Taipei's National Palace Museum (NPM) is adjusting admission charges effective July 1, but contrary to recent media reports, foreign citizens will not always be required to pay more than local Taiwanese.
As soon as I read
that Taiwanese citizens would qualify for discounted tickets (NTD150
per adult, compared to NTD250 for standard admission), and that these
would not be available to non-Taiwanese, I emailed the NPM for an
explanation of the new policy. I believe 'double-pricing' of the kind
common in a few countries reduces Taiwan's appeal as a tourist
destination; I also think it's unfair to foreign nationals like
myself who are resident in Taiwan and pay taxes here
According to the museum's reply, the new price structure won't discriminate against foreign citizens. Taiwanese will not be able to get discounted tickets simply by presenting their ID cards or passports. Foreign citizens, I was told 'may also benefit from the discounted prices, if they have a valid international school ID, or a youth travel card... foreign visitors who are under the age of 6, or have disabilities, may enter for free with one accompanying person.' However, the NPM staffer told me, there would still be certain discounts to encourage Taiwanese to visit, in accordance with government policy. How generous these will be remains to be seen.
Whether or not the new price structure is fair or not, NTD250 for admission to the NPM represents very good value for money for tourists interested in Chinese art.