Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Shanxi Museum

Shanxi Museum is one of the best museums I have been so far. Its organized, well lit and packed with artifacts from Ancient China. Considering that we live in Taiyuan at the present time we decided to visit this museum and see what it can offer. 

Shanxi Museum houses a total of 200,000 cultural relics and its all in display. The theme of the museum is "Jin Soul" and with it are 7 displays on history and 5 on arts which follows a historical route, and focuses on civilizations and the 5000 years of history and arts.

Here are the 12 Displays: 

  • The Cradle of Civilization- Displays the cultural relics from the Neolithic and Paleolithic ages that exhibits the local history and the ancient men and the start of civilization and state.
  • The Traces of the Xia and Shang Dynasties- This exhibit shows Shanxi during the two the dynasties that spanned almost a thousand years. You can see here the civilization of the Central Plains and grassland cultures of different states in Northern China.
  • The Achievements of the Jin Kingdom- Shows the history from the beggining via subinfeudation up to the splitting to three vassal states and also amazing bronze art of the age.
  • The Melting Pot of Different NationalitiesFocuses on arts produces during the mixture of cultures from the Han up to the Sui Dynasties.
  • The Relics of Buddhism- shows the development of Buddhisim in 1500 years from the Northern Qi Dynasty to the Ming and Qing dynasties. The artworks are witnesses to the development and also the aesthetic pursuits of ancient artists.  
  • The Hometown of Operas- local operas and brick carvings are the focal point of this display. It shows traditional developement of the art of opera form the Warring States to the Ming and Qing dynasties and highlights the contribution and status of Shanxi in the Chinese opera history.
  • Shanxi Merchants- tells the history of the merchants in the Ming and Qing dynasties that established that first Draft Bank (Piaohao) that opened the financial field in China. 

This section shows the outstanding product craftsmanship and artistic qualities of Chinese Art.
  • Ancient Chinese Painting and Calligraphy 
  • Ancient Chinese Porcelain
  • Ancient Chinese Currency 
  • Jades
  • Chinese Architecture

For more images during my visit check out my Facebook page albums
(its just too much to be put in one post)

Opening Hours: 
  • 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (no admission after 4:00 PM)
  • Museum is closed during Mondays, New Year's Eve and the First Day of Chinese Lunar Calendar (days may vary)
Contact Information:
  • Address: 13 Binhe Xilu Beiduan, Taiyuan, Shanxi, PRC
  • Postal code: 030024
  • Telephone: 86-351-8789188 8789555
  • Fax: 86-351-8789221
  • Website: www.shanximuseum.com.cn
Visiting Information:
  • Tickets are for free (locals present a valid ID and tourists need to present your passport) just go to the ticketing office located at the right side of the museum block.
  • Admission is only valid for tickets that are issued the same day,
  • Touching of relics is prohibited
  • Flash lights and Tripods are not allowed
  • Food and drinks are not allowed.
  • Shanxi Museum offers services for councel, data, speaking guide, audio guide, baggage counter, strollers, wheel chairs and catering etc. 
  • For group tours, reservations in advance is advised (Tel: 86-351-8789555)
Personal Thoughts:

The museum is quite modern considering that its housed in a very nice building following Chinese Feng Shui. There are 4 levels in this building and the bottom is just basically dedicated for admissions and if you want to get an audio guide or a speaking guide you can. Im not aware on the cost since when we visited we just took a free visitors guide (some info and map provided) they have it in both Chinese and English and is available at the information desk at the middle of the 1st floor. 

There are a wide array of artifacts to be seen and they are displayed properly and is well lit. The building is air-conditioned and there are only a handful of foreign tourists around and 99% of the people visiting there are locals. A tea house is located at the 2nd level of the museum.

The displays are great and I did enjoy everything. If you love art then you must visit this if ever you are in Shanxi. I highly recommend it and will definitely visit again in the future.

Time spent in museum : 3-4 hours (its not small and if you take a lot of photos it might take longer and its a lot of walking)

There are toilets per level and they have both the squat and the western toilets. And they are clean. (I deem this necessary and if I can I try to check it)

There are random seating spots near the octagon center of each level. The escalators are off during our visit but the elevators are working properly. There are a lot of stairs too if you prefer walking. 

Thats it for this post and I hope you find this helpful. If you have any questions feel free to post a comment or send me an email :)