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0 Restaurant Review: San-hsi-tang (三希堂), National Palace Museum Taipei

28 Mar 2015 | 07:57:00

Taipei . 2015 . Jan 17


This post is part of our Taipei Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.

At the top floor of the National Palace Museum is a teahouse restaurant called San-hsi-tang (三希堂), named after Emperor Qianlong’s private studio where he kept his most precious calligraphic scrolls.

     
If you manage to snag one of those coveted seats by the windows, you will be able to enjoy panoramic views of the surroundings.


The menu at San Xi Tang was largely uninteresting, and if not for the fact that we were dead tired after a day of shopping and walking in the museum, we would have gone elsewhere for a better meal!


Glutinous rice and porridge.  At least the porriadge tasted not too bad, although I am sure we could get much better things for cheaper outside.

Final Verdict

San-hsi-tang (三希堂) is a good place to rest your tired body and feet when you are at the National Palace Museum. Food is so-so though although the environment is quite pleasant.

This post is part of our Taipei Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.


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0 National Palace Museum (故宫博物院), Taipei

25 Mar 2015 | 06:30:00

Taipei . 2015 . Jan 17


This post is part of our Taipei Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.

It was already mid-day when we left Little Three (小三美日) to go to the National Palace Museum (故宫博物院).  Fortunately, the metro station that we were headed for (Shilin Station 士林捷運站) was on the same Red Line (Tamsui-Xinyi Line 淡水信義線) as Dong Men station (東門捷運站).


At Shilin Station (士林捷運站).  This metro station may be called Shilin Station (士林捷運站), but it is not the nearest metro station to get to Shilin Night Market (士林夜市).  To get to Shilin Night Market (士林夜市), the nearest station is Jian Tan station (劍潭) on the same line (Red Line).


At the control station at Shilin Station (士林捷運站).  The staff must have gotten so tired of answering every tourist’s questions about getting to the National Palace Museum (故宫博物院) that they pasted this at their office.


The official directions to the National Palace Museum (故宫博物院):  Exit Shilin Station (士林捷運站) from Exit 1, and take one of the following buses - Red 30, 304, 255, or 815.

Leaving Shilin Station (士林捷運站) from Exit 1.


Lots of shops, small cafes and restaurants lining both sides of Exit 1.  Continue to walk ahead and turn right (i think so, right?) where there is an crowded outdoor bus stop where it seemed that everyone wanted to go to the National Palace Museum.  All the buses  (Red 30, 304, 255, or 815) that goes from Shilin Station (士林捷運站) to the National Palace Museum (故宫博物院) makes a stop at this bus stop.


We took the Red 30 to the Museum because it was the first to arrive.  According to the super-friendly bus driver who insists on giving a loud commentary to a super-packed bus, the Red 30 is the only bus from Shilin Station (士林捷運站) that stops directly outside the ticketing office and entrance to the National Palace Museum (故宫博物院).

At the National Palace Museum (故宫博物院) stop.


Looking down at the lower entrance to the National Palace Museum (故宫博物院), where the other buses stop at. Lucky us! We need not climb that slope up!


We came into a packed podium at the National Palace Museum.  Loads of tour buses bringing truckloads of other tourists from Korea and China.


Bought our tickets and tried to enter the National Palace Museum, but we were stopped and asked to deposit our bags and cameras at the free lockers. Might as well, because the shopping I did at Little Three (小三美日) was starting to weigh me down.


The horrendous queues for group entrances.  Fortunately I do not belong to tour groups.


I didn’t realize that photography was not allowed in the National Palace Museum (故宫博物院) and snapped a few before Tommy stopped me.  This is a replica of a typical living quarters in the Qing Dynasty.

 
The National Palace Museum carries the imperial collections started by the emperors of the various dynasty in China and continued until the last emperor Pu Yi was forced from the Forbidden City in China. Following the World War and the civil unrest that followed after that, the cream of these treasures were relocated from China to Taiwan as a means of safe-keeping it.  It has remained in Taiwan since then.

It will take hours to scour through the entire Museum, but these two exhibits count towards the most famous exhibits that the National Palace Museum houses and should never be missed:

Jadite Cabbage

This cabbage (or Bok Choy as the Chinese call it), is carved out of jade and is only 18.7cm long!  It dates back to the Qing dynasty, meaning that this exquisite workmanship was in existence almost 300 years back. When we visited the National Palace Museum almost a decade ago, renovations at the museum was on-going.  This piece of gem was still on display despite the renovations but no one wanted to see it, so we could loiter around and stare all we wanted.  Fast forward to 2015 - this Jadite Cabbage was on display, but tourists have to queue outside the exhibition hall for a chance to march pass the exhibit at a walking pace - cannot stop and scrutinise.  There are two grasshoppers camouflaged in the leaves of the cabbage - how to see them if we cannot stop for a while!

Meat-shaped Stone

Carved out of a natural jasper stone, this gem of the National Palace Museum is often displayed together with the Jadeite Cabbage. Also crafted during the Qing dynasty, this piece of Dong Po’ meat looks just like the real deal.

 
After lunch at the teahouse/restaurant San Xi Tang (三希堂) within the museum, we explored the compound outside National Palace Museum.


At the souvenir shop of the National Palace Museum.  We could not take photos of the real jadeite cabbage and the meat-shaped stone because photography was not allowed in the National Palace Museum.  So I snapped the replicas of them sold at the souvenir shop, before the shop assistant snapped at me that photography was not allowed in the souvenir shop either.  Seriously! What’s the use of a camera if I can’t use it!


