Rainbow Village Taiwan: Why You Ought to Go to
Of all of the locations I’ve visited in Taiwan, Rainbow Village in Taichung is the one I bear in mind probably the most fondly. Not simply due to all of the colourful buildings there, however due to the inspiring story behind the way it was created.
Sure, Rainbow Village is a superb backdrop for Instagram pictures, nevertheless it’s a lot greater than that. Learn on to learn how one aged man took his destiny into his personal palms and created this lovely place.
The place is Rainbow Village?
Rainbow Village is situated on the outskirts of Taichung, the second-largest metropolis in Taiwan. Till just lately, Taichung was by no means regarded as a vacationer vacation spot. Most guests fascinated by metropolis life in Taiwan would journey to Taipei, Tainan or Kaohsiung however skip proper over Taichung.
That is beginning to change although, and Rainbow Village is a giant a part of the rationale why. Although not Taiwan’s most lovely metropolis, Taichung has rather a lot to supply relating to artwork and tradition. And Rainbow Village is certainly one in every of its high points of interest.
It is probably the most colourful locations I’ve ever seen, proper up there with the Rainbow Mountains in western China.
The Historical past of Rainbow Village and Rainbow Grandpa
How It All Started
Rainbow Village was created single-handedly by one aged struggle veteran. His actual title is Huang Yung Fu, however as of late everybody calls him Rainbow Grandpa.
Born in Guangdong province in southern China in 1924, he joined the military on the age of 15 to struggle towards the Japanese within the Second Sino-Japanese Struggle (which was a part of World Struggle II). He then fought with the Kuomintang towards Mao Zedong’s Communist military within the Chinese language Civil Struggle.
When the Communists received, Huang retreated to Taiwan together with two million different Kuomintang troopers and their households.
After his honorable discharge from the military on the age of 55, he continued to work as a safety guard. In line with an indication at Rainbow Village, “he has received rave critiques on his justice as he has caught thieves and fought towards rascals”!
In 2010, when Huang was 86 years previous, he obtained a letter ordering him to evacuate his house as a result of it was going to be demolished. However it was the one actual house he’d ever recognized, and he didn’t need to depart. So as an alternative, he began portray.
He started by portray a hen on his bed room wall, after which he simply saved going, portray the skin partitions of his home and people of the deserted homes surrounding it. Since he hadn’t painted since childhood, he recreated the straightforward figures of animals and people who his father had taught him to attract as a younger baby.
From Practically Homeless to Internationally Well-known
At some point, a scholar on the native college handed by whereas he was portray and stopped to ask what he was doing. Moved by his story, she shared it along with her fellow college students and her professors.
They efficiently petitioned the mayor of Taichung to guard the work as precious cultural property. Rainbow Grandpa was allowed to maintain his house.
Because of pictures shared extensively on web sites and social media, his fame shortly grew. Rainbow Village is now a preferred attraction for each home and worldwide vacationers in Taiwan. It obtained greater than 1 million guests per yr!
To seek out out extra about Rainbow Grandpa’s inspiring story, go to the constructing referred to as “Story Home” inside Rainbow Village. There you’ll discover previous pictures of Rainbow Grandpa, framed drawings signed by him, and a TV exhibiting information clips about him.
Subsequent door to the Story Home is the two-room home the place Rainbow Grandpa nonetheless lives. Please be particularly quiet and respectful on this space.
Is Rainbow Village Actually a Village?
Nicely, form of, however not precisely. The Chinese language title is a little more correct. It’s Caihong Juancun (彩虹眷村), which interprets as “rainbow army dependents’ village”.
What Is a Army Dependents’ Village?
These communities had been constructed on public land for Kuomintang troopers and their dependents after the Kuomintang military retreated from the Chinese language mainland in 1949.
Rapidly constructed, they had been meant to function momentary housing till the day when the Kuomintang military may recapture mainland China. In fact, that day by no means got here.
Over the many years, as the previous troopers both moved or handed away, their houses fell into disrepair. Within the mid-1990s the federal government started demolishing most of the army dependents’ villages to make means for high-rise buildings. Out of the 879 army dependents’ villages in-built Taiwan, fewer than 30 stay at present.
Rainbow Grandpa’s Army Dependents’ Village
When Rainbow Grandpa moved there, his village was house to 1,200 households. However through the years, all these individuals both died or moved away, till he was the one one left.
By 2010, actual property builders had purchased up all however 11 of the 1,200 houses and demolished them to construct high-rise residences. This is the reason the federal government ordered him to vacate, in order that builders may bulldoze what was left.
However as you already know, that’s not what occurred. Rainbow Grandpa took issues into his personal palms, by selecting up a paintbrush.
He managed to avoid wasting these final 11 buildings, together with his personal home, by portray them. They’re now surrounded by trendy high-rises. I’m telling you this to handle your expectations, as a result of some guests are upset by how small the “village” is.
Not like the 2 rainbow villages in Indonesia (this one in Malang and this one in Semarang), Rainbow Grandpa’s village is clearly probably not village-sized. It’s because many of the buildings had already been demolished earlier than Rainbow Grandpa may save them.
However regardless of its small measurement, it’s astounding to suppose that one aged man painted this all by himself. And he nonetheless wakes up at four am every single day and spends three hours touching up his older work or creating new ones.
At any time when he’s in good well being and bodily ready, Rainbow Grandpa waits within the memento store for guests who need to take selfies with him. I used to be tremendous excited to search out him there once I visited!
He even complimented me on my Mandarin expertise once I launched myself. Which was very sort of him, as a result of my Mandarin is sort of rusty. I’m engaged on it, although!
