When I made the decision to head to Taiwan, I knew that I would want to head to Taichung, the second most visited place in Taiwan. Probably the only time that I will head to Taiwan, I definitely have to check off all the places I am interested in Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake, Taichung and Taipei. Previously I mentioned that I was spending about 5 days in Taichung, arriving from the High Speed Train, I made it a journey to check out Taichung! Besides the usual, Yizhong Street, Feng Jia Night Market, I also went to places like Rainbow Village, Xinshe Castle, Zhong She Flower Market and Gaomei Wetland.
First up a little on Taichung, this city is actually pretty cool and I was certainly surprised. Prior to coming and from my research, I have always thought that Taichung is just the uncool partner in crime to the bustling Taipei, a city that is a decade back, more rural, furthermore I was really skeptical about their public transport. It seems that the city only have buses and most rely on Uber or taxis which are pricey. Furthermore Taichung is a city where the attractions are spread out over the city.
It actually turns out to be must better than expected. A distance of less than 10km on the bus is free. If you are willing to hack it, simply just alight and board the next one when you reach your 10km limit. Bus routes are frequent and well-connected. After all you only need google maps and a working internet connection. In fact the timing reflected on google map are very reliable. I use it to get around areas like Feng Jia and Yizhong. I even took the free bus transfer to the High Speed Rail Station. Funny thing are the busses here, they come in all sorts of colors and types.
First up, some of the out of the city places that I have been to. One of them is the Rainbow Village, I really love this place and think it is worth coming. Located about 15 to 20 mins drive out of the city, it is a man-made attraction, once upon a time, they used to be hut houses that veterans were housed in by the government, these houses are often very rustic and basic. One of the old man decided to continue staying even up to today and he decided to paint the houses in vibrant colors. Now it is a super popular photo place. Come here and check out the vibrant art. The place is free to visit but you are always welcome to give a token to the old uncle that painted these. It seems pretty rural to come here by bus, I did book a driver for the day. Check out some of the pictures here.
The next place that I went was the Xinshe Castle. It is located up in the mountains pretty far away from the city. Certainly not possible with a bus. It is an attraction that was made to resemble European-style castle and picturesque grounds. This place was certainly quite disappointing for me, I think it is so so only. Probably for a person who you have been to Europe, it is even going to be boring for you. The ticket was also expensive. 250 TWD Each. It does seems pretty nice for pictures and a hotspot for wedding shoots. I will not recommend this place.
While leaving the place, I did get some awesome view of the city and mountains. Perks of having a driver for the day!
After that, I went to the Zhong She Flower Market, a little flower market and orchard. You could literally buy flowers here, but for the tourists us, the main attraction would be the landscaped garden beds with colorful blooms. How interesting this place is would depend on the season. When you go in different part of the year, you will get to see different flowers. It was quite a nice place to take pictures. While I was there were sunflowers, roses, sage and etc. There was many props made for pictures too. Check it out.
Next come my most favourite place, Gaomei Wetland. This is by far my favourite. It is located in the coastal area, to the west, thus the best time to come would be around sunset. It is a little crowded but the sight of the sunset just melts your heart. Have a walk around the board that comes to the sea and over the horizon. Then find a little rock and wait for the sun to set before calling it a day. That’s how life should be!
Now for some of the food and the city attractions. After all Taiwan is a food paradise and no doubt Taichung is one also. Writing this right now, makes me think of all the soya been, braised pork rice and all the street food. First up, undoubtedly Feng Jia Night Market. If you have never been here, you just wasted your air ticket. Fengjia is the largest night market in the whole of Taiwan.
The number of stands are countless. It start from late afternoon till late at night. Some of the must get include the Ming Lun Pancake, Charcoal Grilled Chicken, THIS ANGEL FRIED CHICKEN, WHICH IS THE BEST THAT I HAD THE WHOLE OF TAIWAN! Hotstar chicken sucks anyway. Of course you can never go without some milk tea to wash everything down!
Another little tip from me. I had the best shave ice in Taichung, right smack in Fengjia. It is the best and this place is not recommended anywhere at all. It is must better than the over hyped ones on the internet. It is called “逢甲冰菓室” and this is the address. No. 7, Fengjia Road, Xitun District, Taichung City, Taiwan 407 look how glorious it is!
Another popular foodie place is the Taichung Second Market. Seeing The World In Steps love visiting market and no doubt this is one of them. It is a very rustic and old market which seems to bring you to another era. Here, you can find fresh produce as well as some food stalls. I had some of the best noodles, snacks and the best is this Arashi Braised Pork Rice.
It was so good that I order another portion. It is also a very small outlet, so you have to wait. Prices are cheap as well. A bowl of rice is about 1.20 SGD. I waited for about 30 mins for a tiny table. But trust me, it is worth it. I am a glutton.
Here are some of my other snaps in Taichung. Place like the touristy but still offers awesome and delicious desserts, Miyahara, a dessert and souvenier galore in Taichung. The place is like harry potter. Prices are expensive here but good. They have more than 100 over flavours of ice cream and it will surely make you indecisive. Even chocolate are defined by their percentage!
Hopefully you like my little introduction on Taichung. I pretty enjoy this little city/town. It is cheap, chill and yet awesome. Food is the goals everyday and you can never go wrong. It is pretty affordable as well. This pretty much sums up my stay in Taichung, next up, I am headed to the capital, Taipei!