You might be wondering what exactly Rainbow Village is. You might also be wondering why entire houses have bright smiling animals and other random objects painted on their walls – we’ll get to that a little bit later.. For now, simply enjoy some unique artwork covering every inch of this tiny ‘village’.
This small village of just 11 homes is rapidly gaining popularity and is becoming a ‘must visit’ spot for travellers stopping into Taichung, Taiwan.
As Instagram likes become their own form of online currency/validation, Rainbow Village vaults up the list of ‘must visit’ places in Taiwan. And really, you’d struggle to design a more picture friendly location. Just look at this place!
Now, back to the original question…
Why is this city so colourful?
The answer can be traced back to one super creative 94-year-old man – Rainbow Grandpa!
Rainbow Grandpa’s actual name is Huang Yong-Fu and the former Chinese Nationalist soldier has dedicated the last 10 years of his life to beautifying and preserving ‘his’ village.
This legend was born in 1924 in the Guandong province of China. After ending up poor in Hong Kong, he joined the fight against Mao Zedong and the communists in 1946. Three years later, when the Chinese Nationalists were defeated, the army fled to from Mainland China to Taiwan and Huang Yong-Fu followed suit.
Soldiers were put into government housing throughout the island of Taiwan and over the years, many of these small communities fell into decay. In the 1990’s, the Taiwanese government began demolishing the run-down neighbourhoods, and by 2010, Huang Yong-Fu’s area was on the chopping block.
In an attempt to preserve his longtime home, Huang decided to begin painting all of the nearby buildings.
The end result was a super colourful village – containing a variety of people, plants, animals and styles.
Clearly, this turned into a full-fledged obsession and Huang’s colourful artwork managed to convince the government to value such an area! After some University students came across this small village, they petitioned the mayor to preserve the 11 remaining houses. The legend of ‘Rainbow Grandpa’ was born.
Legend claims the 94 year old Huang still wakes up at 4am each and every morning to continue his artwork.
Where is Rainbow Village?
A little bit outside of the centre of Taichung, you can take bus #27 from the Taichung Train Station. From the High Speed Train station, #617 will take you a 10-minute walk from the entrance. Additionally, taxi’s will be around 150-250 TWD ($6.50-11 CAD) from each location.
How long will I say at Rainbow Village?
No more than 30-minutes. The entire area consists of 11 structures, a few souvenir shops and a small cafe. You’ll be able to walk the entire area within 5-minutes but make sure to leave yourself some extra time to battle the crowds for the perfect Instagram shot….
Additionally, keep an eye out for the mango trees. There are signs warning visitors of the potential dangers but you can never be too careful!
Should I visit Rainbow Village?
While I’m a huge fan of a nice colourful village (see Guatape, Colombia https://canadianglobetrotter.net/2017/03/26/guatape-colombia/), I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going out of your way to visit this one. Don’t get me wrong, Rainbow Village is a pleasant area and you’ll get some pretty cool pictures, but I wouldn’t classify it as a definite ‘must see’ place.
But hey, if you’re in the Taichung area… definitely stop by. Just keep an eye out for the mangoes!
Thanks for reading! Xie Xie.