Miniatures Museum of Taiwan

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Remember that list I made of things to do in Taiwan, back in December? I entitled it "Things To Do: Taiwan, Part I" but never followed up with a Part II. I've seen so much more than I intended to see in Taiwan, thanks to friends who liked to travel and thanks to family members who are a little crazy. In any case, it's my last full week in Taipei and I'm trying to squeeze in everything else that's left on my original list.

Today I went to number 4 on my list, the Miniatures Museum of Taiwan. Turns out most of the things on my list are in locations I've spent a lot of time in before! The Miniatures Museum is located in the same building as the Museum of Jade Art, on JianGuo North Road. Admission is $180NT ($6 USD) for adults, $150NT ($5 USD) for students, seniors, the handicapped ... and $100NT ($3.33 USD) for children. Prior to actually making the trip, I read some reviews on Google and TripAdvisor, and I got really mixed feelings about whether it would be worth the trip. It is.

I was afraid that the museum would take a mere 30 minutes to go through, but it actually seemed to go on forever (in a good way). Located on B1 in the basement, the Miniatures Museum was established in March of 1997 and is the first (and only) museum dedicated to contemporary miniature arts in East Asia. I believe that the entire museum is the private collection of a man named Lin Wen-Ren and his wife, who travel the world looking for little things. I've also read that this is the world's second largest collection of miniature things. If true, then it's pretty impressive.

I used my iPhone because the lighting was at times less-than-optimal, and my DSLR has been having lens issues of late. Here are some of my favorites:

Even though this house is much darker than I'd prefer, it feels incredibly homey and welcoming

How incredibly meta! Check out those panoramas within a panorama! I love the closet.

I love the elephant table

This was one of many, many "Gentleman's Haven" panoramas; looks like those gentlemen don't know how to dust!
I loved checking out the reading material ... mini "Esquire" and "The Washington Post"

Fully stocked bar

Christmas turkey

I'm convinced this is a replica of a Fifth Avenue apartment


That is apparently the smallest TV in the world,
fully functional with external speakers (outside the glass case) for amplification

Care for some champagne?

Love the little bedside parfum set!

I was surprised to find that the Alice in Wonderland set was my favorite, despite not being a huge Alice in Wonderland fan. It was just so whimsical!

Tweedledee and Tweedledum!

Glamorous, so flossy flossy

The door's pretty cool, in a pervertedly glamorama way

This was another favorite of mine; the apartment belonging to a woman who has not only just returned from the Broadway production of "Cats," but seemingly also has an obsession with cats, as demonstrated by the items scattered around her luxe apartment.

Beautiful tiling

Another "Gentleman's Haven" ... complete with a wine cellar!

The gentlemen really like their reds ... one glass on the end table above and one on the end table diagonal

The intricacy is amazing ...

Another favorite case that I had to tear myself away from ...

Bûches de Noël

Mini teapots

Reminds me of Elena Kagan, I don't know why ...

Food and candy everywhere!

I got all up close and personal because I liked this dude's "doctor's bag"

Buckingham Palace

These dolls were made entirely of paper

Creepy guy selling random goods in the dark

Reminds me of home ... as American as apple pie

There was a special section of the museum devoted to I guess what is the "special exhibit" of the moment. Fortunately for me, the special exhibit was "Sweets" ... I believe these were made by local bakeries.

Taiwanese baked goods

Danish cookie chair

If you ever find yourself in Taipei and wanting to see these mini worlds, I recommend going early rather than late (it opens at 10am and closes at 6pm, admission ends at 5pm). I arrived at about 10:40 in the morning and it wasn't too crowded, but as the minutes passed, I found myself having to dive to avoid the children running around, and having to move quicker than I'd have liked to so others could photograph and have a good look at each of the panoramas/dollhouses.

Even though I've photographed about a third of the museum here, it really is worth it to see all the little details in person. I took some photos of things that I didn't were humanly possible to make, because they were smaller than small ... so small, in fact, that my camera couldn't focus properly and I didn't post them here. This museum really gave me an appreciation for "miniature arts" ... it's amazing what people can do!

No. 96, JianGuo North Road, Section 1, Level B1
Zhongshan District
Closed on Mondays

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