Cijin Shell Gallery – Kaohsiung City, Taiwan - Atlas Obscura

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Cijin Shell Gallery

This seaside museum boasts a colorful collection of over 3,000 shells, the largest in Taiwan. 


Cijin Island in Kaohsiung is popular among daytrippers in Kaohsiung for its black sand beaches and the 19th-century lighthouse on its northern tip, which has become a minor tourist attraction. The island also boasts Taiwan’s largest collection of shells at the Cijin Shell Gallery, a museum on the second floor of the island’s tourist center overlooking the beach.

The more than 3,000 shells were donated to the city by local collector Huang Ko-Liang and the local tourism bureau built a museum to house them. Sorted by genus, the shells are lines on spacious rows of shelves with cards detailing their scientific classification and place of origin. Between the shelves, cases hold artistic displays of spiraling cords of dangling shells.

The collection boasts an impressive variety, including over 2,000 different kinds of seashells and over 600 different kinds of land snails. Highlights include a massive giant clam shell and several nautilus shells. The museum also holds a few shark jaw specimens.

Know Before You Go

The ferry to Cijin Island takes less than 10 minutes and leaves at 10 to 15-minute intervals, between 5 a.m. and 2 a.m.

The museum's admission fee is 30 NTD and hours are 9 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Sunday.

Just north is the Rainbow Church, an art installation that has become a popular site for photographs.

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June 18, 2024

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