Is Rainbow Grandpa Actually a Grandpa?
I don’t actually suppose individuals are going to be upset by this in the identical means they’re upset in regards to the measurement of the village. However for the document, Rainbow Grandpa is technically not a grandpa.
He by no means had any kids of his personal, so, subsequently, no grandchildren both. In truth, Rainbow Grandpa remained a bachelor for nearly all of his life. However he’s fortunately married now!
I discussed above that he poses for selfies with guests at any time when he’s in good well being. Lately, he’s been out and in of the hospital for numerous coronary heart and lung illnesses.
Throughout a hospital keep in 2013, he fell in love with an aged nurse who took care of him there. Whereas she’s not a public determine like he’s, Rainbow Grandpa and Rainbow Grandma now stay collectively within the little two-room home.
The Artwork of Rainbow Village
Together with complaints that Rainbow Village is just too small, I’ve additionally learn complaints that the work are infantile. Nicely sure, they’re, and that’s the fantastic thing about them.
Rainbow Grandpa is a self-taught artist. He by no means had any coaching past what his father taught him when he was a younger boy rising up in China.
When he received the thought to avoid wasting what was left of his village, he painted the identical issues he had discovered as a toddler, as a result of that was all he knew.
Filled with completely satisfied recollections. A number of the scenes on his partitions depict him and his brothers and sisters once they had been kids. Others depict animals, kids and younger lovers, as a result of he loves their happiness and innocence.
To me, it doesn’t actually matter if the artwork is “good” or not. What I really like about Rainbow Village is the inspiring story behind it.
There are numerous artwork and tradition parks in Taiwan, the place the federal government sponsors and promotes inventive initiatives. However this isn’t a government-backed mission. Quite the opposite, it’s one man’s quest to avoid wasting his house from destruction by the federal government. And he received.
Vegan Meals at Rainbow Village
As a vegan journey blogger, I really feel I ought to say one thing in regards to the availability of vegan meals at Rainbow Village. Taiwan is among the most vegan-friendly international locations on the earth, and Taichung is filled with nice locations for vegan meals.g
Sadly, Rainbow Village shouldn’t be one in every of them. In fact, it’s probably not a foodie vacation spot anyway. There is a snack space that sells rainbow popsicles and tea eggs, however I did not see any vegan choices apart from drinks.
Though chances are you’ll get (un)fortunate and have a mango fall in your head from the massive tree out entrance!
You don’t want a very long time to go to the village, however in case you come by public transport the journey may take some time. If you happen to suppose you would possibly get hungry, convey some snacks.
Easy methods to Get to Rainbow Village
Easy methods to Get to Rainbow Village from Taichung HSR Station
Rainbow Village is situated within the Nantun District on the western outskirts of Taichung. Taichung’s MRT metro system has been below building for a very long time, however on the time of writing it’s not but open. So to get to Rainbow Village, you will want to go by bus or Uber.
It’s about eight kilometers from the town middle, although it’s a lot nearer from the Taichung Excessive Velocity Rail (HSR) Station. Bus No. 800 leaves from the HSR station and stops proper in entrance of the village, taking about 15-20 minutes.
Easy methods to Get to Rainbow Village from Taichung Station (Metropolis Heart)
From Taichung Station and different factors within the metropolis middle, nonetheless, the bus trip may take over an hour. Numerous bus routes move close to Rainbow Village, together with Nos. 27, 30, 56 and 290. Public transport instructions in Google Maps are fairly dependable for Taiwan, so simply examine for the most effective route at your time of departure.
The excellent news is, bus rides below 10 kilometers are free in Taichung! BUT, you do have to have an IC card to board the bus. You must undoubtedly get one in every of these anyway in case you’ll be touring round Taiwan. The EasyCard, iPass, and iCash playing cards are all accepted on Taichung metropolis buses.
If you happen to don’t need to cope with public transport, an Uber ought to price about NT$ 300 every means. Uber is extra handy than a taxi in case you don’t converse Chinese language.
But when it’s essential present a taxi driver your vacation spot, the Chinese language title for Rainbow Village is 彩虹眷村 (Caihong Juancun). The complete handle in Chinese language is: 408台中市南屯區春安路56巷25號.
Often individuals name the place Caihong Juan Village, however this can be a fairly odd mixture of Chinese language and English. Caihong (彩虹) means rainbow, and Juancun (眷村) means “dependents’ village”, so it appears unusual to translate simply one in every of these characters and transliterate the others.
Greatest Time to Go to Rainbow Village
The key is out about Rainbow Village, so I like to recommend arriving as early as doable to keep away from the crowds. We received there round 9:30 am, and there have been a minimum of 4 massive tour buses there already.
As already talked about, the place shouldn’t be that massive, so it may get crowded fairly simply. In fact, I’m scripting this within the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, so presumably, the crowds are a lot smaller proper now.
It’s possible you’ll be stunned that the village is open in any respect, however really most vacationer points of interest in Taiwan are nonetheless open. Taiwan has accomplished a greater job than most different international locations in controlling the unfold of the virus.
A part of the way it has accomplished this, although, is by closing off its borders. So in case you’re not already in Taiwan as of April 2020, don’t count on to go to anytime quickly.
For many who are there, the village stays open. Rainbow Grandpa is even nonetheless making appearances for selfies. Though, in a latest Fb put up, employees ask guests to put on a masks and chorus from shaking Rainbow Grandpa’s hand.
Provided that he is 96 years previous, these look like very smart measures to take.
Verify the official Rainbow Village Fb web page and Instagram account for the newest developments.
Have you ever been to Rainbow Village in Taiwan? What did you consider it? Let me know within the feedback beneath!