*writing this while on a trip to Redang for work! Wifi is kinda wonky here, so I’m using my data. Sigh.
With a population of 2.7mil, Taichung in the central region of Taiwan is one of its biggest cities – and a top spot for tourists to the island nation. There’s a good mix of family-friendly attractions, artistic hubs, beautiful natural landscapes and a burgeoning food scene… as I discovered on a recent trip there with the fam.
After an exhausting day taking the plane/transit/bus/taxi to our hostel near Fengjia Night Market the day before, we were glad that we’d be having a private mini-bus to take us around for the remainder of our trip in Taichung. Our first stop of the day? Rainbow Village.
Rainbow Village or Cai Hong Juan is one of Taichung City’s most popular tourist attractions, and for good reason. As our bus pulled to a stop near the complex, consisting of a playground and several low buildings surrounded by walls, the first thing that caught our eye was the colourful murals and paintings. Bright, funky, featuring outlandish cartoon characters and figures… it was like an acid trip through psychedelia.
The amazing art is the brainchild of an old, retired veteran soldier, a Mr Huang – who goes by the moniker ‘Caihong Ye Ye’ or Grandfather Rainbow. Back in the day, veteran ‘villages’ were built as simple housing for Kuomintang soldiers and their families after they retreated from Mainland China. Later on, many of these were sold off by the government so they could build new developments. Rainbow Village suffered the same fate, with houses being torn down one by one. Huang decided to paint his home over with colourful paintings, filling the walls and the alleyways with his unique work. It became a popular tourist attraction, and after protests by the general public, the ‘village’ was safe from demolition.
The paintings have an almost surrealist quality to them!
Entry to Rainbow Village is free, but donations are welcome. While it’s not very big, it’s a nice place to spend an half an hour/an hour taking pretty pictures and supporting an artist.
How to Get There
Take bus #27-29-30-40, heading towards Lingtung University. Once there, walk 400m to the south along Lingtung Road. The village is on the right. Buses 56# and 89# also service the route at the north side of Lingtung University.