Friday, March 30, 2018

Rainbow Village

rainbow village taichung taiwan


              Rainbow Village is more than just a painted neighborhood; it’s one of those places that is beyond ordinary.  It is a home, unique art gallery, historical landmark, and showcases the accomplishment of a peaceful protest done right.


rainbow village taichung taiwan

rainbow village taichung taiwan


              After the Chinese Nationalist Party retreated to Taiwan in the latter part of the 1940’s, they built temporary housing (which then became permanent) for the soldiers and their families until such time they could retake mainland China.  These villages, known as ‘Military Dependents’ Villages,’ were quickly built government housing that dotted the landscape across Taiwan.  By the early 90’s, as many of the families moved out and the villages began to become dilapidated, the villages began to disappear one by one as the government pushed an aggressive program to demolish these villages.  The Rainbow Village is just part of one of these villages.


painting soldier rainbow village taichung taiwan
Painting Soldier

huang yong fu rainbow grandpa rainbow village taichung taiwan
Huang Yong-Fu, the Rainbow Grandpa


              Mr. Huang Yong-Fu, also known as the Rainbow Grandfather, was a retired soldier living in what is now the Rainbow Village.  After seeing his village being demolished house by house, he (now in his 90’s) came up with a creative way to fight the government from destroying his home – he began to paint.  What started as a painting of a bird on the wall of his house grew to cover the walls, gateways, and walkways of not just his house, but those around him as well.  


rainbow village taichung taiwan

rainbow village taichung taiwan


              As his paintings spread they caught the eyes of students in the nearby university and photos of his colorful protest went viral (before going viral was a thing).  The photos brought the attention of people from town and then that of the whole country and the Rainbow Village began to become more and more of a well-known tourist attraction.  After the outcry of sympathy from people across the country the demolition was finally canceled, leaving only 11 houses remaining.


rainbow village taichung taiwan

souvenier shop rainbow village taichung taiwan
Souvenier shop in the Rainbow Village


              Today you can visit Rainbow Village and see the 11 home canvass of the Rainbow Grandfather.  This multicolored village is adorned in vibrant colored morals of people, animals, flowers, and cartoons enveloping its visitors in a bright, Instagram worthy setting.  A walk through the village only takes about 15 minutes and there is no admission fee (donations are accepted but not solicited).  There are also a few shops selling souvenirs based on the paintings you can purchase.


aerial view rainbow village taichung taiwan
Aerial view of the Rainbow Village

Getting There

Take bus No. 27 at Taichung Bus Station, opposite Taichung Train Station, and alight at Ling Tung University.  Rainbow Village will then be ahead of you on the right.

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