25 Unique Things to Do in Taichung, Taiwan

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When I first moved to Taiwan in 2008, the most recent edition of Lonely Planet Taiwan described Taichung as “hardly a must-see for the short-term visitor.” A lot has changed since then, and in recent years more and more travelers have been coming to Taiwan with Taichung in a top spot on their Taiwan itinerary!

Taichung (台中 or Taizhong, literally “Taiwan’s middle”) is the largest city of Taiwan. It is the birthplace of pearl milk tea and is particularly known for its artistic tendencies, flower viewing, night markets, café culture, and several large universities.

Taichung is home to some really unique attractions like Rainbow Village, Zhongshe Flower Market, and Gaomei Wetland. It is also a transit point for trips to famous places like Sun Moon Lake, Cingjing Farm, and Hehuanshan. I’ve covered these further-away sights in my guide to the best day trips from Taichung.

Below I’ve compiled the best things to do in Taichung city center, based on multiple visits over the 10+ years that I’ve lived in Taiwan, to help you plan where to go in Taichung. To find out how to manage the below suggestions when planning your trip, have a look at my recommended 1, 2, or 3-day Taichung itinerary and my general Taichung guide.

I hope this Taichung guide can help you plan your trip, whether you are visiting as a day trip from Taipei or staying for a while, and help to prove that Taichung is now one the places you must visit on your trip to Taiwan!

Welcome to Taichung!

Rainbow Village Taichung, one of the top Taichung attractions
Rainbow Village, one of Taichung’s hottest attractions

For local Taiwanese and foreigners living in Taiwan, Taichung is a tempting place to live. It offers real estate prices and rental fees one third lower than in Taipei, and it is the birthplace of many famous chain restaurants (not to mention bubble tea!)

What’s more, due to the region’s unique position in a basin that is protected by the Central Mountain Range to the east and the hills of Miaoli County to the north, Taichung receives significantly less rainfall and is less affected by typhoons than other major cities in Taiwan.

In 2010, Taichung City merged with what used to be called “Taichung County”, meaning that the area that is now called “Taichung City” is much more than city one city. It is actually a vast region over 2000 square kilometers in size! It stretches all the way from the west coast of Taiwan stunning Lishan mountain area and Yilan County in the northeast and Taroko National Park in Hualien County. It encompasses remote aboriginal villages and some of the Taiwan’s highest mountains!

This article will focus mainly on the original core area of Taichung City, around Taichung train and High Speed Rail stations.

Taichung Travel Essentials

– Read my essential Taiwan travel tips.

– Get a discounted HSR ticket to Taichung in advance and read how to book them. Get NTD100 off these or any other Klook deals by signing up with my referral link first.

– Catch a bus directly from Taoyuan Airport to Taichung or order a ride with a private driver.

– If you arrive at the Taichung International Airport west of town, order a private ride from the airport to town.

– After years of delays, the Taichung MRT is up and running as of early 2021. Taichung buses are free for rides under 10 km. You need to swipe on (look for 上 above the door) or off (下) with an EasyCard.
See my EasyCard guide for details.

Hire a private driver or take this popular day tour to visit the main sights in Taichung.

– Taichung is quite spread out. Get around by YouBike, renting a scooter, or renting a car renting a car.

– Book your portable WiFi device or SIM card before you arrive.

– If you plan to visit Taichung during Chinese New Year, see these important travel tips in my article on traveling to Taiwan during Chinese New Year, or read about the best months to visit Taichung.

Getting from Taipei to Taichung

Taiwan high speed rail from Taipei to Taichung
Zip down to Taichung on the HSR

The fastest way to get to from Taipei to Taichung, or from any other major city on the west coast, is by HSR (see my HSR guide). From Taipei it only takes 40-60 minutes, depending which train your get. If you’re staying in Taipei first, make sure to check out my list of 50 things to do in Taipei, my detailed guide to the best Taipei hostels and hostels, and my suggested Taipei itinerary.

