Shopping, Dining, and Sightseeing in Taiwan’s Third-Largest City Text and Photos: Vision
Taichung, Taiwan’s third-largest city, strikes visitors as a very modern place, but it’s also known for numerous heritage buildings that have long and splendid histories and for its magnificent food culture, built on the foods of the common people. The public-rental bicycles of Taichung’s iBike system (i.youbike.com.tw) are well suited for short-distance trips exploring this interesting city. In this segment we introduce some of Taichung’s most popular locations for taking photographs and experiencing local delicacies. Let’s spend a day slowly pedaling here and there to savor all the food, drinks, fun, and entertainment Taichung has to offer!
Rainbow Military Dependents’ Village (彩虹眷村) In 2008, a resident of this village for retired servicemen, Huang Yong-fu, now 92 years old, began using the walls of houses in his neighborhood as canvasses to paint on. He uses cement paint to portray colorful deities, figures, and animals, in paintings filled with whimsical fun. The village has become a popular Taichung spot for photographers. If you admire his work, you can also buy postcards and related merchandise here, helping the artist to continue with his creative productions.
Rainbow Military Dependents' Village
Add: Ln. 56, Chun’an Rd., Nantun Dist., Taichung City (台中市南屯區春安路56巷) Tel: 0920-162-888 Hours: Open for visits during the daytime; please keep noise levels down during the midday break. Website (Chinese version only) iBike Station: Chunshe Park (春社公園)
12 Moon (十二月 粥品．茶飲．私房菜) Located in a renovated house over 50 years old, this restaurant mainly serves Chinese dishes and Taiwanese tea drinks. For the “Earthenware Pot Rice Congee,” diners have 12 flavors to choose from. Also popular are crispy and fragrant “Taro and Sweet Potato Duck,” made using cherry duck from Yilan, which is wrapped around mashed local sweet potato and taro, “Fried Daikon Cake,” and sugar-free old-time-style “Pineapple Tea,” made purely from pineapples, with no added sugar.
Add: No. 12, Ln. 179, Sec. 2, Formosa Blvd., West Dist., Taichung City (台中市西區台灣大道二段179巷12號) Tel: (04) 2328-9393 Hours: 11am~1am Website (Chinese version only) iBike Station: Chung Cheng Elementary School (中正國小)
National Taichung Theater (臺中國家歌劇院) Named by international news agency Reuters as one of “the nine new landmark buildings in the world,” this theater was designed by renowned Japanese architect Toyo Ito. Its interior-design shapes are based on the caves that primitive humans lived in; and its unique construction techniques can be described as creating “sound caves.” The building is surrounded by fountains, water channels, and green lawns and has become a popular destination for Taichung citizens to view arts performances or engage in leisure activities.
National Taichung Theater
Add: No. 101, Sec. 2, Huilai Rd., Xitun Dist., Taichung City (台中市西屯區惠來路二段101號) Tel: (04) 2251-1777 Hours: Sun.~Thu. 11:30am~9pm, Fri.~Sat. and national holidays 11:30am~10pm Website iBike Station: National Taichung Theater (臺中國家歌劇院)
Calligraphy Greenway (草悟道) This is a narrow 3.6km strip of green urban space that links the National Museum of Natural Science, the Civic Square, arts spaces, the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, distinctive restaurants, and other city attractions. It was given the name Calligraphy Greenway due to the greenery, the unique feel of the street blocks, and the natural, smooth spatial flow, which resemble cursive-style calligraphy.
Add: Xiangshang N. Rd., West Dist., Taichung City (台中市西區向上北路) Hours: 24H iBike Stations: National Museum of Natural Science (國立自然科學博物館), Greenway (經國園道)
Miyahara (宮原眼科) This was originally a clinic opened by Dr. Miyahara, director of the Taiwan Governor General's Office Hospital during the Japanese colonial period. In 2010, the building was renovated and turned into a popular ice-cream parlor/café/restaurant. The exterior retains the original red-brick arcade. Inside, tall European-style bookshelves line the high walls, tempting cakes are displayed in cabinets, and a variety of ice creams, Taiwanese teas, traditional snacks, and Chinese and Western dishes are available.
Add: No. 20, Zhongshan Rd., Central Dist., Taichung City (台中市中區中山路20號) Hours: 10am~10pm Tel: (04) 2227-1927 Website iBike Station: Taichung Station (臺中火車站)
Fantasy Story Green Ray (范特喜 綠光計畫) Green Ray was created by renovating old Taiwan Water Corp. dormitories. Restaurants, apparel shops, hair salons, and craft shops are now housed in the attractive buildings, drawing shoppers, diners, and photo/history/architecture buffs. From second-floor terraces, visitors can leisurely observe life in the nearby alleys. The complex also often serves as a venue for markets and cultural-arts performances.
Add: No. 2-26, Zhongxing 1st Ln., West Dist., Taichung City (台中市西區中興一巷2-26號) Tel: (06) 2301-6717 Hours: Different hours for different businesses Website iBike Station: Greenway (經國園道)
Fengjia Night Market (逢甲夜市) This is where many of Taiwan’s innovative snacks originate, such as Taiwanese crepes and pepper pork buns. These were created here, and then spread across the island. The night market has many shops and over 1,600 stalls, offering all kinds of merchandise, food, and fun. Enjoy the bustling night-market atmosphere, shop, and have fun in a place that offers all the variety of a large department store.
Add: No. 117, Wenhua Rd., Xitun Dist., Taichung City (台中市西屯區文華路117號) Hours: Different hours for different businesses iBike Station: Feng Chia University (逢甲大學)
Use the Tour Taiwan App in Taichung! Using the Taiwan Tourism Bureau’s Tour Taiwan App makes travel more convenient. The App provides information about accommodation, shopping, restaurants, and tourist info centers near various attractions, ensuring that you’ll have a good time in the city, as you travel with ease and comfort! Download the app on your iOS or Android mobile device!