Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Taichung Half Day Trip at the 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan in Wufong District

       Living in the old part of Taichung city we have been constantly asked by our friends from out of the city "where can they go or that is their to do?"  Well, quite honestly it is hard to point out a place that would really satisfy visitors in the old city, except bars, restaurants, and motels, especialy for the younger energetic generation. 
     One day my husband and I ended up hosting two young boy both 11 years old for one day. We gave them some destinations to choose for the day with us. "Been there and done that" was the most answer that we got from them. Finally when I mentioned the 921 Earthquake Museum, it caught their attention because they hadn't been there yet. They both were highly interested in the learning of the magnitude 7.3 earthquake. Well our problem was solved and also it was not too far from old Taichung city. 
This picture was taken from the country side on our
way to the museum. It took us about 30 minutes
driving to Wufang which is on the outskirt
of the old Taichung city.
     Geologically Taiwan is located on Pacific Ring of Fire. There are tremors occuring everyday which is the usual pattern and people sometimes feel or don't feel the tremors. In Sept. 21 of 1999 a devastating earthquake with the magnitude of 7.3 struck the central island of Taiwan which caused tremendous damages to building and homes and life loss and the psychological fear of it happening again. In 2001, the government decided to turn the formal Kwangfu Junior High School campus in Wufang which was severely hit by the earthquake into a earthquake museum to show and educate people about the disaster.
The museum has two parking lots. We parked at
the north side parking lot which doesn't show on its
official website.  The layout of the museum was
taken from the north side. 
The museum has 5 main exhibit halls. My two guests
were interested in the 3rd hall for experiencing the
earthquake stimulations. So we had to walk through
the first and second hall in order to get there. Another
reason to get there at first is the limited seating and
scheduleing. Sometimes visitors may encounter
groups of people or students which would cost
individuals time for waiting in line.   
After we passed the first and second hall, we came
across a courtyard with some installation arts. Also
we saw the major buildings destroyed. It used to be
classrooms and now a site for people to see the power
of a natural disaster. 
This building was next to the third hall which is
our first stop of the image hall. Visitors could see
squat toilets on the edge of the building. It was
interesting to see the real life and think about the
relations of the earthquake, things, and people. 
Our first stop
There were two theaters which one the 3D theater
and two the Earthquake Experience Theater. There were
two different movies. Schedule and visitor limitation
were listed in this picture. 
We didn't get here in time for the first
schedule. So we had to wait for a while.
During our waiting, kids found some educational
computer interactive program machines to play
with. It was good for them to kill time while
waiting for the next schedule . 
After a short waiting period of time, we were led to
this earthquake experimental room which was set up
as a living room. We were asked to sit down.  
The game was going to start soon. 
The shock was not real scary as the real earthquake
because we knew when it would start and we knew
we would be safe without any harm during the shake.
Anyway kids had fun during the movement was our
main purpose.
Three handsome men in the 3D theater with their
thump up. We watched 2 movies and both were good.
The movies were free admissions. 
After finishing the most interesting subjects for kids, 
we walked back to the second hall of Earthquake 
Engineering Hall. It also had some interactive themes
to teach people about the great ideas of anti-
earthquake building structures. This picture illustrated
how to place objects in a proper way to avoid damage
during a devastating earthquake. 
This interactive display showed people the different
damages between the tall building and short building
in different degrees of earthquakes. 
This was another interactive platform.
The construction engineering support methods were
 applied in the collapsed building which allowed us
to walk under the building safely. 
This picture was taken at the Earthquake Science
Theme area which was a portion of the first hall of
Chelungpu Fault Gallery. It included 6 different
interactive subjects and the photo display of
the scenes after the quake.
One of the 6 different interactive subjects

Visitors can reach the outdoor area which used to
be the athletic field of the formal junior high school
from the Earthquake Science Theme area.  
This site is a highly geologic study area which has
attracted many international geologists to conduct
surveys about the effect of the earthquake. Why is
 this place so special?  The earthquake caused the
running track to raise up at least 2.1 meter high

 because the fault cut through this area and the fault
extends about 340 meters long. Standing on this site,
you can feel the energy of the earthquake.   
This map explains all earthquake
faults distributed in Taiwan. 

This pile of dirt was excavated from the earthquake
site to educate people about the earth stratum and
the earthquake force.  
The museum also adapts some ecological methods
in its structures and surrounding environment. 
We were in the Disaster Prevention Hall.
This wall displayed several legend floods,
stories in various ethnic and religious
Another interactive game for kids to
learn natural sciences. 

Can you take a guess what is this? No it's not a bomb shelter.
It is a restroom.
Accident Prevention--Journal to the West  Hall
These two kids had a great time there and we didn't
have to worry about safety issue. Sometimes
we had to explain to them about the meanings of the
games or the displays.

Learning the sound conduction!
They were circling Chinese idioms in order to exchange
souvenirs which was sponsored by the museum.  
He was waiting for the volunteer to check on his
answer for the souvenir. 

     It was fun for adults and kids to learn the earth science, especial for foreigner who have never been through an earthquake's strike in their life. It is highly recommended to pay the museum a visit. 

How to get there, ticket, or more information, please visit its official website:

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