History of Rainbow Village
The inspiring story behind Rainbow Village is as uplifting as its colorful streets. Originally named Caihongjuan Village, it was a low-cost village built for veteran soldiers in the city. 1,200 houses were built in the village and, as time passed, the area became more desirable. Developers wanted to buy the properties and demolish the village but one of the residents, Mr Huang, did not want to leave his home. He began painting his house with images of comic characters and animals in vibrant colors in protest and his neighbors requested he paint their homes as well. The story of Grandpa trying to save his settlement gained traction and the remainder of the village was saved. Just 11 of the original houses remain and the settlement is now known as Rainbow Village.
Huang Yong-fu, the “Rainbow Grandpa”
Huang Yong-Fu was born in Taishan County, Guangdong Province, China in 1924. During the war, he was conscripted to fight against the Japanese and ended up poor in Hong Kong. He later rejoined the army in Hainan, and fled with the KMT to Taiwan. He went off to fight again during the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis, and was finally discharged at the age of 55.
After that, he bought his current house, in a village of 1200 homes that had been built by nine retired soldiers on land owned by the Ministry of National Defense. In 2010, out of boredom, and also upon hearing that the government planned to demolish the village, Huang began painting the walls of his home and surrounding buildings in an attempt to have them preserved. At that point, he was one of the only people still inhabiting the village.
Tips for visiting Rainbow Village
Rainbow Village is one of the quirkiest things to in Taichung and we loved the colorful village. Some tips for visiting Rainbow Village:
- Rainbow Village is a tiny settlement of 11 houses so it won’t take long to see everything.
- If you want to capture the best photos (Rainbow Village is hugely popular with Instagrammers!) aim to arrive for opening. The village gets very crowded when a tour bus arrives.
- Visit on a weekday or early in the day if you can. Rainbow Village tends to get crowded on weekends and in the afternoon. It also gets really hot in the village on sunny days.
- Keep a lookout for Grandpa and meet him if he’s around the village.
- Light snacks and drinks are sold in the village. If you like coffee, make sure to buy one: it comes in an awesome Rainbow Village cup Souvenirs, such as umbrellas and prints, are sold in the village shop as well.