Entertainment in Taipei


Theatre, Opera, Museum in Taipei


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Tourist Office

Taipei City Government has 11 visitor information centres in Taipei. The services are tailored to the are in which they are located. Centres, can offer maps, access and print online tourism information, and recommend scenic sites, dining, accommodations, transportation and more.

1. East Metro Mall
Address: Room 4-2, B1F, No.77, Sec. 1, Da-an Rd., Da-an District, Taipei City 106, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
TEL: 886-2-6638-0059
Open Hours: Mon-Fri 11:00-20:00; Sat-Sun 11:00-21:00

2. Miramar Entertainment
Address: No.20, Jingye 3rd Rd., Zhongshan District, Taipei City 104, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
TEL: 886-2-8501-2762
Open Hours: Mon-Sun 11:00-21:00

3. MRT Beitou Station
Address: No.1, Guangming Rd., Beitou District, Taipei City 112, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
TEL: 886-2-2894-6923
Open Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00-18:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-18:00

4. MRT Ximen Station
Address: B1F., No.32-1, Baoqing Rd., Zhongzheng District, Taipei City 100, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
TEL: 886-2-2375-3096
Open Hours: Mon-Fri 14:00-20:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-18:00

5. MRT Jiantan Station
Address: No.65, Sec. 5, Zhongshan N. Rd., Shilin District, Taipei City 111, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
TEL: 886-2-2883-0313
Open Hours: Mon-Fri 14:00-20:00; Sat-Sun 11:00-21:00

6. Yangming Park
Address: No.26, Sec. 2, Hushan Rd., Beitou District, Taipei City 112, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
TEL: 886-2-2861-8975
Open Hours: Mon-Sun 09:00-17:00

7. Taipei Main Station
Address: No.3, Beiping W. Rd., Zhongzheng District, Taipei City 100, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
TEL: 886-2-2312-3256
Open Hours: Mon-Sun 8:00-20:00

8. Gongguan
Address: No.1, Siyuan St., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City 100, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
TEL: 886-2-2364 -8618
Open Hours: Every May-Sep Tue-Sun 11:00-20:00; Sep- April Tue-Sun 11:00-18:00

9. Plum Garden
Address: No.6, Zhongshan Rd., Beitou Dist., Taipei City 112, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
TEL: 886-2-2897-2647
Open Hours: Tue-Sun 09:00-17:00 (Closed Mondays)

10. Gondola Taipei Zoo Station
Address: No.2, Ln. 10, Sec. 2, Xinguang Rd., Wenshan Dist., Taipei City 116, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
TEL: 886-2-8661-7627
Open Hours: Tue-Fri 09:00-21:00; Sat-Sun 08:30-21:00 (Closed Mondays)

11. Gondola Maokong Station
Address: No.35, Ln. 38, Sec. 3, Zhinan Rd., Wenshan Dist., Taipei City 116, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
TEL: 886-2-2937-8563
Open Hours: Tue-Fri 09:00-18:00; Sat-Sun 08:30-20:00 (Closed Mondays)

For a downloadable audio tour around the city, go to http://audioguide.taipeitravel.net/en-main.asp.

Theatre

The National Theatre and Concert Hall are the principal cultural performance sites. The two stand in Liberty Square and offer a varied series of events.

The historic Zhongshan Hall originally functioning as the Taipei City Hall. Located at Ximen, it was built over a period of four years by the Japanese colonial government.

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101, is a historic centre and offers traditionally performances.

Taipei Performing Arts Center will be the newest addition to Taipei's theatre scene. Set to open in 2013, it is an innovative design and will stand near the Shilin Night Market. To decide the design, there was an international design competition with a winner chosen in 2009.

Located in the Ximending area, the Red House T heater was built in 1908 during Japanese occupation. The Japanese architect Kondo Juro originally designed it as a market building.