The National Palace Museum is ranked as one of the most visited museums in the world.  If you plan on visiting the National Palace Museum, budget plenty of time to wonder around this huge place.  It would be best if you could be there in the early morning when the Museum opens to avoid the crowds from tour buses.  If you visit in the afternoon like we did, chances are that a steady stream of tour guides and the tourists they bring will be perpetually plastered around the famous exhibits.

National Palace Museum
No.221, Sec. 2, Zhishan Rd.,
Shilin Dist.,
Taipei City 11143,
Taiwan (R.O.C.)

http://www.npm.gov.tw/en/


This post is part of our Taipei Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.


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0 Taipei 5 Days 4 Nights Trip Report and Itinerary (Updated)

24 Mar 2015 | 20:36:00

Taipei . 2015 . Jan 17 - 21

The last time we went to Taipei - It was almost 10 years ago!
We have been wanting to go back to Taipei again to visit some of the places that we missed out (e.g. Hualien, Jiufen Old Street, Beitou Hot Springs etc).

The opportunity came when Scoot was having a promotion. Without any hesitation, we booked our tickets 6 weeks before departure and here we go! :)

Here's our itinerary and as usual, the links will be clickable as we update our reviews. Do stay tuned.

Last Updated: 24 March 2015

Day 1 - Sat (Jan 17)

2230 - Check in Flight (16 Jan Night)
2300 - Supper @ SATS Premier Lounge
0055 - Board Flight Scoot TZ 202 to Taipei
0530 - Arrive at 桃園國際機場 Terminal 1
0615 - Board Kuo Kwang (國光客運) 1819 Bus to Taipei Train Station
0730 - Reach Taipei Train Station (台北火車站)
0745 - Check-in CityInn Hotel Taipei Station Branch III (新驛旅店)
0800 - Metro to Dongmen Station (東門捷運站)
0900 - Breakfast @ Ding Tai Fung (鼎泰豐)
1000 - Mango Desert @ Smoothie House (永康街思慕昔)
1130 - Visit Little Three (小三美日)
1300 - Metro to Shilin Station (士林捷運站)
1330 - Bus RED 30 to National Palace Museum (国立故宫博物院)
1400 - Visit National Palace Museum
1600 - Tea Break @ Museum
1700 - Bus RED 30 to Jiantan Station (劍潭站)
1730 - MRT to Taipei Train Station
2030 - Back to Hotel

Day 2 - Sun (Jan 18)

0630 Rise and shine
0700 Check out City Inn III
0740 Board Puyuma (普悠瑪號) 408 Train to Hualien
0830 Breakfast on Train
0939 Cab Pick up at Hualien Train Station (花蓮車站)
0950        Check in Hotel Bayview Hualien (七星潭渡假飯店)
1000 Taroko Gorge (太魯閣國家公園) 1 Day Tour
1300 Lunch
1700 Drop off for Dinner @ Hualien City
1830        Visit Zi Qiang Night Market (自强夜市)
2100 Cab Back to Hotel

Day 3 - Mon (Jan 19)

0715 Rise and shine
0730 Breakfast @ Hotel
0810 Transfer to Hualien Railway Station
0845 Board Puyuma 211 Train to Taipei Main Station
1050 Reach Taipei Main Station
1100 Check-in Cosmos Hotel (台北天成大飯店)
1130 Metro to Beitou Station (北投站)
1200 Reach Beitou
1230 Complimentary Shuttle to Grand View Resort Beitou (北投麗禧溫泉酒店)
1300 Enjoy Hotspring
1500 Metro to Taipei Main Station
1530 Metro to Taipei 101 Station (台北101站)
1600 Shopping at Taipei 101
1800        Dinner @ Shin Yeh (欣葉101食藝軒)
1930        Metro to Zhongxiao Fuxing (忠孝复兴站)
2000        Shopping
2200 Back to Hotel

Day 4 - Tue (Jan 20)

0730 Rise and shine
0800 Breakfast @ Hotel
0900 Tze-Chiang Limited Express (自強號) 416 to Ruifang
0935 Reach Ruifang Train Station (瑞芳火車站)
0945 Cab from Ruifang to Jiufen Old Street (九份老街)
1000 Walk around Jiufen
1115 Cab back to Ruifang
1205 Train 4722 from Ruifang (瑞芳) to Pingxi (平溪)
1300 Visit 平溪
1523 Train 4727 from 平溪 to Shifen (十分)
1535 Visit Shifen Waterfalls
1700 Release Sky lanterns
1753 Train 4733 from 十分 to 瑞芳
1829 Reach 瑞芳
1905 Chu-Kuang Express (莒光號) 527 to Taipei Train Station
1955 Reach Taipei Station
2100 Back to Hotel

Day 5 - Wed (Jan 21)

0800 Rise and shine
0830 Breakfast @ Hotel
0900 Free and Easy
1200 High Speed Rail Train 649 from Taipei Main Station to Taoyuan Station
1219 Reach Taoyuan HSR Station
1230 Ubus 705 to Taoyuan Intl Airport Terminal 1
1245 Check in Flight
1330 Lunch @ Airport
1545 Board Flight TZ 201 to Singapore
2015 Reach Singapore


We hope our itinerary do help you in your planning for a quick getaway trip to Taipei. Do share with us if you have any comments on the itinerary! :) 




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Do check out our Flickr photos & Youtube videos too!
 
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