Rainbow Village Taichung: A Paradise for Instagrammers

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Rainbow Village Taichung (彩虹眷村) easily tops the list of most “Instagrammable” places in Taichung, and it is quickly becoming one of the hottest new things to do on a visit to Taiwan.

While the colorful walls of this small collection of dilapidated houses are indeed a veritable paradise for selfies seekers, Taiwan’s Rainbow Village actually has a rather interesting history behind it.

If you plan on visiting Rainbow Village, then be sure to check out my complete guide to Taichung City and detailed Taichung itinerary suggestions.

Also, see my related article on Gamcheon Culture Village in South Korea, another super colorful “paradise for Instagrammers”!

 

Check out Klook for great deals and discounts on activities, transportation, and more in Taiwan. We often using it in our travels in Taiwan. If you register with this link, you’ll get a 100TWD discount on your first activity!

 

The Rainbow Village in Taichung, Taiwan

 

Rainbow village is located in Nantun district (南屯區) west of the Taichung city center, an area that was a part of Taichung City before it was amalgamated with Taichung County.

It’s a little out of the way, and there isn’t much else to see in the area, but it’s still easy enough to get to by taxi, renting a scooter, or taking public transportation, as I’ll further explain at the end of the article.

 

Rainbow Village Taichung with kids
My wife and kids doing mandatory “victory signs” at Rainbow Village. See my full article on traveling around Taiwan with kids.

 

Practically unknown until just a few years ago, Rainbow Village is quickly becoming one of the trendiest and most popular things to do in Taichung, with over a million visitors per year, so do add it to your Taiwan itinerary if you are spending time in the city, and we found it to be a perfect stop when traveling from Taipei to Sun Moon Lake!

 

Rainbow Village Tours

Rainbow Village is included on this half-day or full-day Taichung tour, which includes a stop at Gaomei Wetlands (see more information on my Taichung day trips article).

You could also include Rainbow Village on a fully customized tour of Taichung with an English, Spanish, or French speaking local person showing you around, or a private tour with a driver to show you around.

 

History of Rainbow Village Taichung

Huang Yong-fu, the "Rainbow Grandpa"
Huang Yong-fu, the “Rainbow Grandpa”

 

Huang Yong-fu painting the walls of his home
Huang Yong-fu

 

Huang Yong-fu in his military attire
Huang Yong-fu in his military attire

 

After Chiang Kai-Shek’s Kuomintang nationalist army lost the Chinese Civil War in 1949, he and some 2 million Chinese, many of them soldiers, fled to Taiwan. Many of these solider were placed in hastily constructed military dependents’ villages in cities throughout Taiwan.

These villages remained government property, and as time passed many fell into decay or were abandoned. In the 1990s, the government began aggressively demolishing them.

Huang Yong-Fu was born in Taishan County, Guangdong Province, China in 1924. During the war, he was conscripted to fight against the Japanese, and ended up poor in Hong Kong. He later rejoined the army in Hainan, and fled with the KMT to Taiwan. He went off to fight again during the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis, and was finally discharged at the age of 55.

After that, he bought his current house, in a village of 1200 homes that had been built by nine retired soldiers on land owned by the Ministry of National Defense. In 2010, out of boredom, and also upon hearing that the government planned to demolish the village, Huang began painting the walls of his home and surrounding buildings in an attempt to have them preserved. At that point, he was one of the only people still inhabiting the village.

 

Colorful walls inside the Rainbow Village Taiwan

 

Later, students from the nearby Ling Tung and Hung Kuang universities discovered his artwork, and successfully petitioned the Taichung mayor to preserve the collection of 11 remaining houses. The village soon acquired local fame, and is quickly becoming one of Taiwan’s hottest new attractions.

Huang, now 94 and going by the nickname Rainbow Grandpa (彩虹爺爺), still lives on site, and supposedly wakes up every morning at 4 am to work on maintaining his artwork. Visitors often meet him and he always gives the victory sign when posing for photos, but we weren’t lucky enough to see him when we visited.

Huang’s artwork has been called a kind of surrealism, with elements of humor, childishness, and love. He is also obviously an animal lover. He has even been called the Hayao Miyazaki of Taiwan.

 

Loved themed villages? Also read my full guide to Monster Village in Xitou, Central Taiwan. Another village in Taiwan with a rich colonial history is Jiufen, New Taipei City.