Museum

The National Palace Museum
This art gallery and museum is centred on ancient Chinese artefacts. Named after the Palace Museum in Beijing, it is the product of a collection that was divided between the two museums in the 1940s as a result of the Chinese Civil War. Since that time, it has gained a more international collection and is currently the world's largest collections of artefacts from ancient China.
MRT station: Shilin (frequent buses head from Shilin to Palace Museum. Displays on the buses are written in English).

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Established in 1983, the building that houses the collection used to be the site of city government. It is Taipei's first modern art museum. Most of the 3,000 artwork's were done by Taiwanese artists.
Address: 181 Zhongshan North Rd, Sec. 3

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei
Established in 2001, this art museum in an old Taipei City government building.
MRT Station: Danshui line) [23]. Open Tues-Sun 9:30AM-5PM. Adult admission NT$30, concessions NT$15. The museum displays work of local and international artists.

Taipei Story House
This museum is on the same plot of land as the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. Originally a tea merchant's house, it has been converted into a space for telling the story of Taipei and tea. The patio serves as a tea garden, which offers views over the Danshui River.
Tel: +886 2 2596-1898
Open Hours: 9AM-6PM
Admission: NT$30

The National Taiwan Museum
This is the oldest museum in Taiwan. Established by the colonial government of Japan on October 24, 1908, the museum now has a collection of over 10,000 items.
Address: 2 Xiangyang Rd
Tel: +886 2 2382 2699
MRT station: National Taiwan University Hospital on the Danshui line

National Museum Of History
Within the Taipei Botanical Garden, this museum houses Tang dynasty tri-color pottery and Shang dynasty bronzes.
Address: 49 Nanhai Rd
Tel: +886 2 2361 0270
Open: Tues-Sat 10AM-6PM, closed Mon
Admission: NT$20

Hua Shan Cultural and Creative Industry Center
This museum is a former brewery that has been transformed into a creative space. There are both exhibitions and theater performances. There is also a cafe with outdoor seating.
Address: 1 Bade Road, Sec 1

The Museum of Contemporary Art
Taiwan's first art space dedicated to contemporary work. The former Taipei City Hall is a red brick building.
Address: 39 Changan West Rd
MRT station: Zhongshan (on Danshui line) Open Tues-Sun, 10AM-6PM. Admission NT$50.

Taipei Artist Village
This village provides residency programs for Taiwanese artists and others from around the world. There is gallery and studio space for artists. The space is open during normal weekly business hours and you are free to roam around the village.
Address: near Shandao Temple Station, Exit No. 1, walk to Tian Jin St. and turn right to Beiping E. Road.

Miniatures Museum of Taiwan
This is a small museum that highlights the work of minute models. There is a 40 bulb chandelier, which is the size of grain of rice.
Address: B1, 96 Jianguo North Rd, Sec. 1.
Tel: +886 2 2515-0583
Open: Tues-Sun 10AM-6PM
Admission: Adults NT$180, concessions NT$150, children NT$100.

Su Ho Memorial Paper Museum
Founded by Su Ho Chen, one of Taiwan's last masters of paper making. There are exhibits about paper and it is also possible to make your own paper.
Address: 68 Changan East Rd, Sec. 2
Tel: +886 2 2507-5539
Open: Mon-Sat 9:30AM-4:30PM (Closed Sun and Spring Festival)
Admission: NT$100, NT$180 with paper making

Discover Center Of Taipei
Just inside the main entrance of Taipei City Hall, The museum features exhibitions on Taipei's natural history and cultural heritage, as well as interactive installations that invite visitors to explore Taipei's future development. Visitors will come away from the museum with a wider appreciation of Taipei.
Address: 1 Shifu Rd
Tel: +886 2 2757-4547
Open: Tues-Sun 9AM-5PM
Admission: Free

Beitou Hot Spring Museum
Built in 1913 by the Japanese, this is Taiwan's first public bathhouse and it was once the biggest in East Asia.