However, the HSR is located southwest of the city center in Wuri District. These may be convenient for you if you are planning to visit Rainbow Village or sights in Southern Taichung. From Taichung HSR station, you can connect to New Wuri Station (新烏日火車站) on the regular train line, and a ride to Taichung Station in the city center only takes 10 minutes. Make sure to order your HSR tickets online to get a discount!

The bus or regular train (TRA) takes about 2 to 2.5 hours from Taipei to Taichung. It is important to note that there are two major bus stations in Taichung. Buses from Chaoma Bus station northwest of the city center (near Feng Chia Night Market) in Xitun District (西屯區) are faster because they don’t have to drive so far into the city center. But if you are staying in the city center around the train station, you may want to get the bus or simply take the regular train (TRA) to Taichung Station, which is also sometimes called Gancheng Station.

Taichung is the transit point for Sun Moon Lake. If you are heading there next, you can take the tourist shuttle bus (90 minutes) from Taichung Station or Taichung HSR station. This shuttle bus is included on the Sun Moon Lake Pass, a special pass that includes bus ride and some activities at SML. You can also takes a shared transfer or private transfer from Taichung to Sun Moon Lake.

Taichung is also the transit point for Cingjing Farm. You can get there by bus (you’ll need to transfer in Puli). You can also get there by shared transfer, private transfer, or by taking this day tour to Cingjing Farm and Hehuanshan, the most famous place to see snow in Taiwan. Learn more in my guide to getting from Taichung to Cingjing Farm.

Getting around Taichung

For a long time, exploring Taichung was not s0 convenient because it didn’t have an MRT like Taipei and Kaohsiung. What’s more, the HSR station is located far outside of the city center. In 2021, one line of the Taichung MRT has finally opened, but it doesn’t go to the city center or Taichung station. It goes from the HSR station to Feng Chia Night Market, the city’s most famous night market.

In the future, there will be a new line that will connect Taichung Station in the city center to the green line, which will make things much more convenient.

For now, you will still have to rely more on walking, riding YouBikes, taking local buses, or taking taxis while exploring the main sights in Taichung city. You also need to budget a little more time if you want to visit places around the city, like Rainbow Village, Gaomei Wetland, Zhongshe Flower Market, and so on. The buses and trains to these places tend to be a little slow.

You can be more efficient by renting a car in Taichung or taking a day tour like this one.

Where to Stay in Taichung

The main train station in Taichung
Taichung Railway Station

The most convenient place to stay in Taichung is around Taichung Train Station (台中站) in the city center. From there, you can reach several of the below places to visit in Taichung on foot, and you can also ride the train to other places outside the city or to the HSR station.

Best Hostel

Norden Ruder Hostel (see on Booking / Agoda / Klook / TripAdvisor) is a brand new, highly rated hostel that is super conveniently located right across from the Taichung train station. The best part is the amazing views from the 12F windows!

There are several other options, though. Here are some of the best hostels in Taichung.

Mid-Range Hotels

Guests say nothing but good things about Old School (Central Land Hotel) (see on Booking / Agoda / Klook / TripAdvisor), a budget/mid-range choice just south of the train station with friendly staff and spacious rooms.

Want a boutique hotel with a futuristic slide into the lobby? Check out RedDot (see on Booking / Agoda / Klook / TripAdvisor). I recommend this one for families or anyone young at heart.

A fellow blogger friend of mine highly recommended Blue Sky Hotel (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor), which has a really cool interior design.

Inhouse Hotel Grand (see on Agoda / Booking / Klook / TripAdvisor) is a more elegant option.

Things to Do in Taichung City Center

The below Taichung attractions are listed starting with the closest to the Taichung Train Station. If I listed them in an order so that you could do a kind of walking tour starting from Taichung Station. But some of the attractions further down in the list may require you to hop on a bus or take a taxi.

 Miyahara Ice Cream

Wondering what to do in Taichng? Check out Miyahara!
Does this remind you of Harry Potter?

