Must-see Museums in Taipei: MOCA and MMOT

It was one of those days when I was running out of options where to spend time on so I decided to make it a museum day. And, I was surprised how much I liked it. Food for thought really, with all that visual buffet and ideas I’d never really think of doing myself. I think a museum has literal walls of beckoning for you to focus, listen, think, or at the very least make the most of the ticket you paid for.

I’ve been to the popular museums in Taipei, so this time I decided to check out the little-known ones (which will turn out to be an unintentional pun later) and finally see them for what they’re worth. At least, for me.

And yes, without a doubt, they are worthwhile places to visit that you should make time for.

MOCA aka Museum of Contemporary Art

Art is my top fave when it comes to museum visits. I like how it evokes you to think and to go beyond what’s literal. A few months ago, I was supposed to visit MOCA for its garbage-themed exhibit but had to cancel last minute. So the curiosity to see what it has to offer has always been there. Finally had the time to drop by this week as I take a 5-day bumhood vacation.

I’ve already talked about most of my favorites in the Spectrosynthesis exhibit on my Instagram. It was an exhibit that I would actually recommend to all people, regardless of color. 😉 It was the first time I saw the LGBTQ issue as so raw, so real, so thought-provoking, I left feeling like persecuting these people should be a crime because we are suppressing such wealth of creativity in them. It brought perversion into a level of intellectual discourse you wouldn’t even think was possible. Kudos, really, to all the artists who exhibited their hearts there.

Passion by Wang Jun-Jieh, a short art film reflect on a pool
Poppy Dream by Fu Sheng-ku, my personal favorite among the paintings because it exalts FREEDOM.

To go to MOCA, you can take the Taipei MRT then get off at Zhongshan station (red and green line). Look for Exit R4 and then consult Google Maps to get to the museum. It’s about 7 minutes on foot, but if you want to hail a cab, it’s also good as MOCA’s along the main road.

By the way, since MOCA is a pretty small museum, you might want to check out the website first to see if the exhibit currently on display is something that you’re interested with. Tickets at the entrance are priced at 50 NTD per person, and sales end at 5:30 PM.

MMOT aka Miniatures Museum of Taiwan

I’ve been hearing about this museum for a while now, and when I first searched it online I was honestly feeling meh about it. I’m not much of a diorama person. But then, reviews were pretty good so I decided to check it out.

Coming from MOCA that day, and then seeing MMOT’s building, was kind of an underwhelming start. I didn’t expect that this museum would be in the basement of a corporate-looking building and not have a themed one. To top that, it took a while to walk to it from the MRT station (about 10 minutes, especially if you’re going to try to figure out which way from the park to go to) so I was a little bit disappointed that there wasn’t a character to the building’s exterior that would make it so MMOT-ish. But I still pressed on coz, hey, I already have gone this far. Literally.

Inside the building, you just go to the left side and then take the stairs to the basement. Don’t worry coz there are signs in the building so you wouldn’t be a lost cause. Upon reaching the basement, just walk up straight to the only reception area you’ll find and there’ll be the tickets sold for 200 NTD per person.

At first, I was kind of hesitant when I started looking inside the museum, but then as I checked the painting-like miniature scales of Western rooms, I started to warm up to the place. As someone who genuinely enjoyed marvelling at details, it was a treat to see each and every piece in a room. It was so amazing to see the whole thing from afar and then have that illusion of it being a photograph, but when you come close, everything gets this dimension of 3D, until it finally dawns on you that it isn’t just a framed art on the wall but actually a carved space where life-like miniature pieces were so painstakingly put together.

I was also amazed to see how large the entire collection was. Every piece would really make you ogle and was picture-perfect in every way. No flash photography allowed, btw, but you don’t really need it because each piece was lighted to make it perfect for photo enthusiasts, selfie-lovers included.

But my favorite part of MMOT is actually its souvenir shop. It’s something that you walk into and then think, am I still in the museum? And can I just point out how clever it is to actually be able to buy miniature pieces as souvenirs!? So cool!

I also found that they have this DIY kit that lets you create your own miniature confections.

Honestly, I think 200 NTD is kinda pricey for the museum and because you’re technically seeing just one medium in its entirety, it could’ve been cheaper. So if you just want to see the souvenir shop, you can head straight to it. It’s near the restroom area. However, the experience of buying these itsy bitsy souvenirs may not be as pleasant as it could be when you’re fresh off the museum, still basking in that wondrous appreciation for the talent it took to create each unique piece.

To get to MMOT, take the Taipei MRT then get off at Songjiang Nanjing station (green and yellow line). Use Google Maps to navigate your way on foot, and just go straight to the other side of the park when you reach it.

Exit this side of the park, go straight, and then the MMOT building is on the left.

Or, to make things easier for you if self-navigation isn’t your forte, then take a cab from the MRT station. 🙂

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