Day 14 – Taipei – National Palace Museum

Got up this morning fairly late, and decided to use it to go visit the National Palace Museum. This supposedly was one of the top four museums in the world, so I guess it was hyped up a bit.

Took the bus over, nothing too interesting there.

Plain and simply, the museum was a huge bore. There were two exhibits worth seeing, one was a room full of artwork by this artist who did some interesting Asian styled contemporary paintings. His artwork would be on scrolls, and at the top of the scroll was usually some kind of scene with a sun and then as the painted went down it changed perspectives to look down on the scene, like in a bird’s eye view, and then at the bottom was an upside down landscape similar to the one on top but at night with a moon. It was interesting, though I liked his other works where he portrayed animals and scenes with extremely simplified strokes of a brush.

The other interesting exhibit was with a bunch of carved precious stones as jewelery. There was a famous vegetable carving, which was famous because the coloring matched the vegetable? It was kind of a lettuce, with a cricket on top.

Everything else in the museum was pottery or small trinkets or scriptures written by people ages ago. It might have been more interesting if any of it was in English, but rarely was there any sign that explained what something was in English. All together I did not think it was any better than most of the museums I’ve visited in the past. I left somewhat disappointed.

Went to a nearby cafe and had a small lunch. Then I wanted to go visit the garden because it looked quite beautiful from the palace steps, but when I went around to the entrance it said it was closed on Mondays. Unfortunately it was a Monday. Damn.

So I had the rest of the day left, and I went to the train station to figure out times to head down to Hualien. Saw a fish tank with a huge fish on one side and lots of little fish on the other side. That was a bit amusing. So figured out the right times but didn’t buy tickets because I was meanwhile trying to plan how I would spend the next few days with Tiffany, my old high school friend who coincidentally was going to be in the area.

And from what I can remember, there wasn’t much that happened the rest of that day. I went over to a hostel to see if there was a room available, and they didn’t have one, so I went to another and they did, and reserved a room for the night after this day’s.

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