Taipei, Taiwan's political, cultural and economic centre, is a bustling modern city located on the Tamsui River. While the city's incredible commercial buildings and neon lights are juxtaposed against ancient temples as an intriguing blend of the old and the new, there is also plenty to keep young travellers interested. In celebration of its ancient and modern history, Taipei's museums offer the best type of interactive edutainment.
Here is our pick of Taipei's top museums to keep the kids amused.
Taipei Astronomical Museum
With four floors of ancient astronomy, modern space travel, science, technology and constellations, Taipei Astronomical Museum is not only educational but also heaps of fun for kids. In addition to telescopes, observatories and its permanent displays, Taipei Astronomical Museum boasts an IMAX Theatre, a 3D Theatre, and the thrilling Cosmic Adventure, an outer space amusement park ride. Kids will also love the fascinating sculpture garden, featuring interactive glass and steel sculptures filled with water that whirls and swirls around at the push of a button.
Miniatures Museum of Taiwan
Bigger is not better at the Miniatures Museum of Taiwan, where the displays are dedicated to the tiny and intricate. It's a small, private museum founded in 1997 by Mr Lin Wen-ren and his wife when they became interested in miniature art on their travels. Marvel at more than 200 miniature items, including dollhouses and replicas of Europe's most famous structures. Remember to take home a small souvenir from the gift shop.
Taipei Story House
Originally a guesthouse for rich merchants, and known at the time as Yuanshan Mansion, Taipei Story House is an English Tudor style house in Zhongshan District, built in 1914 by an aristocratic tea merchant. In 2003, the site became a mini-museum to showcase cultural and historical Taiwanese artifacts. Taipei Story House offers fine dining in The Story Tea House, an elegant French restaurant, which welcomes well-behaved children in the company of their parents.
Taipei Puppet Theatre Museum
Taipei's Lin Liu-Hsin Puppet Theatre Museum comprises four floors, with the first floor incorporating a puppet workshop, offices and the Nadou Theatre. The remaining floors feature Asian puppets, including shadow puppets, traditional glove puppetry and a Jinkuang puppet show. With its focus on clowning, kids will love the Ugly Parlour. Take a workshop and see a puppet demonstration – puppet carving or puppet repair – before enjoying a show performed by the Taiyuan Puppet Theatre Troupe.
Taipei Children's Art Museum
Taipei Children's Art Museum, opened in 2003, is a gallery dedicated entirely to the original artwork of children. A highly interactive space, the museum features hundreds of works by children, life-sized walk-through panoramas painted in the styles of famous artists and opportunities for children to try their hand at painting, drawing, sculpture and mixed media, under the professional guidance of some of Taipei's most respected artists.