Chung Tai World Museum
By Uvia Chang
Translated by Anna Yang
If you happen to be visiting the impressive structures at Nantou's Chung Tai Temple, you shouldn't pass up a chance to also explore the vast Chung Tai World Museum and wooden sculpture center, which provide interesting information and insights about Buddhist history and culture.
This museum building is a replica of the ancient Tang dynasty Chang'an ("perpetual peace") city wall. The museum contains three categories of treasures: books, Buddhist images, and scriptures. The spacious, elegantly-decorated inner area covers nine hectares with 66,116 square meters of exhibition space. The museum's three floors have 16 exhibition halls and two special exhibition rooms.
As you enter the museum, there are pictures of Sakya and moral rules displayed on the left side. Each exhibition hall has distinguishing characteristics featuring ancient Indian Buddhist gold, copper and stone-carved sculptures. Some exhibition rooms display calligraphy works and stone inscriptions made by monks and calligraphy masters, and a variety of images of Buddha, Guanyin and Buddhist devotees from various eras are presented with specific unique poses, striking jewelry and accessories.
Exploring and appreciating this splendid collection of artistic sculptures, other carved works and historic items from the Northern Wei, Qi, Tang, Ming, and Qing dynasties can take quite a bit of time. For those in need of a break, this secluded museum also provides the Chaochou Tea Shop and Feeling18C Chocolate Shop as good spots to rest a bit.
中台世界博物館 Chung Tai World Museum
8, ZhongTai Rd, Puli Village, Nantou County
Hours: 9 am-5 pm
closed Monday/open on national holidays, but will close the following day
Tickets: NT$200/person; add NT$100 for audio tour (reserve at concierge)