Painted walls of the Rainbow Village in Taiwan, China
Hop into a taxi and 15 minutes later come face-to-face with an explosion of bright, vivid colors when you step into the Rainbow Village. Hand-painted by a former military soldier when the houses were facing demolition, the Rainbow Village has now become a protected attraction in Taichung. Visit in the morning and see if you can spot the grandfather of the Rainbow Village wandering around the property.
The Hall of Large Flowers in Taiwan, China
Journey back into history and explore the Wufeng Lin Family Mansion. The largest, finest and most complete traditional compound in all Taiwan is worth the price tag if you're a history or architecture buff. Or head to the Lin Family Gardens next door, which is free to enter and has several traditional buildings and exhibits to see.
Bubble, or Boba Tea, originated in the early 1980s right in Taichung at the Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House. Instead of simply visiting the shop and ordering this refreshing beverage, why not learn how to make it yourself? Join a DIY workshop and learn how to make both Boba Tea and Pearl Milk Tea. Add the ingredients together, and shake your way to a tasty drink.
Head to one of Taichung's street markets to sample Taiwanese staples like braised minced pork over rice. You can also find quirky takes on international indulgence, like the tender beef and French fries topped with melty cheese and served in a soda cup at Overlord. If you have a sweet tooth, stop by Miyahara — this dessert shop serves up interesting flavors of ice cream like dragon fruit, lavender tea and any type of chocolate you want.
Taichung has many markets great for shopping. Cruise to Taichung and start at Jingming 1st Street Market for boutique-style stores, food and more. Or head to Tung Hai Arts Street to pick up handmade crafts and vintage accessories to bring home as souvenirs — cute leather pouches painted with animals are a popular trinket. Head to the Fenguan neighborhood for traditional lacquerware — it's known as one of Taiwan's best spots for traditional lacquered items.
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