Taipei Expo Park is an urban oasis that was once home to the 2010 Taipei International Flora Expo. Today, the popular park continues to hosts dozens of events in ground pavilions, and while the official floral show may be over, visitors can still catch a glimpse of the beauty once housed here. Flowering plants and shrubs, as well as a three-dimensional green wall, flower walls and special exhibition areas with rare flowers, plants and fruit trees are all open to explore.
Brightly colored glass art decorates the halls of this well-visited museum that showcases the history of glassblowing in both China and the western world. Visitors can wander two levels of displays and watch as local artisans demonstrate the craft of glassmaking—rolling glowing orbs over flickering flames and burning hot medal rods. Demonstrations are held daily and curious patrons can attempt techniques in popular glass-making classes.
Located in the southwest corner of the Guandu Plain in Taipei Basin, Guandu Nature Park offers travelers a chance to escape the energy of the city and relax in the scenic wonder of the Keelung and Tamsui rivers. Calming freshwater ponds, brilliant green rice paddies and quiet wooded trails make this reserve a destination for visitors in search of rare birds and unique wildlife.
Explore the local nature center, which houses a research center, observation deck and exhibition center. Then wander to the riverside biological area, where aquatic plants and wetland creatures are on display.
The Guangxing Paper Mill, the only manufacturer in Taiwan still producing handmade paper, is a family-friendly attraction that provides a hands-on cultural experience. Located in the heart of Puli, a town close to Sun Moon Lake, the mill offers tours and a chance to create paper souvenirs, such as hand fans and lanterns.
Located in Dazhi in the Zhongshan district of Taipei, the Miramar Entertainment Park is a gigantic shopping mall. The most distinguishing feature of this huge complex is the giant Ferris wheel that sits on its roof. The mall is also home to an IMAX theatre, featuring what is said to be the largest movie screen in Asia.
With its movie theaters, restaurants, and the usual fashion outlets you’d expect from a shopping mall of this scale, the Miramar Entertainment Park is a popular spot for both locals and international visitors to spend some time (and money!).
It is of course the giant Ferris wheel on its rooftop that has made this shopping complex a Taipei landmark though. With 48 carriages carrying up to 288 passengers at any one time, a spin on the wheel here provides some stunning views of the cityscape. The wheel even illuminates with an impressive neon-light show come nightfall.
Zhongshan Hall is a historical building with a blend of modern and classical architecture located in Taipei’s Ximending neighborhood. This four-story building was built in 1936 for the coronation of Emperor Hirohito and originally served as the Taipei City public hall. It was also where the Japanese surrender ceremony was held at the end of World War II.
These days, Zhongshan Hall is mainly used for performances, but visitors are able to go inside and explore. One of the hall’s most famous features is the sculpture, Water Buffalo – the last work created by Huang Tu-Shui, a celebrated Taiwanese sculptor. The piece depicts a southern scene featuring buffalos and cattle-herding children. At two meters high and more than five meters wide, this huge work of art was presented to Zhongshan Hall by the sculptor’s wife following his death, and is now located in front of Guangfu Auditorium for visitors to enjoy.
A popular way to visit the many sights in this part of Taipei is on a private, full-day walking tour. To fully experience all that Taipei has to offer, treat yourself to a full-day private custom tour of the city, where you can pick and choose which sights you’d like to see.
Explore exhibits related to the ocean, marine life, and marine science at the National Museum of Marine Science & Technology in Taiwan. Housed in a former power plant near Keelung, the museum focuses on the importance of oceans and sustainable development via exhibitions, films, and educational programs.
See-Join Puppet Theater Restaurant continues the tradition of a type of hand-puppetry that originated in Fujian, China hundreds of years ago. The independent venue invites you to watch a performance or engage in hands-on puppetry demonstrations. Classic Taiwanese fare is also served.
More Things to Do in Taipei
Taipei’s Jianguo Holiday Flower and Jade Market is a massive and popular market open only on weekends and public holidays. Stretching for nearly 0.62 miles (1 kilometer), hundreds of vendors and stalls offer an incredible array of plants and flowers at the flower market, and jade and other gemstones at the jade market.
One of Taipei’s most distinctive destinations, the Miniatures Museum of Taiwan was founded in 1997, and is the first collection of its kind in Asia. Established by Lin Wen-jen and Lin Chin-mei—two impassioned collectors—it features dozens of miniature creations of phenomenal detail and complexity, and is aimed at both kids and adults.
Established in 1908, the National Taiwan Museum is the oldest museum in Taiwan. Learn about Taiwan’s heritage, culture, and development through the museum’s expansive collections and exhibitions covering the geology, history, anthropology, culture, botany, and zoology of Taiwan and Southern China.
One of Taipei’s newer museums -- established in 1994 -- the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines is also the most uniquely Taiwanese. The museum’s collection focuses exclusively on artifacts from Taiwan’s 14 recognized indigenous tribes, remnants of cultures that have largely been subsumed by the Han Chinese.
Taiwan’s first residents began arriving on the island more than 6,000 years ago, and the tastefully presented exhibits at the museum offer a look at the daily lives of these aboriginal peoples by showcasing household objects, clothing, jewelry and religious artifacts. Notable pieces include a Yami wooden boat that originally took three years to build from various types of wood, a collection of valuable Paiwan pottery and a series of Yami weapons once used to exorcise evil spirits.
Learn about the history and culture of Taiwan through an entertaining evening filled with spectacular performances at TaipeiEYE, Taipei’s most popular stage show for visitors. Acts range from traditional Chinese and Taiwanese opera to folklore and puppet theater, combined with a thrilling mix of dance, acrobatics, and martial arts.
Tung trees, characterized by clusters of white blossoms that emerge in late spring, were once widely cultivated by the Hakka ethnic group throughout Taiwan. The blossom has since become a cultural symbol of the Hakka and each spring, people from around the country come to see the trees in bloom along the Tucheng Tung Blossom Trail.
Established in 1896 during the Japanese colonial period, Taipei Botanical Garden display more than 2,000 species of plants throughout 17 garden districts on 20 acres (8.2 hectares). Paths take visitors past nine ponds and through two buildings—the Herbarium and Museum of Imperial Envoy Lodging—that are registered historic sites.
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