If you want to feel like a tourist in Taichung, head directly to Miyahara (宮原眼科). This retail space, which is often described as having a 1940s or “Harry Potter” feel to it, occupies a building that was once an ophthalmology clinic owned by a Japanese man named Miyahara (that’s why you may see it called “Miyahara Eye Clinic”. Later housed the Taichung City Government’s Public Health Bureau, then was partially destroyed by the 921 Earthquake.

Today the building houses a pastry and souvenir business. Inside, if you can get past all the camera wielding tourists, you can purchase high end cookies and pineapple cakes or dine in a chic restaurant on the second floor. There’s also an attached tea shop, but what most people come for is the ice creamery on the side, especially in blistering hot summer in Taiwan.

Miyahara ice cream, Taichung
Over-the-top ice cream (if you can still call it that) at Miyahara

When I visited, there were over 100 people waiting patiently in line for their chance to hold (and of course photograph and Instagram) one of the ridiculously overdone “ice creams”, which come topped with entire slices of cake, pineapple cake, butterfly shaped cookies, fruits, and so on.

Miyahara is only a few minutes from Taichung Station in the city center. It is also included on this day tour of Taichung.

For a less busy alternative to Miyahara, go to Fourth Credit Union (台中市第四信用合作社) down the road, which has the same ice cream and is housed in a 1966 bank building.

Near Miyahara, also watch for the pair of 100-year-old bridges over the adjacent water canal here and here.

Ice cream lovers should also check out the ice cream section of my food guide to Ximending, Taipei.

Taichung Cultural Heritage Park

Taichung Cultural Heritage Park

Artist villages, or creative arts parks, are a big thing in Taiwan. Usually they occupy old factories, housing complexes, or abandoned communities, and every major city in Taiwan has at least a few of them.

The Taichung Cultural Heritage Park (文化部文化資產園區) is one such art park. Like Huashan 1914 Creative Park in Taipei, it occupies a former sake distillery from the Japanese colonial era (1895-1945) in Taiwan. It was later taken over by the Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp. then abandoned in 1998.

Today the park displays publics works of art, houses artists’ studios, and is often a venue for events or weekend bazaars. In the TTL Taichung Wine Village (台中酒莊) you can view old brewing equipment, a tower of beer bottles, and of course, sip on a beer. There are also a few cafés and restaurants on site, but the craft beer bar that was once here is no longer.

It’s also worth seeking out the impressive Noah’s Ark statue in the park. If you enjoy this kind of attraction, also consider visiting Railway Art Village in Taitung!

Taichung Cultural Heritage Park is a 10-minute walk from Taichung Station.

Natural Way Six Arts Cultural Center (Taichung Martial Arts Hall) (CLOSED)

Natura Way Six Arts Cultural Center Taichung (a Japanese kendo in Taichung, also called the Taichung Martial Arts Hall)

The Natural Way Six Arts Cultural Center is the official name today for what was during the Japanese colonial period a butokuden, or martial arts training center, for workers at the Taichung Prison. Update: this site appears to now be closed to the public, but I’m leaving this entry up in case it ever opens again.

It is one of the most beautiful butokudens in Taiwan, and is a highly photogenic reminder of Japan’s colonial past in Taiwan. The building actually burned down in the past but has been beautifully restored. There’s a small but very atmospheric restaurant in the side building, and the calm garden at the back has an enormous banyan tree with lanterns hanging in it. It doesn’t take long to visit, but it is certainly worth a stop.

Natural Way Six Arts is a 15-minute walk from Taichung Station or 10 minutes from Culture Heritage Park.

For more impressive Japanese-era architecture in Taiwan, see my detailed guides to Beitou Hot Spring and Jiufen Old Street in New Taipei City.

Chun Shui Tang, the Homeland of Pearl Milk Tea

Chun Shui Tang Taichung, the original pearl milk tea (bubble tea) store
My wife and daughter enjoying some boba at Chun Shui Tang in Taichung

If you’re a fan of bubble tea (also known as boba or pearl milk tea), then a pilgrimage to the original Chun Shui Tang (春水堂) in Taichung that claims to have invented (there are other claims out there) it is in order.

