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Since the trial operation of the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum began, the daily free admission of 1,000 visitors has increased to 1,750 visitors. The number was even bumped up to 5,000 visitors during spring break...

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Translated by Olivia Yang

Since the trial operation of the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum began, the daily free admission of 1,000 visitors has increased to 1,750 visitors. The number was even bumped up to 5,000 visitors during spring break, and reservation tickets were still sold out within seconds. The museum states that Taiwanese visitors can still visit the branch for free during the trial operation until March 31, and reminds visitors to make online reservations to prevent having to wait at the scene. To benefit locals, Yulin, Chiayi and Tainan citizens can enjoy free admission until June 30 with their IDs.

More exhibitions at Asia’s first arts and cultural museum coming soon

The National Palace Museum is famous for its classic collection of Chinese artifacts, collecting a thousand years of royal essence, including artifacts, books, paintings, documents, other artifacts and so on, which are all cultural treasures that receive international attention. The southern branch is the first large national museum in Asia that uses arts and culture as a theme combined with the local Taiwan culture. It expects to bring more tourists to Taiwan and other related effects. The museum is currently working with museums such as The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka, Tokyo National Museum, Mukden Palace in Shenyang, to borrow exhibitions and hold feedback exhibitions, so there will be more exhibitions at the museum in the future.

Locals are all happy to see the southern branch of the museum established in Chiayi and say that now they don’t have to travel up north to visit the National Palace Museum. The exhibitions not only attract many visitors, the architecture of the southern branch has also become a major highlight for tourists. For example, the concept of the museum architecture uses three techniques in Chinese calligraphy (濃墨、飛白、渲染), which symbolizes the Asian culture combined of Chinese, Indian and Persian. In addition, the design of the bridge and surrounding designs are all based on green architecture. The Chiayi government also says it will continue to work with travel agencies to hold promotion events in hopes of boosting the local travel economy.

The surroundings of Chiayi, such as Alishan and other natural attractions, are also well known internationally, and the southern branch of the National Palace Museum adds global perspectives and cultural colors to the area. Many hotels have also seen tourist opportunities and started opening up in the area. Forte Hotel Vice General Manager Michael Hsueh says that the number of international tourists have indeed been increasing in recent years. He says that more and more Japanese and Korean tourists have been visiting the island in recent years, especially young people and backpackers. There have also been more Chinese backpackers. We noticed this trend, so other than starred hotels, the company has been investing in business hotels and hostels that have lower prices. The amount of backpackers on weekdays almost takes up 80% of the total amount of visitors. Hsueh states that hotels now emphasize more on the design and aesthetics of the interior and also invest in the re-training of employees. This is all to strengthen soft power and pave the way to the international market.

Photo Credit: CheWei ChangCC BY-ND 2.0

Beautiful mountain scenery and rich natural resources

The Chiayi area includes Alishan and Fenchihu (奮起湖) and so on, turning the rich natural resources into highlights that attract international tourists. Alishan’s famous mountain scenery and rich ecology changes jam up the traffic surrounding the attractions during busy traveling seasons. The “Jimmy Starry Night Fairy Tale Cabin” (幾米星空童話小木屋) near Fenchihu (奮起湖) was left from the scenes of the movie, “Starry Night." The dreamy and romantic atmosphere of the cabin has attracted many young people to take photos. The local cuisine is also something you can’t miss out on; the flavor of chicken rice lingers in your mouth and souvenirs with local tastes are the favorites of tourists.

Photo Credit: Aliang68CC BY-SA 2.0

To avoid crowds, those who haven’t visited the southern branch of the National Palace Museum should grasp the last chance to make an online appointment. You can also plan a short trip to Chiayi and fully experience the beauty of mountains in Taiwan. You will not only recharge your soul, but also your senses. Because accommodations are usually full over the weekend, citizens are recommended to avoid popular vacations or to make reservations in advance.

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