May 01, 2010
There are some surprises to be found scattered throughout Taipei, as long time residents are sure to tell you. Yet there is one surprise situated in the center of Taipei that remains largely unknown. Just across from the main train station next to the Mitsukoshi building is Taiwan Storyland, a re-creation of mid-1960s Taiwan.
Taiwan Storyland is a kind of mix between theme food hall and museum. Inside you will find a small cinema showing Taiwanese films from the 1960s, a mock hotel, pharmacy, classroom, street vendors, police station, a puppet theater and more. In the center of it all is a tree typical of the center of many communities.
Taiwan, and especially the cities, has developed so quickly over the last few decades that it is difficult to find any areas showing years past (the National Center of Traditional Arts is another place worth visiting but a bit harder to get to). http://www.go2taiwan.net/blog_content.php?sqno=54 Thankfully local authorities are starting to realize that "old streets" are interesting to locals and tourists alike, and they are starting to be preserved. Despite the fact that Taiwan Storyland is a recreation in a basement, the items are authentic and it is well done.
There is great attention to detail throughout Taiwan Storyland, from the overhead wiring, to street games, posters, vehicles, shop fronts and the goods displayed therein. Although a bit dark, it does give you the feeling of being in 1960s Taiwan, and it is an enjoyable place to walk around, grab a bite to eat and even get something to drink at the Black Cat Bar.
English language headsets are available, so you can walk around getting your own personal guided tour.
It's certainly worth a trip to Taiwan Storyland, especially as something to do on a rainy day. Head down to Taipei Main Station then cross over to Mitsukoshi (the very tall building). In the not quite so tall building next door, you will see the green entrance to Taiwan Storyland. Head down to B2 and spend some time strolling through the 60s. (Or just take exit 6 from the MRT Taipei Main Station or exit 4 of the MRT underground mall.)
Entrance costs NT$200 for adults, or NT$280 which gives you a NT$150 coupon which can be redeemed against food from the various restaurants within Taiwan Storyland.
Address: B2, No.50, Zhongxiao W Rd., Sec. 1, Taipei, Taiwan
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