Supposedly the founder of Chun Shui Tang  first thought of serving Chinese tea cold after noticing on a trip to Japan that people iced their coffee there. Later in a meeting, a staff member poured her Taiwanese dessert, fen yuan, into her iced tea, and everyone loved it.

Today there are more than 15 Chun Shui Tang locations in Taiwan, and more in Japan and Hong Kong, but the original Taichung location remains the Holy Grail. Make sure you go the right one! It is called Chun Shui Tang Siwei Original Store and is here on GoogleMaps.

One glass of the original pearl milk tea is NT85 for a small, or NT160 for a VERY BIG medium), and the pearls may be smaller than you are used to. And for really serious fans, you can even learn how to make your own bubble tea in a DIY class at Chun Shui Tang!

The shop also specializes in high quality Taiwanese teas and aims to promote Taiwan’s traditional tea culture. The food there is also pretty good!

This tea shop is about 5 minutes’ walk from the last attraction.

Painted Animation Lane

Painted Animation Lane Taichung

10 minutes’ walk from Chun Shui Tang, Painted Animation Lane (動漫彩繪巷) is Taichung alley covered with paintings of famous Japanese and Western cartoon characters. There’s not much to do besides pose for countless selfies, but serious cartoon fans can also purchase toys and anime paraphernalia from a few shops near the entrance.

There’s also a Totoro bus stop (in red in the above photo) here, so if you don’t make it to the famous one in Taichung (see below), here’s your chance. There’s also a hidden Totoro bus stop in Keelung!

It’s important to manage your expectation for this attraction. I have one friend in Taipei who went after reading this article and told me he was severely disappointed with it. So yes, it’s just an alley with some cartoon characters on it.

Other great places to see street art in Taiwan are Ximending in Taipei and Pier 2 in Kaohsiung.

Taichung Literature Museum

A wooden Japanese house and some flowers at Taichung Literature Museum
Taichung Literature Museum

Just 5 minutes away from Painted Animation Lane or from Chun Shui Tang, the Taichung Literature Museum (臺中文學館) is housed in a beautiful, wooden, Japanese-era house. It is a former police dormitory dating to 1932.

There isn’t a whole lot to see inside, and the information is mostly in Mandarin. Still, the house is worth a quick look, and the trees around it are especially beautiful, so it’s a good spot for taking photos.

Liuchuan Riverside Walk

Liuchuan Riverside Canal in taichung with Christmas lights
Liuchuan Canal around Christmas. “台中柳川聖誕樹” by R.Z Shen is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Near Painted Animation Lane, Liuchuan Riverside Walk (柳川水岸景觀步道) is a manicured river canal that flows through central Taichung. It has flowers and grassy parks along it, so it is a lovely place to take a stroll.

At night, there are sometimes lovely light displays, especially around Christmas, Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival, so it can be a nice place to take an evening walk.

Taichung Second Market

Sushi meal at Taichung Second Market
Sushi, cold noodles, and fish skin stew at 楊媽媽立食, Taichung Second Market

For some local Taiwanese food in a unique indoor market, check out Taichung Second Market (台中第二市場). The market building dates to the Japanese colonial period, when it specialized in upscale goods. This is mainly a daytime market, so you can consider having lunch here. It’s just a few minutes from Liuchuan Riverside park.

Entrances on all sides of the building lead to a hexagonal courtyard at the center. I would personally recommend Yang Mama Lishi (楊媽媽立食) an excellent restaurant at the heart of the market specializing in creative sushi, Japanese cold sesame noodles (胡麻麵), and fish skin stew.

For more information on other foods you might see there, see my super detailed guide to Taiwanese foods.

Taichung Park

Taichung Park Pavilion, Taichung Park

The largest park in the Taichung city center, Taichung Park (台中公園) is a lush green space suitable for an afternoon stroll.

