Chunghwa Postal Museum (郵政博物館) [Taipei kong mahal 180509: From Taiwan with love, XOXO] | Travel in Asia

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Chunghwa Postal Museum (郵政博物館) [Taipei kong mahal 180509: From Taiwan with love, XOXO]


When was the last time you sent a handwritten letter to your loved one?  Last month, a year ago or you have already forgotten because people nowadays use their smartphones to send messages.  In this modern era of the internet, writing letters and sending them to the nearest post office seems like a thing of the past.  But in Taiwan, the culture is still alive.  Parcels of important documents are processed by Taiwan’s post office every day, making it possible for anyone on the island to receive letters sealed with a kiss.

The building of the Chunghwa Postal Museum

The museum is housed at the 2nd to 6th floor of the building.  

The luomujie blog makes another bold attempt through the My Beloved Taipei Travel Series to take a deeper look at one of the most interesting museums in the city.  It’s a place where you can find stamps from all over the globe especially those that were printed from Taiwan.  It’s no other than the Chunghwa Postal Museum!  I have discovered so many things here that I left the building still a bit shocked and surprised. 



My NTD 10 ticket in the museum is a postcard.  Haha!



watermark detector [tools used in philately]

color key [tools used in philately]

tweezers [tools used in philately]

magnifying lens [tools used in philately]




emblem of Taiwan's Chunghwa Post Office

post office boxes around the world








uniforms of postmen around the world


A world full of stamps and the post offices around the world.  I’m very sure that stamp collectors are dying to see this museum.  It’s the best place in Taiwan to appreciate “philately” or the hobby of collecting and studying postage stamps.   Cut them out from the letters, exchange them with your friends or buy them directly from the post office.  It gives a different kind of joy for those people who have become addicted to these specially designed small pieces of paper.  From a point of view of a non-Taiwanese millennial residing on the island,  I find it weird for locals to still send a snail mail if there is already Facebook, Messenger, Twitter and other social media apps and websites.  

A replica of the statue dedicated to the postman who was swept by a raging river while doing his job.


modern-day uniforms of the employees of Chunghwa Post Office

Tried and tested.  In times of war and typhoons, the services of Chunghwa Post will never stop.  Telecommunication signals may become lost during disasters but the brave men and women of Taiwan’s post office will still continue to do their job.  Even during the World War II, sending secret letters to allies had been an important weapon in winning the war.   Not to mention the existence of telegraphs during those times, passing handwritten letters is as important to typing messages on your smartphone. 

a large replica of a dragon postage stamp of the Imperial Post office

Information about the collection of stamps under the Taiwan section

The Chunghwa Post based its origins in China at a time when Dr. Sun Yat Sen has not yet established his modern vision for his country.   Sending letters are not a privilege given to the masses but when foreign invaders established their own post office, the Qing Court saw the need to give the public the postal service that everybody needs.   Time had passed and the office established the Postal Museum in Taiwan to educate the people about its daily operation and importance.  Nowadays, its primary mandate is the collection and preservation of postage stamps that are under their care.

A computer of the Postal GIRO Computer Operation System 



A model of the GIRO system





The letters are then collected in this slide in the final step.

Parcel Processing Center for Northern Taiwan

This is what the processing center look like inside












The museum also features the equipment and systems used in handling the huge volume of letters and I was really fascinated with the technology that the post office has.   At the fourth floor of the museum, one can see the Postal Giro Computer Operation System which sort letters based on zip codes.  It’s like a big computer from the 80s with attached machinery making it look like a piece of equipment in a factory.  There is also a model of the building of the parcel processing center of Northern Taiwan.  Peek through the scale model and imagine the number of letters processed on each day.  Amazing!  Back in my country, I was given a chance to enter one of the post offices of the capital.  I was looking for a letter that was supposed to be sent to me but it never reached our house.   The employees let me inside the post office and there I saw a bunch of letters waiting to be sent or have just returned.  And the postmen there were sorting the envelopes manually! 


postage stamps dating back to 1898



So visiting the Chunghwa Postal Museum is an eye opener for a realm that I have never seen before.   But wait there’s more!  At the fifth floor of the museum are plates containing stamps from all the world.  I pulled out the leftmost plate for the Republic of China and at the back I saw a stamp dating back to 1898.  It’s a coiling dragon stamp of the Qing Dynasty’s Chinese Imperial Post.  Wow!  



parents and guardians as they brought the kids to the Japanese stamp collections






The entire plates for the Taiwan section and there are still empty plates reserved for this area.

Just pull one of the plates to see the collections


One Piece

Heidi

Fullmetal Alchemist






From A to Z.  Browsing the plethora of collections, I opened one plate from one country in the Middle East and I saw stamps showing people wearing turbans.   Each documentary stamp carries a piece of history and culture from its country of origin and now I realized why many people are becoming attracted to collect these stuff like just any fictional Pokemon.   Speaking of digital monsters, I came across the plate of Japan and there were many Taiwanese kids looking at the collections.  When it was my turn, I delighted to see stamps of Doraemon, One Piece, and Fullmetal Alchemist.  Our favorite anime show are printed in different documentary stamps in Japan!   Now I know why the kids are going crazy at this corner of the museum.  

Information about the stamps from the Philippines

A 2 centavo 1948 stamp of Jose Rizal

postage stamp when Pope John Paul II visted the Philippines

Another stamp from the Philippines







At a price of only NTD 10, I have learned new things about Taiwan, their post office history and of other countries through their various stamps.  The Chungwa Postal Museum has a big treasury waiting to be discovered.  Whatever your nationality, you are welcome to enter the building.  Browse its collections of stamps from your country.  Look at them and smile.  I think it’s about time that you send a handwritten letter to your best friend, parents or significant other.  At the end of the message include some sweet words like these:  From Taiwan with love, XOXO.

**********
Chunghwa Postal Museum
Address: No. 45, Section 2, Chongqing South Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, 100 [Google Map]

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Admission ends at 4:30 pm.  The museum is closed every Mondays, the day following a national holiday, and folk holidays.

How to get here:  MRT Chiang-kai Shek Memorial Staton -> Go to Exit 2 -> Walk towards the museum.  Adult tickets cost NTD 10 only.


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