The Beitou Museum (北投文物館) is home to around five thousand pieces of Taiwanese folk craft, ranging from the Qing Dynasty through the Japanese administration until the 1970s. It's housed in the best-preserved Japanese building in Beitou. There is plenty of English (and Japanese) signage, and headsets are available free of charge for more information about the exhibits. Note that the museum is often still called the Taiwan Folk Arts Museum in English, including on some signs around Beitou, and that by its new name it's often confused with the Beitou Hot Springs Museum.
原住民, literally 'original inhabitants') come from, but it's believed they've been here for at least eight thousand years; their original habitation of Taiwan, combined with their lack of Chinese descent, is a compelling argument for Taiwanese independence today. While special allowances are made for aboriginals to preserve their way of life (their land, for example, is protected) there is a serious danger that their many languages and culture die out as more and more young people flock to the cities in search of a more prosperous life. Many of the originally twenty six languages are extinct or endangered, a concern to many people around the world as many are mother-languages to other Austronesian languages around the pacific.
|The New Zealand Maori are believed to descend directly from the Amis Tribe in Taiwan.|
Hakka and Hokkien Artifacts
|Glove puppet theatre originated from 17th century Fujian (Southern China) but is most established in Taiwan. It was temporarily banned in the 1970s as the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) banned the use of Taiwanese (Hokkien) on national television. See this Taipei Times article.|
The majority of Taiwanese descend from immigrants from the Fujian provice of China, whose ancenstors migrated several centuries ago in waves until about the 1600s. These people (and their language, often today called 'Taiwanese' are often described as Hokkien. The Hakka (, literally "guest people") are a group of Chinese who were persecuted in China for centuries, and migrated all around the world (hence their name). Much like the Jewish people, they are generally educated, wealthy and very influential in Taiwan, with many politicians and other people in positions of power being Hakka. There are over three thousand pieces of artwork from the Hakka and Hokkien at the museum.
|Stone gardens are rarely seen outside of Japan.|
Cafe and Restaurant
|Kazana Hotel Restaurant, where Kamakaze pilots would come for their last meal.|
There's a beautiful cafe overlooking Yangmingshan Mountain and Taipei, and the upstairs restaurant is housed in the original (restored) dining hall of the hotel. During WWII Kamakaze (suicide) Pilots used to come here to dine before their final mission, but you can enjoy a multi-course lunch for only 880NT (including admission) or tea and snacks for only 500NT. They assure me they can prepare vegan meals if given two days notice.
|If you don't want to follow in the footsteps of Kamakaze pilots you can enjoy your tea here instead.|
It's a rather unplesant fifteen to twenty minute (1.5km) walk up to the museum from the park, as the road is steep and narrow, and taxis and tour buses for the many hotspring resorts along the way drive rather fast around the narrow bends. Consider taking a taxi. It's well worth the effort however you choose to get there.
Tuesday - Sunday 10:00AM - 6:00PM
It opens on Mondays if they are a national holiday.
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