Living in Greater Taipei provides you a lot of options to spend your day, from killing your time drinking a cup of “cute coffee” in Sam Coffee to enjoying your day hiking to the peak of Yangmingshan. However, if you still think there are not enough things to keep your boredom away, perhaps you can try to give Fuzhong 15 a visit.
Fuzhong 15 (aka FZ15, sounds cooler right? :p) is one of many public facilities provided by New Taipei City government to “educate” and “entertain” its citizen. Basically, Fuzhong 15 is a combination of Documentary Cinema and Animation & Story Gallery. It is called Fuzhong 15 for a super obvious reason: it’s located on Fuzhong Road No. 15.
In Animation & Story Gallery, you can learn a lot of things regarding the process of creating animated movie. One nice thing of this gallery is there is a child friendly area on the second floor called Kids Animation Playground. It is an interactive learning space to allow visitors to get know animation principles and techniques through games.
There are exhibition areas on the third to fifth floor of the building. If you’re lucky, you can see interesting exhibition(s) there. Unfortunately, most of the time, they are empty (many artists aren’t aware of this place perhaps?).
If you are interested to create your own animation, you should check workshops/activities held regularly on the sixth floor. Although, I believe you need to have a good Chinese since this place is targeted for locals.
On the eighth floor, they have a very cozy library. A great collection of books and DVDs can make you stay there for hours. There are also enough computers and TVs for you to play those DVDs. Oh, before you go there to find your favourite books/movies, you can check whether they have it or not in here: http://web.culture.ntpc.gov.tw/library/index.html.
No, no no… What we meant by free movies in the tittle of this article is not those DVDs. Of course, those are great, but there is more. FZ 15 is a combination of gallery and screening cinema, so where is the cinema? It is located on B1! They offer many good documentary movies and most of them are free. You can expect to pay NTD 20 for few movies (mostly the famous ones). Yes, twenty! Pretty cheap, isn’t it. By the way, most of the movies are narrated by FZ 15 staffs since it is made to be friendly for visually impaired.
You can check their schedule here: http://web.fuzhong15.ntpc.gov.tw/films/theme.aspx. Sorry guys, no English version for that web :(. If you want to watch, just come 10 minutes before the show time and stand in line (come earlier for high-rated movies, since the queue can be crazily long). For you with babies, don’t worry! There are baby/child-friendly shows every Friday afternoon where you don’t have to worry if your baby cries or your children run around freely; you can leisurely sit back and enjoy the movie since there are several volunteers keeping an eye on your kids.
Oh, after you watch your movies and feel hungry or thirsty, there is a Artco Cafe located just one step away from there.
So… if you feel bored and want to do something different without having to spend a lot of money, just take MRT to Fuzhong Station, get out from Exit 2 and walk a couple minutes to FZ 15.
Have fun and enjoy your movies! 🙂