Sightseeing

Taipei 101 was world's tallest building at 449 meters (1,473 feet) when it opened in 2004. The 101-floor landmark skyscraper was designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture is a marvel, built to withstand typhoon winds and earthquake tremors. The building lost the title of the tallest completed skyscraper in the world to Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE.
Taipei 101 also once set records for ascending elevator speed. The 89th-floor observation deck could be reached in a mere 37 seconds. The cost is NT$400 for adults, NT$370 for kids under 12. It is open 10am - 10pm daily.
A large mall is located at the base of the tower. The stores are standard, but the design is innovative and spacious.
There is also a New Year's Eve fireworks display is a standard of the festivities.

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument erected in memory of Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China. The exhibits display revolutionary events of the national founding fathers at the end of the Qing Dynasty and the nation's flag is raised every morning. Downstairs, there is a museum of Chiang's life. The memorial features a large bronze statue of Chiang Kai-shek, watched over by two motionless honour guards who are replaced every hour in a rifle twirling ceremony. The memorial is surrounded by a park and large square, the area includes the National Concert Hall and National Theater.

The Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall is constructed in the memory of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, another founding father of the Republic of China. Constructed in 1965 in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of Sun Yat-sen's birth. The memorial covers an area of 115,500 sq. meters. On the inside, there is a 19-foot bronze statue of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, watched over by military honour guards. There is also a library with 1.4 millions books. The Memorial Hall has become more if a community centre, and is much less touristy than the larger Chiang Kai-shek Memorial.

Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914 and covers an area of 165 hectares. Also known as the "Muzha Zoo", it is the largest zoo in Asia.

  • Open: year round (except for Chinese New Year's eve)
  • Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (no entry after 4:00 p.m.)
  • Tickets:
    Adults: NT$ 60
    Discount Prices: NT$ 30 (Children between 6-12 years of age; students; Military and police personnel; low income households with certification from Taipei City Government)
    Groups of 30 people or more (30% discount) Free admission (Children under the age of 6; Handicapped individuals; School excursions; Retired public servants and teachers; Seniors 65 years old and over; Tour guides with Tourism Bureau authorization)

Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples from the Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk religion deities.
The Longshan Temple- Built in 1738, this temple is located in the Wanhua District.
Xinsheng South Road, also known as the "Road to Heaven", has a slew of temples, shrines, churches, and mosques.
Baoan Temple- National historical site
Xiahai City God Temple- located in the old Dadaocheng community. It's architecture is similar to +temples in southern Fujian.
The Taipei Confucius Temple traces its history back to 1879 during the Qing Dynasty
Besides these larger temples, there are many small outdoor shrines that can commonly be spotted by the road, parks, and neighborhoods. There are also small shrines within homes, businesses, and restaurants.
Etiquette: It is acceptable to use the temple's washroom, but it must be treated with the utmost respect. Bow to any statues of deities. If you plan to offer gifts (such as fruit), it is expected that you wash the fruits and your hands prior to offering. Upon entering and leaving the temple, avoid stepping on the extra step (a single raised step) that divides the outside and the inside of the temple.
For more notable temples and info, go to Taipei temples.

Taipei Botanical Garden- These beautiful gardens have inspired Taipei citizens for over one hundred years. The lotus ponds are a notable point in the park.

Taipei's original city gates are a beautiful feature of the city, one of the few ancient artefacts. Only four of the five gates still stand. At one time, the city was surrounded by walls, but the West Gate was demolished by the Japanese to make way for roads and railway lines. Three of the remaining gates have been renovated and converted from the original southern Chinese architecture to northern Chinese palace style architecture. The North Gate(Cheng-en Gate) is the lone example of original Qing Dynasty design.

Dazhi Bridge is a sight to see and spans the Keelung River in Taipei. Alongside is the Dajia Riverside Park which offers a venue for outdoor activities. One of the most notable is the ceremony for blessing dragon boats during the Dragon Boat Festival.

Miramar Entertainment Park is an entertainment center and shopping mall in the Dazhi area in Zhongshan District of Taipei. Along with many different shops, the center contains an IMAX theater, a 70-meter (230 ft) tall Dream Mall Ferris wheel (Kaoshiung Eye).