The main feature in the park is a large pond called Sun Moon Lake (日月湖), which almost the same as the name as the famous Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) in Nantou, only different characters for the word “lake”. The view of the Taichung Park Pavilion (湖心亭, see photo above) across the lake is one of the most beautiful scenes in Taichung City, especially at night. The remains of a Shinto Shrine (台中神社跡) and a few other monuments at the northern end of the park are also worth a quick look.

Taichung Park is quite large and is a good place to have a picnic. It’s a 10-minute walk from Taichung Second Market or 15-minute walk from Taichung Station.

Yizhong Street Night Market

Yizhong Street Night Market in Taichung

While Feng Chia Night Market (see further below) gets all the attention from tourists in Taichung, it’s actually less convenient to visit because it is far away from the city center. Yizhong Street Night Market (一中街夜市) is much more convenient. It is just a few steps north of Taichung Park, or about 20 minutes’ walk north of Taichung Station.

Yizhong Street Night Market is next to a high school, so it is popular among teens and young people. I would say that it is Taichung’s equivalent to the popular Ximending district in Taipei. Besides lots of yummy food, you can find things like cat cafes and cosplay cafes there.

It’s not nearly as large as Feng Chia, but that also makes it much easier to navigate. Like most night markets, it gets going around 5 to 6 PM. If you time it right, you can visit right after watching sunset at Taichung Park. Find out what to eat there in my guide to Taichung’s night markets.

ShenJi New Village

Shenji 368 New Village, Taichung

One of the hippest places to go in Taichung for shopping and eating is Shenji New Village (審計新村 or “Audit Village”), formerly called Shenji 368 New Village (審計368新創聚落).

Here an old dormitory compound built by the government for employees in the auditing office has been repurposed into a craft market and collection of cute eateries and cafés run by the young local entrepreneurs. It’s a great place to come for an ice cream on a lazy, sunny afternoon. It can get quite crowded on weekends.

The spots is a little ways from the previous ones. It’s about a 15-minute walk northwest of Painted Animation Lane. If coming from Taichung station, you may want to just hop in a cab.

Calligraphy Greenway

Calligraphy Greenway in Taichung

The Calligraphy Greenway (草悟道) is a 3.6-kilometer strip of thin, interconnected green spaces connecting attractions like the following (from north to south): National Museum of Natural Science (see below), Park Lane by CMB shopping mall, Park2 Caowu Square (a cool hangout with cafes, shops, bars, and artworks), Shenji New Village, Museum of Illusions, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, and Liuchuan Riverside Park.

It is supposedly named after the fact that the diversity of artistic displays, museums, events, and activities found along it flow like the cursive movements of Chinese calligraphy.

While the park itself is not an absolute must for your Taichung trip, a walk along the greenway, especially on a weekend, provides a window into the Taichung way of life.

One way to tackle it would be to walk from Painted Animation Lane then follow it north past National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts and Shenji Village to the below spot for ice cream. Walking to and visiting all these places could take several hours.

I’m Talato Ice Cream

I'm Talato Ice Cream, Taichung
Instagram Heaven at I’m Talato Ice Cream, Calligraphy Greenway

Another stop along the Calligraphy Greenway worth visiting is I’m Talato Ice Cream Shop (愛台灣的義式冰淇淋英才路旗艦門市), especially if you like delicious ice cream and made-for-Instagram photo props.

This clever shop has devoted half of its floor space to a selfie station, where guests can lie in a pool of scoops of ice cream, while their friend climbs a ladder to a platform above the pool to take the perfect picture from above.

What about the ice cream itself, you ask? I had watermelon sorbet, and it was excellent.

National Museum of Natural Science

Dinosaurs at Taichung Museum of Natural Science
My son is a huge dino fan.

If you’ve got kids, happen to love dinosaurs, or just want a rainy day or winter in Taiwan activity, then you can’t miss the National Museum of Natural Science in Taichung (國立自然科學博物館). We drove all the way down from Taipei just for this museum, and it was totally worth it. See here for more information on traveling around Taiwan with kids and things to do in Taipei with kids!

The museum is huge and you’ll have to decide which gallery you want to visit when you pay. But what we went for was the dinosaur exhibit in the Life Science Hall. What makes it so awesome? The life-size dinosaurs actually move! (see the video we took at the top of this article).

