While Taipei is a concrete jungle, there are also other parts in Taiwan with tourist attractions worth exploring because of its the natural grandeur. And one of the pleasing places to visit is Taichung.
Ahead of our trip, we booked a driver through Mr. Liu, owner of a taxi charter company, for our private tour at Taichung. My sister stumbled upon him via research on the net and if you’re interested to book with him, you may contact him at Whatsapp: +886 927 888 032 or via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
From Taipei, we rode from Blue line Ximen to Taipei Main Station and took an HSR train (which is Taiwan’s Shinkansen and KTX) to get to Taichung’s HSR station. We met the driver assigned to us by Mr. Liu there.
We were astounded that what we’re riding is a Volkswagen van with FREE bottles of water, yass!!! Albeit it was a bit of a struggle as our driver doesn’t speak English, thankfully, we’ve managed to survive the rest of the trip. Thank God for Google translate!
Our itinerary was re-arranged as the weather was somehow not coordinating with us. It was drizzling. Anyway, our first stop was at one of my most anticipated place in Taichung.
Carton King Creativity Park
Taiwan is fond of creative parks just like Songshan Cultural and Creative Park in Taipei, ergo, one shouldn’t missed this not-so-typical creative park in Taichung which is the Carton King Creativity Park. Well, it’s already conspicuous what this park offers—whereby most of the stuff here are made from papers, or carton, and even cardboard. Sounds interesting, eh? 🙂
Upon entering, one must pay an entrance fee worth 200 NTD, but there’s a catch! You can use 100 NTD voucher to buy drinks or souvenirs. Also, they gave a card of sort wherein you we must collect stamps to get a special prize. Being quite competitive (LOL), we completed the stamps.
The place was really interesting because almost all of the ornaments were made of carton paper—from chairs, tables and among others! Everything seems sturdy thou. HAHA! Based on my research, this creative park is a brainchild of a crafty, former paper salesman in Taiwan. Think of it as his alternate version for the usual Lego blocks.
Aside from strolling around the garden, and getting amazed with all things made of paper or cardboard, including landmark structures of the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Hotel Burj Al Arab in Dubai. There’s a restaurant inside that’s stunning in both aesthetic and design since everything– including plates, cups, chairs and wall decorations — is made out of cardboard as well.
HUHU, was expecting to have lunch there and wanted to try out their hotpot, but the restaurant was close that time because we’re way too early!
Anyway, as mentioned, there are souvenir shops wherein you can buy unusual products made of paper.
And there is a Honey Museum for you to purchase some honey products.
Here’s our prize from completing the stamps! HAHA!
So there, in case some things break or becomes damaged, it’s simply recycled. Genius isn’t it?
After immersing into the different world of Carton King, we then went to have a quick stop at Mushroom Garden, wherein we had our lunch and got to taste different cuisines made out of, well, shrooms!
Afterwards, we went inside the mushroom green house to check out the variety of edible mushrooms. I believe you can pluck, eat, or buy mushrooms here, right on the spot. 🙂
Our next stop is one of my favorites! I felt like we were transported to Europe in a snap!
XinShe Castle, also known as Xinshe Mansion, is a medieval themed guesthouse. Although the exterior façade of the castle is reminiscent of an ancient European castle, it was not actually built by the Europeans and so, is not a century old. Also, it was left ambiguous of who built this; one theory was that, maybe, it was built just because it seems to be a great idea to have it high up in the mountains. Shookt! LOL.
There is an entrance fee here wherein you can redeem the 100 NTD from your 250 NTD entrance fee, to purchase food and drinks or any souvenirs.
The place is picturesque with its charming architecture, fairy-tale like castle, man-made multi-layer waterfalls, tranquil lake, and romantic garden. It was indeed an awe-inspiring sight.
Lavender milk tea, anyone?
However, there is really nothing much to do here except walk around (perfect for the tita in me, LOL), enjoy the scenery and endlessly take some photos. So, if you want to take your Instagram game a notch, then swing by this lovely castle in Taichung. I bet this would also be a perfect backdrop for wedding or graduation shoots 😉
Spotted this blooming cherry blossom T_T so ecstatic!
Houli Flower Farm/ Zhong She Flower Market/Chung She Flower Market
Another picture-perfect place you shouldn’t pass in Taichung is the Houli Flower Farm. Like any other attractions, it has an entrance fee worth 100 NTD.
In here, you can expect to find lavender fields and many kinds of flowers to serve as your stunning OOTD backdrop!
There are also amazing props installed to create that dramatic touch to your photos such as swings and even grand piano.
This flower farm is indeed one for the books if you want to check out an Instagram-worthy place.
Rainbow Military Dependents` Village
Rainbow Village is a masterpiece in Nantun District, Taichung. Unlike what is seemed to be a huge place, this actually turned out to be a lot smaller. Nonetheless, it was worth checking out due to its backstory that people may not know or often neglect.
The quirky paintings, colorful doodles and zentangles in every nook were made by a very talented, or rather a visionary, old veteran soldier, Mr. Huang Yung-Fu. The village used to house veterans (Kuomintang soldiers) and their families who retreated from Mainland China. Veteran villages were slowly being demolished and turned into commercial buildings.
However, one day, Mr. Huang a.k.a “Rainbow Grandpa”, started to paint the village with vibrant colors of animals, dolls, airplanes, and whatnot. It drew attention to the public and then consequently, became one of the tourist attractions in Taichung. Thus, the local government decided to stop the demolition.
Now, Mr. Huang and his family still live in the village. In fact, the main attraction there is their house. And we’re lucky enough to catch him in the flesh when we went there!
Taichung has a pleasant climate and is endowed with a rich history and beautiful natural scenery, so make sure to pay a visit to this must-see attraction in Taiwan.