Of all the wacky places to visit in Taichung City, the Rainbow Village Taichung was definitely the most memorable. Although we had pretty high expectation having seen plenty of colourful videos and photos all over social media promoting the rainbow village, we left feeling the rainbow village was actually much more special and meaningful than expected.
Here, along with some of my videos from Taiwan which will give you a better idea of what the village looks like, I’m going to share some information on how to get to the rainbow village in Taichung, what there is to do there and why it’s a fun place to visit for anyone with an afternoon to spare in Taiwan! For accommodation options, read this article.
How to get to Rainbow Village Taichung
The first thing to note is that Taiwan’s rainbow village is NOT in or near Taipei as many people think. A lot of people visiting Taiwan only include Taipei in their itinerary, and while that’s understandable if you’re tight on time, the cities and small towns outside of the capital have a lot to offer.
The Rainbow Village is actually located outside of Taichung City, the second largest city in Taiwan with a staggering population of 2.8 million people! It’s also not located in the very city centre which makes it that much more difficult to reach for the average tourist, but still easy enough once you know where you’re going!
Easiest method: The quickest and easiest way to get there is to take a taxi. This is what Allison and I did and it cost us less than $200 Taiwanese (about US$7). UBER is pretty big here, and super cheap, so ordering an UBER is also a great way to get there. Once you are finished your visit, you’ll find at least 4 or 5 taxis lining up waiting to take people back to the city. They tend to charge a little more as they know that they’re your only option.
Cheapest method: There are public buses that run to the area. From the main station in Taichung you can take bus number 27 to Ling Tung University and then it’s a 5 to 10 minute walk to the rainbow village. There’s also a bus that lets you off directly outside of the Rainbow Village, bus number 56. You can take this bus from Xinwuri or Gancheng Train stations.
Rainbow Village Taichung Opening Times
As the village is now more of a tourist attraction than a residential village (although Rainbow Grandpa DOES still love here) it has set opening hours. You can visit any day of the week from 9am to 6pm, but I advise getting there early before the bus loads of tourists in big groups arrive. It’s free to enter but there is a place where you can leave a donation or you can buy a coffee or a postcard to support the upkeep.
Rainbow Village Taichung History
When visiting, I simply thought I was going to see a super colourful village. I knew there would be brightly painted houses and lots of great photo spots, most likely created by young artists. I had no idea of the history and was fascinated to learn about Rainbow Grandpa and his mission to save this area.
Before it was the brightly-painted village you see today, this small collection of house was in fact a veterans village. Back in 2008, Huang Yong Fu (known affectionately as Rainbow Grandpa) was one of the last remaining veterans living in the area. To brighten up the houses, he started to paint. First inside his house, paintings of cats and other animals, and soon birds, people and anything that came to mind. Once he had painted his entire house he moved onto the next house, and the next, until he had painted the entire (small) village.
At this time, no one really knew about the colourful veteran village, and only one man was still living there the government decided to demolish the area.
Students from the local University found out about these plans, and along with other residents, petitioned the government to save “Rainbow Village” and turn it into a protected cultural area.
Their pleas worked and today “Rainbow Village” is one of the top tourist attractions in the city, bringing over 1 million people each year to the area!
Meeting Rainbow Grandpa
Huang Yong Fu, Rainbow Grandpa, still lives and paints in the village and is somewhat of a local celebrity. If you’re lucky, you can meet him in the village and buy one of his signed pieces of art. He is now a staggering 96 years old, and nothing will move him from his beloved village.
What to see and do in Rainbow Village
Honestly, it’s really just a small collection of painted houses so you won’t need more than an hour here. If you’re photo or Instagram mad, like me, you’ll love just wandering around and taking cheesy pictures. There’s a small museum shop where you can buy gifts and paintings and there’s also a hole-in-the-wall cafe where you can get some drinks and snacks, all in brightly painting paper cups which I adored.
I also enjoyed the small classroom-like room which had photos all over the walls of groups of people have have visited over the years. A fun little exhibition to check out when visiting.