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Taichung Rainbow Village: crazy, colorful painted houses in Taiwan!

taichung rainbow village art

As a travel writer, I do my best to seek out obscure and offbeat places. For this reason, I went out of my way to visit Taichung’s Rainbow Village with my friend Boris Tsai. The photos say it all: this attraction is a total LSD trip!

taiwan painted house

The “Rainbow Family Village” consists of several old buildings and paths, with every surface coated in vivid, primitive strokes.

What’s the story behind these colorful paintings? Who made them, and what drugs was this person on? Let’s find out.

rainbow village, taichung taiwan

I was staying in Taipei, at the Humble House hotel (remember my photoshoot here?). Taichung is another major city, located about two hours south.

rainbow painting wall mural

To get here, I recommend either driving (as we did), or taking a train and then a taxi. Taichung is rather spread out, and public transportation isn’t conveniently located near the Rainbow Village.

boris tsai, 蔡伯璽

The directions are a little tricky. If you’re in a taxi, show your driver the address in Chinese (written below), and have him plug it into the GPS.

Rainbow Family Village: Lane 56, Chun’an Road, Taichung, Taiwan
台中彩虹眷村: 台中市南屯區春安里

taichung tourist attraction

This tourist attraction is small, and it won’t take you more than 15-30 minutes to explore it. I wouldn’t go out of my way to come here, but if you’re already in Taichung, it’s an opportunity to see weird and wonderful local art.

rainbow village murals

Boris and I were perplexed by these figures — human, animal and supernatural — surrounded by swirls of color. What a distinct style: modern meets primitive, with a touch of Taiwanese tradition.

weird travel attractions

This scary strawberry-person holds pamphlets by the door. On the floor, the Chinese characters say “peace and good luck.”

蔡伯璽, boris tsai

The walls are a superb backdrop for modeling. We were here to shoot images for Hong Kong Express Airways magazine, where I have a regular column.

Boris wears Rick Owens wool pants with drawstring, a Rick Owens tank top, and Rick Owens high top shoes.

台中彩虹眷村

I’m wearing Camper sandals, and a sheer white flowing top from Show Me Your MuMu. They also make a blue-white tunic and watercolor flowers cover-up.

colorful chinese cat painting

The characters ranged from old people to panda bears. Doesn’t this little guy look like my Scottish Fold cat?

scottish fold cat small ears

They have the same short legs, tiny ears and round body.

rainbow colorful painted houses

You’ll never guess who is responsible for this bizarre art… a 91 year old grandfather! Grandpa Huang was born in Hong Kong, and lived in these dilapidated buildings that were initially built for WWII veterans. He had time to kill, so he bought paint with his pension, and started to transform the old walls into rainbow murals.

taiwanese art, taichung

Grandpa Huang is a self-taught artist who painted out of passion — he wanted to inject color into this worn-down neighborhood. Before long, students at a nearby university discovered the ever-expanding Rainbow Village. They took pictures of his works, posted them online, and they went viral.

experimental chinese art

Today, this little settlement is one of Taichung’s most popular tourist attractions. People come here to read the positive messages on the walls, and pose with the spirited paintings.

crazy art murals

The Taiwanese government had originally planned to demolish the Rainbow Village. However, locals started a petition, and the area is now preserved (hopefully for the long run).

taiwan tourism, taichung

We saw a small souvenir stand where you can buy drinks and Popsicles, and small souvenirs. It’s an easy way to support the Rainbow Village and its aged caretaker.

bizarre creepy art

Sweet and slightly demented: that’s my kind of place!

彩虹眷村

The “acid trip” feeling of the Rainbow Village inspired us to get a little crazy with our poses.

taiwan good luck souvenirs

Visitors write wishes on these notes, and hang them along with seashells on the windows.

taiwanese male model

My wish to visit Taiwan and reunite with my friend certainly came true!

rainbow family village taichung

Pretending to be the Chiefs of the Rainbow Village.

weird crazy strange asia attractions landmarks

All photography by Jacqueline Kwok of noircorner, and Ken Yuen.

crazy tourist attractions

We didn’t see Grandpa Huang that day, but he still touches up the paintings daily. Children love to see his works in progress.

asia weird art travel

Come make a wish at the Taichung Rainbow Family Village. The nearby Dawncake (a gifts and snacks building, featuring Miyahara tea-flavored ice cream) and Taichung Night Market are also fun to include in a day-trip.

taichung attractions

And you can’t leave without taking a funny photo with the cut-outs!

Are you intrigued by the Rainbow Village? Do you seek out local oddities when you travel, like I do?

hong kong magazine model, modeling

I wrote about this funny Asian attraction, and many more, in my travel column “Go Go Goth.” It’s published in Chinese, in every issue of UO (the in-flight magazine of Hong Kong Express Airways). Above are scans…

fashion blogger photography locations

… and you can always see on-the-go snaps from my travels on my @lacarmina InstagramI’ll be back in Asia soon, and you’ll be able to see what mischief I’m making!

SHARE & COMMENT

31 Comments

  1. Posted January 31, 2015 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    I need to live here :)

  2. Posted January 31, 2015 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    Fabulously weird like all you do brilliantly.

    • Posted February 1, 2015 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Weird is what I do

  3. Posted January 31, 2015 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    COOOLNESS

  4. Posted January 31, 2015 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    This is so beautiful and unique! You look fabulous.
    Xx
    Rhea
    http://www.fuss.co.in

  5. Posted January 31, 2015 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    One of my favorite posts!
    The art is truly weird, colorful, unique. I loved to know the history behind it. Thanks for the great post!
    Oh, Boris looks hot, his clothes are great.

    • Posted February 1, 2015 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Haha he is hot :)

  6. Posted January 31, 2015 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    AMAZING photo series! You guys look great! Love this!

    • Posted February 1, 2015 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Can’t wait to take pics with you in asia!

  7. Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    Sweetness! Miss you

  8. Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    Really soooooo fabulous !!! 0h i love your job !!! You did great awareness pics of Rainbow Village !!! This sooo!! Alwats lookin for unique Rainbow related stuff for my Daughter::******* EleanaRainbow:)*******esp as saw Double Rainbows everyday !!!!! the week she born in July in Colorado “!!!!!!”: whee!!!!

    • Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Glad you like this, and hello to rainbow!

  9. Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    It looks beautiful! And they love your kitty!

  10. Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    I went there last year in Dec, the place’s awesome!

    • Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      It’s the most fabulous place on earth.

  11. Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    The story of that place is truly beautiful. I hope to visit one day.

    • Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Hope you can come :-)

  12. Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    I want to go with carmina

  13. Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    que ricoooo oww

  14. Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    Omg ive been saving forever to go to Japan…but .things keep coming up sob….once i save 3-5k im going with an empty luggage. And filling it up with clothes!!! One day!!! =]

    • Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Keep on saving!

  15. Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    I’ve
    been there and it was pretty cool, but smaller than I imagined. Now
    I’ve heard about this town, and really want to check it out!

  16. Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Crazy!!

  17. Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    I hope you had a great time in Taichung.

  18. Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Congrats to you.

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