My kids are massively into dinosaurs right now, but they were actualy terrified when we visited because the dinosaurs were so lifelike. There are a few more dinos hiding in the large park outside the museum, too.

The museum also has a 3D theater, IMAX theater, conservatory, and multiple permanent and rotating galleries. See more information on the official website.

Taichung Totoro Bus Stop (CLOSED)

Totoro Bus Stop Taichung

Unfortunately, the Taichung Totoro Bus Stop (立體龍貓公車站) was closed recently, but I’ll leave this info up so readers can find out about it. You can still see a small Tatoro Bus Stop at Animation Lane, a secret Totoro Bus Stop in Keelung, and another one here on the coast of Miaoli.

These fan-made sculptures used to be one of the must-visit stops in Taichung, despite their inconvenient location. You usually had to wait in a line to take a photo there. Perhaps it was the lines disrupting local traffic that caused them to close it.

Northern and Western Taichung City Center

The following places to visit in Taichung are located a little further north and west of the Taichung City center. You’ll probably want to take a taxi or bus (I recommend using GoogleMaps to find out which bus) to reach them.

Confucius Temple & Paochueh Temple

Confucius Temple Taichung

While it’s a bit of a journey from other sights on this list, if you’re into temples then it’s worth checking out the Taichung Confucius Temple (台中孔廟). Unlike typical Taiwanese temples, Confucius temples tend to be simple in design and serene places where you are likely to be one of, or perhaps the only visitor when you go, as I was.

The large structure dates to 1976, and sits beside the Taichung Martyr’s Shrine (臺中市忠烈祠), which itself sits on the site of the former Taichung Shinto Shrine.

The Taichung Confucius Temple is about 15 minutes’ walk north of Taichung Park. It would be a little too far to walk from Taichung Station, so consider taking a taxi or bus. Also don’t miss the Confucius Temples in Taipei and in Tainan.

Another 10 minutes’ walk north of Confucius Temple is another cool temple, Paochueh Temple (寶覺禪寺). Originally a Japanese shrine, the original Japanese structure is now protected by a newer temple built up around it. The grounds have a cemetery of Japanese soldiers from WWII. There’s also a huge golden Laughing Buddha statue and a Japanese

If you love temples, don’t miss remote Lion’s Head Mountain in Miaoli County.

National Taichung Theater

National Taichung Theater at night

The National Taichung Theater (台中國家歌劇院) is a gorgeously designed opera house in Taichung’s Xitun district northwest of the city center near Feng Chia Night Market (see below). It is the work of Japanese architect Toyo Ito, who is known for his virtual-meets-physical “conceptual” architecture and is regarded as one of the world’s most influential architects.

Since the building officially opened in 2016, it has become a favorite of photographers and Instagrammers looking to find awe-inspiring patterns and backdrops. It is even included on this popular Taichung day tour as well as this Instagram-focused day tour.

Feng-Chia Night Market

Fengchia Night Market (Fengjia Night Market) Taichung)

Feng Chia Night Market (also spelled Feng Jia Night Market or 逢甲夜市) is Taichung’s largest and most famous night market, and one of the most well-known night markets in all of Taiwan. See my guide to what to eat at Feng Chia night Market here.

The market was originally set up along Wenhua road, but has spread out to Fengjia road, Fushin road, Xian street, and beyond. What to eat at Fengchia night market? Well, you can find a bit of everything here, from stinky tofu and sausages stuffed into rice sausages to fried chicken and all manner of roasted seafood. I personally enjoyed a bowl of Korean tteokbokki, deep fried fish cakes, and green onion cakes.

Even though this night market is the most famous one in Taichung, it is not very convenient to reach. The new green line of the Taichung MRT will get you close. You’ll need to walk about 10 minutes from Wenxin Yinghua station. But this MRT only goes to Taichung’s HSR station. It doesn’t go to the regular train station in Taichung’s city center. In the future, a new MRT line will make it easier to go there.