 

The back side of the Rainbow Village

What to Expect When You Visit

Entrance to Rainbow Village
Entrance way to Rainbow Village

 

Rainbow “village” is no more than a few homes, with about half a dozen small interconnected buildings. You could easily see the whole thing in 10-15 minutes, but with photos and having a snack or drink, you’ll probably spend an hour there.

There are a few food stalls at the entrance and back, and a café inside serves coffee in art-covered to-go cups that are worth it just for taking this shot:

 

Rainbow Village coffee cup
when you buy a coffee just to get a picture of it…

 

Find out where to see more amazing street art in my guide to Ximending Youth District in Taipei.

 

Rainbow Village Cafe
The Rainbow Village Cafe

 

There are also two souvenir shops where you can buy hats, fans, umbrellas and more with Huang’s artwork. The shops are reportedly run by Huang’s grandson. While the village is free to visit, they supposedly accept donations. I didn’t see anywhere to do this, so we made a point of buying a few things.

 

Fan for sale at Rainbow Village
Fan for sale at Rainbow Village

 

Umbrella for sale at Rainbow Village
Umbrellas for sale

 

Matching hats that my son and I bought
Sage and I got matching hats!

 

My daughter Lavender had to pose for a shot too...
And I can’t leave out Lavender here!

 

There’s no specific opening and closing time, but since Huang wakes so early, I’m sure you could show up anytime in the daylight hours, but you wouldn’t be able to appreciate the artwork after dark.

Due to the Rainbow Village’s growing popularity, weekends can be fairly crowded, but even when we visited on a Saturday afternoon, it wasn’t too bad, and fortunately this attraction hasn’t quite reached tour bus-level fame (yet).

If you are really interested in the arts, then you can consider also making a visit to nearby Donghai (Tung Hai) Arts Shopping District (東海藝術街商圈), an art-focused street near Tung Hai University.

 

Check out my guides to other popular Taiwan attractions, Taroko Gorge and Alishan National Scenic Area.

 

 

How to Get to Rainbow Village

Back side of the Rainbow Village

 

From the Taichung High Speed Rail Station, you can reach Rainbow Village by taxi for NT150-200. Coming from Taipei, you can get a discounted HSR ticket to Taichung on Klook. You can also take bus #617 from the station.

From the Taichung city center, you can expect to pay NT250-300 for a taxi. From the north side of Taichung Train Station, take bus #27. Get off at Gancheng Village 6 stop (千城六村站), one stop after Lin Tung University (嶺東科技大學). It takes about an hour, and it’s about a 10-minute walk from the bus stop.

You can also take bus #56 from Gancheng (干城) or Xinwuri (新烏日) train stations, and it stops right in front of Rainbow Village.

If you are continuing on to Sun Moon Lake, it would be most efficient to head to the Taichung High Speed Rail Station after Rainbow Village to catch the Sun Moon Lake Shuttle bus. You can save money on this journey by getting the Sun Moon Lake Pass.

Visiting by car from Taipei, we found it very convenient to make a stop at Rainbow Village on the way to Sun Moon Lake, since it is just off Highway 1.

You can also rent a scooter or charter a private car for visiting Rainbow Village and other sights in central Taiwan.

 

My kids on the colorfully painted floor

 

Sage and Lavender posing with a cat on the wall

 

My kids at Rainbow Village

 

My wife Emily and kids Sage and Lavender doing V for victory and Rainbow Village Taichung

 

The little snack shop at Rainbow Village
Rainbow village snack shop

 

Are you also traveling with kids? You may also be interested in my articles on Istanbul with kids and Oman with kids!

 

 

Raibow Village Taichung is one of Taiwan's best Instagram spots. Find out how to visit! #taiwan #rainbowvillage #taiwaninstagram #taichung

 

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. These are products and services that I personally use and recommend. If you click on one and buy something, I get a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Rainbow Village Taichung: A Paradise for Instagrammers”

  1. Nick, one of my church members who heads up our social justice group sent the group the video of Huang Yong-fu, the “Rainbow Grandpa” and i know you mention that you do some affiliate marketing. Do you have an affiliate relationship with the stores that sell Rainbow products, like the umbrella? I would love to purchase as a thank you gift for the member who sent the video for she does in our very liberal church for social justice here in Berkeley, CA. Thanks for the post.

    • Hi Lonnie, thanks for your comment! No, I don’t have any relationship with them, unfortunately. I only do with online travel booking sites. They are a small private business, so I doubt you could find their stuff anywhere except for actually going there. If I had plans to go to Taichung I could have picked some up and mailed for you, but unfortunately I won’t be going there anytime soon. Good luck, and hope you can find a way!

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