10 things you MUST NOT miss in Taichung

Beautiful landscape, great tasting local food & friendly people, all make Taichung a beautiful place to be. While so many visitors prefer Taipei to any other destination, Taichung is a wonderful destination yet to be discovered by tourists. There are plenty of things to see, do and eat during your vacation here. Located few kilometers from Taoyuan International Airport, Taichung offers day trips to other incredible places such as Tainan, Kaohsiung and Changhua. Some of the top places to visit are listed below:

1. Carton King

紙箱王 - Zhǐ Xiāng Wáng (Carton King)

紙箱王 – Zhǐ Xiāng Wáng (Carton King)

Carton King, sometimes referred to as Carton King Creativity Park, is one of the most interesting places to visit in Taichung City. Part restaurant, part quirky souvenir store, and part art exhibit. All the decors, chairs and tables in the themed restaurant located in this establishment are all made of corrugated cardboard. You may be a bit wary about sitting on a cardboard chair but it is built to be one of the sturdiest and strongest type of chairs in the world. All the exhibits, too, are sculptures made from cardboard. You’ll be amazed at their creativity and dedication in making these exhibits! If you were inspired by the displays, the souvenir shop is ready to provide DIY kits of cardboard knick knacks and projects you can build at home. They are also very suitable as gifts for your loved ones. There is also another section of the shop, dedicated to selling jars of honey, harvested from their very own hives within the compound.


2. Lavender Cottage

薰衣草森林 - Xūn Yī Cǎo Sēn Lín (Lavender Cottage)

Photo Contributed By: https://www.facebook.com/lavender2001

Lavender Cottage is one of Taichung’s best kept secrets. It was built by two good friends who both had dreams of going far away from the city center to grow a field of Lavender. Unfortunately, one of the ladies passed away and never got to make that dream come true. Here you will find lavender essence, oil and plants. Recognized as one of the cosiest and most relaxing places in Taichung, Lavender Cottage features a beautiful garden dotted with purple decorations thus making the grass look more beautiful. One of the best things to do here is having a taste of the delectable local cuisine. Visitors can also buy and send a postcard to their loved ones.


3. Xin She Castle

新社莊園 Xīn Shè Zhuāng Yuán (Xin She Castle)

Xin She Castle, also known as Summit Resort, is a beautiful place to visit. Featuring a massive green mountain, Xin She Castle is a large park which houses several odd buildings and restaurants serving tasty local cuisine at affordable rates. The park features beautiful rows of flowers and a pond which has a large koi fish. The greatest appeal of Xin She Castle is taking a stroll around, snapping memorable pictures and enjoying the spectacular views.


4. Rainbow Village

彩繪眷村 – Cǎi Huì Juàn Cūn (Rainbow Village)

Built to commemorate nationalist soldiers, Rainbow village is one of the most colorful attractions in Taichung worth visiting. Renowned for its magnificent paintings found on the walls of the buildings, Rainbow Village is home to plenty of incredible artworks designed by Mr. Huang, a renowned anti-Communist in Mainland China. He started painting the walls of the buildings in his village with many different colors back in 2008, beginning from his house. Some of the inspirations for Mr. Huang were several images he saw in the newspaper including buffalos, pandas, birds, aircrafts and much more. There are also illustrations many human-shaped characters, each is different and they have their own peculiarity. Due to the large influx of tourists and artists attracted to this place, the government decided to go back on plans of destroying the Rainbow Village years back. Regardless of the size of the village, it is colorful and stunning, making it a place not to miss out on visiting.


5. CMP Block Museum of Arts

勤美術館 – Qín Měi Shù Guǎn (CMP Block Museum of Arts)

CMP is one of the largest foundry companies in Asia. The CMP (China Metal Products) Block Museum spans over 7500 square meters of street block areas and it houses an outdoor space which has been converted into a Sundial Farm and the Invisible Cottage. Here you will find an indoor exhibition hall which was once used as school buildings. This modern museum is a place to catch stunning sights of incredible artwork and interactive exhibitions. Due to the increase in the number of visitors to this place annually, there has been an increase in the number of stores and coffee shops located nearby. The CMP Block Museum of Arts features plenty of exhibitions worth seeing all year round.


6. Feng Jia Night Market

逢甲夜市 - Féng Jiǎ Yè Shì (Feng Jia Night Market)

Renowned for being one of the most popular night markets in the country, Feng Jia Night Market is a place not to miss out on visiting especially for shopaholics. No trip to Taichung will be complete without visiting the Feng Jia Night Market. There are plenty of colorfully prepared snacks here, and in fact, Feng Jia is also a place to find some of the best street food including Feng Jia Four-in-One (the mixture of jelly fig, tapioca pearls, Kumquat and lemon juice), Crepes, Charbroiled Pepper Bread, etc. Most of these street foods are produced and distributed from Feng Chia to other markets in Taiwan.


7. Dakeng Trails

Dakeng Trails

Image source: Wikimedia

Dakeng Trails are made up of ten spectacular trails. The first 5 trails are considered by many to be more strenuous, making it a perfect choice for people who exercise on a regular basis. Exploring each trail takes about 3 hours. The other half of the trails from No. 6 – 10 are just perfect for everyone especially for families. A trip on each takes less than an hour. Among the trails, No. 4 is considered the most challenging yet most spectacular. The highest point which stands at about 859 meters is Trail No. 5. Trails 5 – 10 feature great stores where you can get some fresh vegetables after hiking.


8. Fantasy Story

Fantasy Story

Image source: Tang-YingYing

Fantasy Story is composed of numerous blocks of old shophouses now used as slick boutiques, beautiful cafes and cool lifestyle stores. Every shop found here has its own unique character and its likely you can spend the whole day here! For fine dining experience, visit Sweet Woods – Fantasy Shop No. 7, which is about few minutes walk from Xiangshan North Road.


9. Shopping

Shopping in Taichung

Image source: cavinteo.blogspot.com

Taichung is one of the best spots for shopping in Taiwan. Many visitors to Taichung come to enjoy its amazing shopping activities. There are plenty of shops, stores and shopping malls offering several incredible items including souvenir, clothes and arts. One of the best places to shop in Taichung city is Yizhong Street, a popular night market with countless number of tea shops, affordable food stalls and restaurants serving delectable dishes such as hamburgers, dumplings, Kimchi, Sushi and much more. Other places include Zhonghua, one of the city’s oldest markets; Eslite Bookstore which has a wide range of English travel guides, novels and magazines; and Chung Yo Department Store which houses the largest bookstore in Taichung.


10. Second Market

Second Market Taichung

Image source: Pacrimstowaway

Visit the Second Market, one of Taichung’s popular local markets, for breakfast. This traditional market is popular for its local snacks such as fried radish cake, meatballs and wanton soup. It is one of the favorite spots for backpackers, particularly because of the food. Dating as far back as 1917, Second Market spans 7,000 sq. meters and has over 50 stores and 300 stands. Some of the food worth trying include noodles, buns, minced pork rice etc.