Taichung: Step Into the Vibrant World of Rainbow Village
Unique and very creative. These are our first thoughts when we stepped in this small village. It is located in Nantun District, where houses were painted with vibrant and vivid colors, and is a popular tourist destination in Taichung. Its walls, even its alleyways, are painted and decorated, that in whatever direction you see, you will always have a nice picture.
But this colorful village is more than just eye candy. It is a former military housing containing more than 1,200 houses. Most were demolished, and what remained were painted by Huang Yung-Fu (more known as Rainbow Grandpa). His colorful artworks, like birds, animals, humans, and nature were spread out to adjacent houses spared by demolition. Now, only eleven colorful houses remained that were spared from the demolition.
The Rainbow Village (彩虹眷村) is a street art in Nantun District, Taichung, Taiwan. It was created by former soldier, Huang Yung-Fu, who was born in Taishan county, Guangdong province in 1924. The eldest of four brothers and two sisters Huang’s artistic talents were revealed early on. He began painting houses in his settlement, now known as Rainbow village, to save them from demolition.
Huang, originally from Hong Kong, joined the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) army in 1946 to fight communist troops in mainland China during the civil war. In 1949, many of the defeated KMT troops followed their leader, Chiang Kai-shek, as he fled to Taiwan. Soldiers were given temporary housing in hundreds of dedicated military villages across the island. Eventually, some settlements became permanent and many veterans and their families were left to spend much of their lives in them.
Many houses became run down and developers began buying up the land for redevelopment. Residents were offered compensation or new housing to move but Huang remained even after his neighbors had left and only 11 homes remained. Bored with being the only person left in the village he began painting a bird inside his home and his artwork grew from there.
Local university students discovered Huang’s work and campaigned to save the village. Authorities eventually agreed that it should be preserved and hopefully become a designated cultural area. It is a popular tourist attraction, along with nearby Art street pulling in more than a million visitors annually, mostly from Asia.
It’s hard to imagine how just a single person made this unique artwork all by himself. At the age of 96, Grandpa is still alive and kicking, and if you’re lucky you will encounter him in one of the houses. His story is an inspiration, that his work made a large impact on the community. Today it is one of the primary tourist destinations in Taichung.
It has a small café, gift shop, and playground. If you want to take home a souvenir, there is a gift shop selling umbrellas, postcards, notebooks, and other items painted and decorated like the murals. The thing is, they’re a bit expensive.
The sun is high above the sky when we came here, yet the place is full of people. I wish they consider regulating the inflow of visitors as they’re already squeezing in to enter the tiny village. Why I have to complain if I can enter the place with no charge? Within thirty minutes you can roam around the entire village. Aside from taking photos, which what you might be doing here, there are no other activities that can be done here.
- Address: Chun-an Road, Nantun District, Lane 56 Taichung Taiwan 408
- Admission Hours: Closes 6 PM
- Phone: +886 4 2380 2351
- Website: http://www.1949rainbow.com.tw/
Taichung Main Railway Station to Rainbow Village
- By Taxi: The ride will cost 260-300NTD.
- By Bus: Bus #27-29-30-40, direction Lingtung University. Stop Lingtung University (嶺東科技大學(嶺東路)). Then walk about 400m to the south along Lingtung Rd. (see photo below). You will see the village on the right. Also, bus #56 and #89, that start their route at the north side of Lingtung University (Yongchun Road), can be ridden to reach the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in the city center.
PART OF OUR TAIWAN GETAWAY
- NORTH COAST: Yehliu Geopark | Pingxi Sky Lantern | Shifen Waterfalls | Golden Waterfalls | Jiufen Old Street | Wanli Abandon UFO Houses
- TAIPEI: Ximendeng | Taipei 101 | Maokong Gondola | Elephant Mountain | Taipei Peace Park | Taipei Zoo | Chiang Kai Shek Memorial | Shilin Night Market | The Red House
- TAICHUNG: Zhongshe Flower Farm | Xinshe Castle | Rainbow Village | Gaomei Wetland Park