For now, you’ll need to take a bus or taxi, or take the regular TRA train to Daqing Station and then connect to the green MRT line there.

If you are a serious night market fan, seek out these other night markets in Taichung, or read my guides to the best night markets in Taipei, Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Keelung!

Rainbow Village

Taichung Rainbow Village coffee cup

Although it comes toward the end of my list because it is quite a ways from the city center, Rainbow Village has in recent years become one of Taichung’s most compelling sights, and many people come to Taichung for this attraction alone.

Rainbow Village is a courtyard home in a military dependent’s village originally built to house KMT soldiers from China. Most of the community was abandoned, but one ex-Chinese soldier, Huang Yong-Fu, refused to leave. To convince the bulldozers to stay away, he began painting the walls of his home in psychedelic colors and designs.

Now 100 years old (seriously!), Huang Yong-Fu (who is lovingly referred to as “Rainbow Grandpa”) no longer maintains the site. Sadly, some of the walls were painted over by angry construction workers and the site was closed for a whole year. As of June 2023, it is open again, but many of the original paintings are lost.

For more details, see my original guide to Rainbow Village (based on a 2018 visit) and my new guide to whether Rainbow Village is still worth visiting today after it was severely damaged.

Luce Memorial Chapel

Luce Memorial Chapel, one of the most iconic attractions in Taichung

Another iconic Taichung attraction that is a little out of the way is Luce Memorial Chapel (路思義教堂) on Tunghai University (Donghai University or東海大學) campus. The 19.2-meter tent-like structure is a central landmark at the university, and nothing like the other buildings on campus.

The building was designed by I. M. Pei (貝聿銘), who did much of the other early work at the university, and contains 500 seats. It is named after Rev. Henry W. Luce, an American missionary in China in the late 19th century.

If you want to actually enter the chapel, you can attend a service on Sunday at 8:30, 9:45, or 11:15 AM. Otherwise, you can just peek in the windows at the lovely interior.

For something really interesting, you can see a super detailed miniature version of Luce Memorial Chapel at the Museum of World Religions in Taipei.

If you’re in the area and want to explore further, there are several other cool attractions in the area, like the beautiful trees along Wenli Boulevard (東海大學文理大道), Tunghai Village Night Market (東海別墅夜市), and Donghai Arts Shopping District (東海藝術街商圈),

Southern Taichung

The following places are located south of the Taichung city center but worth a half-day trip. To get to them, there are two buses that are extremely useful. One is the #151, which departs from the Taichung HSR and the other is the Ubus #50, which connects these sights to central Taichung.

Dali Art Plaza

Dali Art Plaza Taichung

No, it’s not named after the artist Salvador Dali, though that’s what I initially thought, too. The Dali Art Plaza (Dali Art藝術廣場) is an art-focused department store in Taichung’s Dali District. It houses dozens of art galleries and shops, and there are often some large-scale art displays there, such as the one in the photo above when I visited.

This isn’t really a must-visit in Taichung, but if you’re interested in art and shopping, you may want to make a stop there on the way to the next spots.

Wufeng Lin Family Garden

Taichung Lin Family Garden in Wufeng District

If you’re familiar with Taipei, you may also have been to the Lin Family Mansion in Banqiao, New Taipei City, but the Lin Family Garden in Wufeng (霧峰林家宮保第園區) has no relation to it (Lin is just super common Chinese surname). But these two mansions belong to a list of the “Four Great Gardens” (臺灣四大名園) of Taiwan.

Here you’ll find one of the most beautifully preserved traditional mansions in Taiwan. The sight is divided into three sections; a lower and upper compound that were occupied by two branches of the family, and a lovely garden (search for Lai-Yuan of Wufeng’s Lin Family or 霧峰林家萊園) a few steps away.

Only two halls are actually open to the public, while members of the Lin family still occupy other parts. It is free to enter, but you can see more if you join a guided tour (N250, Mandarin only).

