Taiwan Day 379: Treasures of the Emperors - Sept. 14, 2014 | Travel in Asia

Monday, September 15, 2014

Taiwan Day 379: Treasures of the Emperors - Sept. 14, 2014

The treasures of China are in Taiwan! It is not a rumor but a fact. I used the Google Map of Taipei City as my treasure map and I found the ‘X’ near Shilin District. ‘X’ marks the spot and it points to the National Palace Museum. I must find the treasures and get them! I will include them in my ‘Taiwan collections’.

I was joined by Lam and Sanjoy in my treasure hunting on that day. They were my Travel Buddies. Lam came from Singapore while Sanjoy came from India. They are new PhD students in Academia Sinica and they helped me find the great Asian treasures.

When the Kuomintang transferred the ROC government to Taiwan they also took with them the thousand years of richness of China. Chiang Kai-Shek was so clever to think of these ‘migration’ of the treasures from Beijing as the collections represent a political legitimacy to the nation.

Our treasure map led us first to Taipei Main Station where we applied our Youth Travel Cards in the Visitor Information Center. We then transferred to the MRT Tamsui Line and alighted at the JianTan Station to wait for the bus going to the National Palace Museum. We presented our Youth Travel Cards at the National Palace Museum and we paid NTD 150 for the ticket instead of NTD 250.

Chinese paintings from the Sung, Ming and Ch’ing dynasties were there. Bronze antiques with imprinted primitive Chinese characters were also there. The National Palace Museum has it all for you! I was transported back in time especially at the Neolithic period where old jars and clay artworks can be found. I also imagined fight scenes in a movie as I marveled at the daggers covered with tarnish.

They were other treasure hunters there too. There were Japanese but there were a lot from Mainland China. The Jadeite Cabbage was the hottest item in the National Palace Museum. It really looks like a real vegetable and people can’t stop themselves looking at the precious stone. It was said that a concubine from the Imperial Palace owns the cabbage and it represents fertility so that she can bring many sons and daughters to the ruling king of the Ch’ing dynasty.

I have found the great Asian treasures but they are too many! The National Palace Museum holds a vast collection of over 650,000 precious items. It will be selfish to take all of them and I want the future generations to see them. Taking photos was not allowed inside the museum and I bought a book so that I can learn more about the collections of the National Palace Museum. The ‘Treasures of the National Palace Museum’ was my newest addition to my ‘Taiwan collections’.

When I go back to the Philippines, I would tell my family that the treasures of China are in Taiwan. I have found them. I have found the “Treasures of the Emperors”!

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