Taiwan 6D5N Day 3: Taichung Rainbow Military Community 彩虹眷村 | Carton King 纸箱王 | Zhongshe Flower Market 中社观光花市 | Gaomei Wetland 高美湿地 | Feng Chia Night Market 逢甲夜市
Having been to Taiwan a couple of times, I try to avoid the places that I have been to before. Taichung is one of the city that I have not fully explored and there are so much to do! But we only have a full day there hence we hired a private driver to drive us around.
Taichung Rainbow Village 彩虹眷村
I’ve heard so much about this colourful little village, that has been painted by an old solider who has retired. As the village got buy over by development companies, he remained and began painting the houses out of boredom. Eventually his artwork got discovered and the village were campaigned to be preserved. It’s wonderful what art can do, not only did it changes the fate of the village that were waiting to be demolished, it probably changed the life of the old veteran.
It’s a really small village, but so vibrant and colourful. It’s perfect, for instagrammer, for any photos from here will turn out beautifully. Unfortunately, it is very crowded. Crowds of tourists came from all over the place, flooding the already very small village. There are also merchandise and souvenirs being sold here, deriving from the artworks on the walls of the old houses. It made the whole place commercialised, together with the crowds – a tourist trap. Nonetheless, it’s great if you understand the story behind, to appreciate the whimsical art that has been painted. We probably spent less than an hour here.
Carton King 纸箱王
This is another popular place to visit in Taichung. There are other Carton King cafes but the one in Taichung is reportedly the largest. I’ve heard good reviews from my friends who went and I thought it will be fun for my little kiddos.
The whole place is a bit run down as the cardboard starts to wear and tear. But the concept is so interesting and we were amazed by how much a little cardboard can do when given the right creativity. We took a little ride on their cardboard train(yes, functional cardboard train!) and we had the most fun exploring their little shop. It’s an amazing shop with all things cardboard! From pinball game made from cardboard, to cardboard sword and shield, cardboard musical cards, cardboard clock, rocking chair, bags and even caps! We felt like there are so many things we could bring back, but in the end we only brought the cardboard sword and shield which not only serves as a toy, but also allows Baby E to draw and paint on the cardboard.
We spent a longer time here than expected and soon it was lunch. Our driver recommended us to this place which is near the Carton King, for lunch.
It is the kind of place we will probably never discover by ourselves! It’s a quaint little restaurant that stands unassumingly among other shops. Their specialty, like their name says, are the bamboos. Their rice are served in little bamboo containers! We asked our driver to order and the bamboo shoots were a must. And we love all the dishes he ordered! Both my munchkins finished their portions as well, even eating the unknown local vegetables that is so fresh and yummy! I feel sorry that the photos I took does not do justice to the food at all! I must have been so famished.
We were told we could bring the bamboo holder back! We tried, but it was hard to wash away the rice grains so we left it there.. After a satisfying meal, we head to our next destination.
Zhongshe Flower Market 中社观光花市
Recommended by our driver and while we are not huge fans of flowers, we went ahead with it. And surprisingly, we had a good time here. The place is beautiful with all the blooming colourful flowers, which makes for an excellent backdrop. We had fun posing for photos, learning about the names of the flowers, feeding fishes in the pond and Baby E even gets to pick strawberries to eat! It wasn’t exactly strawberries season so I won’t say it’s the best tasting strawberries ever but Baby E was still so happy looking for strawberries to cut and put inside her basket. To fill up one box cost us about 120 TWD. Definitely a treat for both kiddos!
Gaomei Wetland 高美湿地
This is one of the most raved about destinations in Taichung and highly recommended by our driver. However we did not get to see the sunset as it was drizzling when we got there. I can only imagine how beautiful it could be. Definitely check the weather first because it was a rather long drive out.
Best Sunny Cake (太阳饼) in Taiwan
As we were heading back to our hotel from Gaomei Wetlands, I probed my driver if there is any nice local delicacies we can buy back to Singapore. And he recommend us this sunny cake (太阳饼) that has won the National 太阳饼 contest in Taiwan for 4 consecutive years! We are no foodies but we love it! The crust was light and crispy, the filling is not too sweet. Usually you feel bloated after one piece, but this one only leaves us feeling like we could have more! We ordered 2 boxes, to be picked up at Ximending which will be at the last leg of our trip, to ensure the 太阳饼 is fresh.
Feng Chia Night Market 逢甲夜市
Our first night market for this trip! No trip to Taiwan is complete without a visit to their night market! Fengchia night market is about 5 minutes away from Fengchia INNK hotel where we were staying. Daddy E was so excited as the moment we neared the night market, we saw the signboard for the smelly beancurd!I am not a fan but Daddy E loves it. Smelly beancurd in Taiwan, unlike in Hongkong, doesn’t have a strong smell. There were also the usual culprit, squid takoyaki, grilled mushrooms and seafoods. But the one with the longest queue that we came across at this night market must be the crispy pancake (葱油饼).
It taste good! Although kinda oily for my liking. After a long day filled with activities, it was time to rest and recharge for the next day.