Chi Mei Museum
Located in the factory at the Rende branch of Chi Mei corporation , near the Rende interchange of highway No 1, copies of famous statues such as Michelangelo's David make the Chi Mei Museum (address: No.59-1, Sanjia Village, Rende Shiang, Tainan County) a spot that is diffcult to miss. The organization of ChiMei Museum was started in 1990, 2 years later, the museum opened for free public visits. It's now a museum with 5 themes exhibiting western fine arts, arms & armour, musical instruments, antiquities and natural history on floors 5 to 8.
The opening hours of the museum are from 10:00 to 17:00. The museum closes every Monday and every other Saturday. To visit, a reservation has to be made two days before, Tel:06-2660808/Fax:06-2660848. By telling the security your reservation code that was given to you when making the reservation, the tour starts with a brief video presentation on the first floor.
How the museum organizes the exhibition of 5 different themes in only 4 floors is an interesting question. Personally I found it weird that animal models of 5 continents are exhibited on the 8th floor yet models of birds and seals etc. are presented on the 6th floor. Musical instruments, arms & armour and natural history exhibitions are packed into the 6th floor leaving a relatively huge space on the 5th floor where the western fine arts are exhibited. One of the paintings on the 5th floor caught my eye, it was a creaction of Joos Van Cleve, 1485-1540, called La Sainte Famille. What interested me was the look of the baby. Usually paintings regarding the holy family tried to create the holy atmosphere, however in this painting the contemptible look of the baby makes me wonder in what circumstances Joos Van Cleve created such a look for the holy baby and how could this painting escape from being labeled an action of blasphemy and survived throught eras of commotion.
Taiwan High Speed Rail
Finally, the Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) started their business on Jan 2, 2007. Althrough there are still lots of problems such as the booking system and shuttle bus etc., THSR offers an alternative way for commuters and travellers to travel around the west part of Taiwan. It is faster than train/bus (90 min from Kaohsiung to Taipei), cheaper (Taipei to Kaohsiung , economy seat NT1490) than taking an airplane and it's the first time that you don't have to worry that you might get a ticket for speeding at 300Km/hour.
The roof of the Tainan HSR station (address：No. 100, Gueiren Blvd, Gueiren Township, Tainan County) gradually tilts from west to east connecting the roof of the station and platform horizontally with the environment. One third of the roof was made by reinforced glass which provides great natural lighting in the station. From the inside, red colored pipes stop gray steel from emitting a cold atmosphere and emphasize the circular shaped roof.
The wall at central courtyard is made entirely glass with fountains lining the exterior providing an open and calming atmosphere both inside and out.
The passenger drop off area is called 'kiss and ride', a nice way to encourage people to use mass transit.
Free Shuttle bus routes and schedules can be downloaded at THSR website
Updated Jan. 27, 2010