One afternoon we decided to go to the National Palace Museum 國立故宮博物院. It was just a museum, so we thought it shouldn’t take long right? Well it turned out to be the biggest museum we had seen so far. Not only was the main museum so big we didn’t finish it, there was also a 2nd museum building (separate entry) just as big right next door!
Photography was not allowed inside, which was probably a good thing, given the number of tourists inside. And that we would have taken forever getting pictures of everything. There seemed to also be a lot of mainland tourists there, which was interesting. There were so many things to see, most impressive being some ceramic items with details and writings so small magnifying glasses were provided to view them with! All in all, it took us over 1hr to completely navigate just the first floor!
After a bit we decided to have a rest and visit the cafe that was on the top floor. It promised traditional Taiwanese cakes, and high quality Chinese teas. The place was very nicely decorated, comfortably lit, Luckily for us, there weren’t many other customers there, so we were able to get a nice seat looking out over the front courtyard of the museum.
The menu was amazing. There were so many teas listed there we had no idea where to start. The waiter wasn’t very useful, as we didn’t share enough vocab in English or Chinese to understand the finer details of each type of tea. In the end we just randomly chose something. If only we had a few more people we could have tried some more!
Well, the tea was nice, but that’s all I could tell about tea. I don’t have the training to tell about subtle differences in leaves. Maybe that’s a good thing, as some of these can cost hundreds of dollars! The desserts we had were a red bean thing, and a black sesame cake. The black sesame cake was similar to stuff you could get in Hong Kong, but the red bean one was quite nice. We wanted to try a few other things, but we didn’t have time and still had 2 floors of the museum to see.