While the weather held out for most of the week, our second day in Taipei was spent in a full day of rain. Bummer. So, we visited the National Palace Museum and the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall instead – to do some in-door stuff.
The National Palace Museum made an interesting visit as it was filled with all sorts of interesting ancient Chinese artifacts including stuff looted from the Imperial Palace when the Nationalists were forced to flee after losing the war. I got to learn a little about Jade-craft from the prized displays on the top floor.
The Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall was a bit of a disappointment though as there wasn’t really that much to see except its main attraction, the giant Bronze statue of the grand old man himself, on the top floor. There were other personal artifacts on display but none of it caught my attention since I’m not a scholar of Chinese history.
But the highlight of the day was our evening activity – Beijing Opera. Our tour guide commented that this isn’t something that most tourists do in Taiwan but we decided to go treat ourselves to an opera show instead. We ended up watching both a puppet show and a real opera.
It was an interesting experience. Though seated slightly further away from the stage, I was nonetheless able to watch the detailed facial expressions of the people, and the antics of the hand puppets using my new zoom lens. I laughed and clapped with everyone else when the puppets made jokes and the humans performed acrobatic stunts.
All in all, a good experience.