Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lanyang Museum 蘭陽博物館

This is a beautiful new museum that introduces the landscape of Yilan. The museum is worth a stop if only to admire the building, which is a gorgeous piece of architecture. From a distance it looks like it's either sinking into the nearby wetlands or else jutting out of the ground like the local black coastal rocks.

Inside the museum offers high tech exhibits which focus on the terrain of this region - the plains, mountains, and sea are each introduced. There is also an area for special exhibitions. For example, the inaugural special exhibit showcased masterworks of Yilan craft.

The only drawback to this museum is its popularity. It is an obligatory stops for all the tour buses, so the museum can get crowded even on weekdays.

There is a large cafe downstairs for the weary museum goer to recuperate in air conditioned comfort. Because this is Mr. Brown's Coffee, whose management also owns the Yilan whiskey distillery, you can buy a bottle of the excellent Kavalan whiskey as a souvenir. This whiskey shocked connoisseurs by winning a number of international awards, proving for the first time that it's possible to produce world class whiskey in a sub-tropical location.

The museum is right beside the Number 2 Road north of Toucheng, next to Wushi Harbor 烏石港. There is a tiny parking lot in front of the museum, but plentiful parking around the harbor. While you're here visiting, you can also walk around the little wetland area next to the museum and then go over to the fishing port. Several vendors are selling the usual selection of snacks, as well as some local specialties such as guavas.

The museum has a website with detailed information for visitors: http://www.lym.gov.tw/ch/Index/index.asp

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