Hot Springs

Hot springs come in all levels of style. There are basic self-service springs and plush spas at five star hotels.
The basic "rub and scrub" public baths are free and run by the city.
Most hotels offer the option of a large sex-segregated bathing area that generally consists of several large baths of various temperatures, jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath and also private and family rooms. The law in Taiwan states that for safety reasons, individuals are not allowed to bathe in the private rooms, and there must be at least two people. Some hotels also have outdoor baths which offer restful views over the surrounding country-side. Prices range from around NT$300 to NT$800.

    Public Hot Spring Etiquette
  • Bathers must thoroughly wash and rinse off their bodies before entering the bath
  • Cannot wear clothing, including swim wear (though this is not the case for mixed-sex public areas)
  • Must tie up their hair so that it does not touch the water
  • People with high blood pressure, heart disease or open wounds should not enter the baths

There are three main places in the Taipei area:
Beitou
Wulai
Yangmingshan National Park

Discounts and Hours

To see the museums on a discount, many museums have free entrance on Sundays. There are often discounts for students, the disabled, seniors, and groups. Children (in general under 6 or 7 years of age) enter for free.

Most museums are open from 10am to 6pm, except on Mondays when many are closed.

Festivals

To celebrate the many traditions of Taipei, there are many festivals to commemorate various events. Prior to adoption of the Western solar calendar system, China exclusively followed a lunar calendar in determining the times of planting, harvesting, and festival occasions. Though most people today use the western calendar for practical matters, the old calendar prevails for numerous seasonal holidays. Common locations include Memorial Square, Taipei 101, and the Zhongshan Hall in Ximending.

Taipei Lantern Festival
Held in late February till March, thousands of fiery lanterns are released and light the sky. Also known as the Little New Year, it marks the end of the series of celebrations starting from the Chinese New Year.

Lunar New Year
Chinese New Year falls on different dates each year, a date between January 21 and February 20. This is the most important festival for the Taiwanese. Many shops and restaurants close on the first three days.

Ching Ming Festival
Also known as Qingming Festival, Clear Bright Festival, Ancestors Day or Tomb Sweeping Day this event is when many Taiwanese would pay respects at their ancestors' graves. The Qingming festival falls on the first day of the fifth solar term.

Dragon Boat Festival
This festival honours Qu Yuan, a patriotic official from the state of Chu during the Warring States period of Chinese history who committed suicide by jumping into a river when Chu was conquered by Qin. To prevent fish from eating his body, villagers threw rice dumplings into the river to feed the fish and rowed dragon boats with drums. Since then, dragon boat racing has occurred on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.

Hungry Ghost Festival
This festival runs throughout the seventh month of the Chinese calendar. It is believed that the gates of hell open during this period and hungry ghosts are allowed to roam freely into our world. In order to appease the ghosts and prevent misfortune, many Taiwanese will offer food and burn joss paper for them. In addition, traditional Chinese performances such as Chinese opera and puppet shows are held to appease these wandering spirits.

Mid-Autumn Festival
This mid-festival is said to have originated from the ancient ceremony of Sacrificing to the Moon Goddess. "When the moon is full, mankind is one". The full moon has always represented the gatherings of friends and family. Mooncakes are also eaten on this day.

Taiwan Pride parade
Taiwan is quite liberal in its views of homosexuality. This event started around 2003 and occurs sometime between September and November, and has become the biggest Pride Parade in Asia throughout the years.

Double Ten Day
This is the national day of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and celebrates the start of the Wuchang Uprising of October 10, 1911. This event led to the collapse of the Qing Dynasty in China and establishment of the Republic of China on January 1, 1912. It is therefore also known as National Celebration Day Fireworks and concerts are featured and celebrations are held in front of the Presidential Building.

For a guide to more festivals:
http://www.taipeitravel.net/

Update 10/12/2010


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