The story begins in 1928, mainland China. The National revolutionary army (KMT) are the ruling political and military party, powerful and unsuppressed. 21 years pass and fast forward to 1949, the KMT are involved in all out civil war with the communist party of China (CPC) for power, eventually being overthrown and retreating to Taiwan. Caihongjuan village, originally a collection of over a 1000 low cost homes built by retreating KMT soldiers from mainland China to Taiwan is erected, cheaply and quickly providing a safe refuge from the war. That’s the only history lesson needed right now 😅
Welcome, Huang Yung-Fu a 95 year old war veteran still fighting to this day, not for his political agenda anymore but against the City of Taichung for his Tin house, armed with a paintbrush and a vibrant imagination.
“Rainbow village” is a testament to one mans persistence and ingenuity to protect what remains of his small village against the ever growing city surrounding his home and attempts to flatten his community for land development and business. Easily accessible, A Variety of buses will take you from Taichung HSR (26-70-99) in the direction of Lingtung University. 10 stops later arriving at Nantun Tongan House, across a field and shrouded in trees a few spectacularly colourful buildings should catch your eye.
Huang Yung-Fu or “Rainbow Grandpa” has become of legendary status in the area, painting the walls, pavements, doors and windows of his village in his trademark style. Expect bright, colourful paintings of Adults, children, animals and manga characters everywhere you look, with Shells, dolls and teddy bears sitting in doorways or stuck to any bare wall space available, it’s an absolutely amazing place to walk around and in such contrast to anything I have ever seen before. Located centrally signing autographs, smiling and shaking hands is the man himself, such a brilliant experience to see his lifetime work and then meet the character still doing what he loves and protecting his family at his grand old age. ( personally i think he’s doing bloody great for a 95 year old)
Access to the village is completely free however donations can be made and after hearing the story and lifetime dedication to providing such a unique place I felt inclined. Recently a small souvenir shop has been opened run by Rainbow grandpa and the family providing handmade souvenirs based on the artwork around you, so why not grab yourself a blindingly colourful umbrella or baseball cap depending on Taiwans ever changing weather.
Honestly it is a recommended trip and make a nice change from browsing the city, getting out into the suburbs and making the most of the man and the village while it still lasts as the future isn’t certain and for sure the city is ever growing