Guangfu New Village

Guangfu New Village, one of the coolest things to do in Taichung

Among all the art centers/village on this list of things to do in Taichung, Guangfu Village (光復新村) is definitely where you’ll find the hippest locals. Like Rainbow Village (and Treasure Hill and 44 South Village; see my list of things to do in Taipei), Guanfu Village is a former military dependent’s village, but in this case it was originally built to house higher level civil servants in the education department.

Several blocks of homes are now converted into ultra cute cafés, artist’s exhibits, restaurants, organic produce stores, and even a chocolate factory. Some rows are left in their dilapidated condition and are a magnet for photographers. People doing wedding shoots can often be seen here, too.

Come early or on a weekday to have it mostly to yourself, or on a weekend afternoon when all the shops are open and it has a livelier atmosphere and crowds of local youths. It is very easy to combine a visit to Guangfu Village with 921 Earthquake Museum (#20), a short walk away.

Access: From the Taichung HSR station, take bus #151 to Kengkou Village (Guangfu New Village) stop (30 minutes, swipe when you get on and again when you get off). You can easily walk to the next stop and then catch bus #50 back to the city center from there.

921 Earthquake Museum

921 Earthquake Museum, one of the more unsual Taichung attractions

Of all the Taichung attractions I’ve visited, the 921 Earthquake Museum (九二一地震教育園區) in Wufeng District is the only one that literally made me say “Wow.”

The 7.3 magnitude 921 earthquake struck Taiwan on Tuesday, 21 September 1999 at 01:47 AM was the deadliest and most disastrous in Taiwan’s history. 2415 people died and over NT300 billion in damage was caused. Images from the Guangfu Junior High School, now the 921 Earthquake Museum, were among the most poignant in media coverage of the event.

The school sits directly on the fault on which the earthquake occurred. Touring the museum starts with an indoor section where you can see the actual fault, then observe the two-meter displacement along a distorted track & field. The Earthquake Engineering Hall contains a kids’ playing area, while the Image Galley Building shows 3D films (NT170) and a simulated earthquake experience (NT25) roughly every 30 minutes. I tried the latter, and it was pretty fun!

The most striking feature, though, is the partially collapsed classroom building, which has been preserved in situ under a canopy. Also watch for the bent railway tracks near the road at the front.

Access: Take bus #151 from the Taichung HSR station to Guangfu Village then walk (10 minutes). To leave, cross the bridge over the river near the ticketing building and take Ubus #50 to Lin Family Mansion, Dali Art Plaza, or central Taichung.

Well, that brings us to the end of my Taichung guide! For more Taichung attractions further from the city center, see my guide to the best day trips from Taichung!

12 thoughts on “25 Unique Things to Do in Taichung, Taiwan”

  1. I am going back to Taiwan as a solo traveler. This time, I will be spending time in Taichung and this post is very helpful! Thanks for the suggestions and detailed information ‘;)

    • Still closed, unfortunately. The Taichung government first said February 2023, but that passed. More recently they said May or June, so hopefully soon!

  2. Hi there,
    your travel trips and tips are awesome! My pal and I are going over, end of Jun! Would you also recommend Moncoeur Garden?

  3. Hi Nick,

    We will be in Taichung August 15 to the 29th of 2023. I am sorry to bother you but can’t find this answer yet. Has the Rainbow Village reopened?
    Thank you,

    Loving your info, suggestions, and Facebook.

    • Yes, it has reopened, but it will look a little different than before, with some new artwork put up but not by the original man. You can check GoogleMaps for the opening times.

  4. Hi! I’m traveling to Taiwan next month and my partner and I would like to visit Xinshe castle. Is this place still open? Posts and reviews I have found online date back to 2019 up to early 2023 so I wonder if it’s already closed. If it’s still open, could you give us some guidance on how to get there? Much appreciated!

    • If you go to GoogleMaps reviews and filter for newest, you will see there are many recent reviews. I haven’t personally been to it so I can’t provide much guidance. There are a few buses from Taichung city center but they are slow, so it will take you about 1.5 hours to get there. Just use GoogleMaps directions to find them.


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