This must-see museum escorts you through the craft of millennia and the pages of Chinese history. It's home to one of the most impressive collections in the land: take your pick from the archaic green patinas of the Ancient Chinese Bronzes Gallery through to the silent solemnity of the Ancient Chinese Sculpture Gallery and from the exquisite beauty of the ceramics in the Zande Lou Gallery to the measured and timeless flourishes captured in the Chinese Calligraphy Gallery.
Chinese painting, seals, jade, Ming and Qing furniture, coins and ethnic costumes are also on offer, intelligently displayed in well-lit galleries. The building itself is designed to resemble the shape of an ancient Chinese dǐng (three-legged cooking vessel). The excellent museum shop sells postcards, a rich array of books, and faithful replicas of the museum's ceramics and other pieces.
The audio guide is well worth the ¥40 (deposit ¥400 or your passport). Expect to spend half, if not most of, a day here.