Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Wait! What? There are Other Museums in Taipei Besides the NPM?

If you are a new visitor to Taipei, Taiwan, you have heard about the treasures in the National Palace Museum and hopefully that is your first stop on a visit to Taiwan. Let’s say you are returning to Taiwan after seeing all the first-tier tourist sites, what will you see now? That was my mission on my last visit to Taipei and what I found were lots of museums. Of course, they are not as spectacular as the NPM, but most are interesting, some are “why is this a museum?” and at the least they can be a reprieve on a rainy day.

In the next few blogs I will highlight some of the better ones I enjoyed. The more I look for museums in Taiwan, the more I find. There seems to be a fascination with little museums. Hopefully, in future dates I will visit more. Please post in the comments below museums you have visited in Taiwan and what you thought.

This blog will focus on the Museum of Drinking Water in Taipei. Okay, you are thinking, seriously a museum on drinking water? Yes, but it is more than that. By looking at the building you would think it should incorporate a Roman bath.

It was built by the Japanese during their occupation of Taiwan to supply clean drinking water to Taipei. It’s not used for that purpose now, but there is a video inside (with English subtitles) that explains how it was done.  Very ingenious.

Besides the architecture, why else should you visit this museum? Inside are the preserved pumps and machinery that pumped water out of the river and into water filtration basins then into a storage reservoir up on a hill to feed Taipei clean water by gravity.

It is amazing to find something this intact from this era as much of the Japanese machinery was taken to mainland China (the Republic of China’s stay on Taiwan was supposed to be only to be temporary) or scrapped.

Inside the pump house are motors built in the USA and Japan. And it is great you can get up close and even touch this old machinery!

Japanese motor

Motor made in USA

Motor and pump

Around the Museum of Drinking Water are pretty gardens and nearby is the seasonal water park. Apparently, this is also a nice spot for wedding pictures.

How to get there. Take MRT Green Line to Gonguang Station and walk about 10 minutes to the museum.

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