As part of the conference itinerary, we went for a guided tour of the National Palace Museum. Photography isn't allowed in the Museum itself but the exterior architecture is amazing. I am currently watching a documentary about the history and collections of the Museum and it is absolutely fascinating! I am in awe of the countless men and women who dedicated their lives to the protection of this invaluable collection of Chinese cultural relics through wars, rough sea journeys and inhospitable rural environments.
The Museum is ridiculously crowded with tourists and it's not going to be a quiet, serene type visit where you are able to admire the priceless relics. I highly recommend a guided tour by one of the docents. Although audio guides are available, the museum is so vast, so full of crowds and each piece of relic has such a deep history and tradition behind it that only a docent will know the best way to maneuver through the crowds to show you the best of what the museum has to offer.
Of the various relics that we looked at, my favourites were the chicken cup and the Ru kiln ceramics. Both were so delicate, elegant and pretty, it's hard to imagine that these ceramics were once used for practical purposes.