National Palace Museum Experiences: a Taste of Taiwanese Tea Culture

The world-famous Taipei branch of the National Palace Museum is one of Taiwan’s most impressive tourist destinations. Boasting more than 700,000 artifacts and artworks spanning dynasties of Chinese history, the museum is right at the top of any visitor to Taiwan’s travel itinerary. Another thing synonymous with travel to Taiwan is the country’s thriving and highly regarded tea industry. On this tour you’ll experience tastes of both Taiwan’s rich history and delicious tea. (You might also like: The Taiwan Scene Guide to Taiwanese Tea)

9.30am – Pinglin Tea Museum

Your tour will kickoff with a trip to Pinglin Tea Museum in New Taipei City. Here you’ll learn about the many different varieties of tea that Taiwan has to offer, as well as how the tea industry has grown not just here in Taiwan, but also globally. There are hands-on and interactive exhibits, as well as heaps of information provided that will more than quench your thirst for information (and tea). 

12pm – JustPinglin 

For lunch, you’ll head to JustPinglin. Here, you can enjoy one of their hearty set meals, as well as a variety of snacks, desserts and beverages, including, of course, tea. You’ll also be able to shop for a variety of tea products ranging from tea leaves to tea-flavored candy. With your stomach full and your shopping done, it’s then time to make your way over to the highlight of your trip. (Read also: Sun Moon Lake: A Tea Lover’s Paradise)

2pm – National Palace Museum

Next is a stop off at the world-famous National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院), the ultimate collection of Chinese and Taiwanese history. Home to a huge number exhibits from more than 5,000 years of history, you’ll spend a large chunk of your afternoon here getting a true taste of China and Taiwan’s collective pasts. For tea lovers, make sure to find the Teapot with Blue Landscape, an almost-300-year-old tea pot with ink inscriptions that read “To the south the trees hug the mountains” and “The mist engulfs the sandbar far off to the north.” Do not miss the Six Conjoined Vases in Tea Dust Glaze either. The unusual vessel is composed of six vases joined together.

Teapot with Blue Landscape. (Image source: National Palace Museum)
Teapot with Blue Landscape (Image source: National Palace Museum)

Other collections include the Jadeite Cabbage and the Meat-Shaped stone, two of the museum’s most famous pieces, as well as the likes of the Zong Zhou Zhong Bell and the Mao Gong Ding. Ceramics to carvings, calligraphy to paintings, the exhibits at the National Palace Museum will leave you in awe. (Read more: [Taiwan Insider] Behind the Scenes at the National Palace Museum)

5.30pm – Ximending 

To conclude your tour, you’ll be dropped off amongst the hustle and bustle of Ximending, Taipei’s famous shopping district and pedestrian zone. Referred to by some as the “Harajuku of Taipei,” prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Ximending averaged around 3 million shoppers/visitors per month. Here you’ll find all kinds of food, fashion and more, as well as iconic buildings such as the Red House, an important part of Taipei’s thriving LGBTQ scene, along with the famous Rainbow Crosswalk outside the MRT station. (Read also: 8 Awesome Things to Do on American Street, Ximending, Taipei)

(Photo by Supasit Chantranon)

More about National Palace Museum

Taipei branch
Southern branch (Chiayi)