National Museum of Natural Science is the largest museum in Taichung, Taiwan. The museum holds Asian cultural history and science. Sometimes, in the museum, they hold special exhibitions like: Aliens, World of Chocolate, Mummy and others. I especially loved the many displays made totally out of CHOCOLATE!
Every year, when I visit Taichung, I visit the museum. Before I do, I will surf through their website and look for any special exhibitions which are showing at the time. Usually the museum will be closed on Mondays, so we normally visit on Tuesdays or Saturdays.
The tickets usually cost TWD 250 and you may visit the two different show halls for the whole day until evening, the cost of special exhibition tickets depends on the exhibition. The latest special exhibition I visited was dinosaur eggs and rain-forest flowers. They have two souvenirs shop that sells lots of things like key-chains, shirts, books, CDs etc. The main building has 3 floors.
The basement is about the science of colour and sound. You can learn about the history of colour, 3D pictures and the science of sound. The second floor is about human bodies. After visiting the human bodies you will come to an exit door and that leads to a restaurant, it is McDonalds, you can take your lunch here or you can have traditional Taiwanese food on the second floor, or you can take the stairs to exit and visit the dinosaurs. In part of the Dinosaur Hall, you can see the biggest T-Rex in the middle. It can roar and move, and also the Oviraptors giggle in the corner after stealing the dinosaur eggs. You can learn information about the dinosaurs and their habits. After that, you can climb small ladders to visit the half floor and learn about the destruction of the dinosaurs, human evolution and things that humans used long ago.
Learn about the many kinds of traditional Chinese medicine. There is a small garden where you need to push the glass door out. It is the Chinese medicine plant garden. After you have seen the traditional Chinese medicine, you will come to the Chinese history part of the building and you can learn about Chinese culture, housing areas, how people live in their hometowns and how they farm. Included in this area are displays of Chinese musical instruments, traditional tableware and medicinal treatments.
After that, you can visit ‘Mummy’, there is a mummy displayed in a showcase but I was not so interested in this exhibit. When you reach the end of the mummy area you will see a slope where you can visit the Easter Island section. This is the area I loved best, you can learn about the culture and history of Maoi (monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui people). There is also a show about the history of Easter Island and Maoi. The video shows us how they discovered Maoi and it is quite interesting if you like learning about mysterious cultures. After Easter Island, you come to the Rain-Forest, and it is all taxidermy, including a polar bear and jaguar. You can use a microscope to see microorganisms and visit a place using a video camera to see fish in an aquarium, snakes in the tank and hamsters in the cage.
The next area is about electricity in our lives. You will learn about MRI, CT scans and X-ray machines and all with sound effects.
Next go through a big door and you will visit the small animals zoo. You can see snakes, beetles, tortoises and also the German cockroach.
Feeling hungry now? Just pop down to a restaurant which sells traditional Taiwanese food. The most popular food in the restaurant is the Chicken Drumstick Rice, it is cooked with their special spices. You can also try the different side dishes like dry bean-curds with green onion sprinkled on it, or the Taiwanese Chicken Chop.
After taking your lunch, you can continue your journey. Go through the door and visit the Galaxy Hall, where there are lots of stars and different planets. Here, you also learn about earthquakes and how they destroy some cities. There is a machine which you can sit or stand which simulates an earthquake. Another building houses more science. You can play lots of games and learn how lights move or how sound vibrates.
When you have visited all parts of the museum you can buy another ticket, it usually costs TWD100, to see the 3D shows, the cost depends of which film they are showing.
There is also the indoor botanical garden, called the Biggest Rain-Forest Garden. This is across the road. The tickets are TWD20. There are lots of different flowers and trees and a waterfall. A lift takes you up to the mirror balcony so you can see the whole garden.
This place is amazing and lots of fun. I would love to recommend the National Museum of Natural Science to those who love to learn about the history of Asia, plants and science.