Changhua is at the heart of rural Taiwan. Honest, it don’t get much more rural than Changhua! It’s just south of Taichung, so it’s the beginning of southern Taiwan. Flat farmland stretches for miles from the coast inland – with rice and fruit growing, and wind farms galore. Last Saturday, my good friend En-Yu (Rebecca) and her daughter took me around Changhua City and Changhua County for the day. It’s a real mix of old and new, ancient and modern – all mixed up, like this old house with painted wall…
Pride of place goes to the Changhua Roundhouse, mentioned in my previous post. That is so special it needs a post of it’s own. And last August we visited Changhua Art Centre, the new skywalk and the big Buddha at Baguashan, for that blog post, check it out here.
The oldest place we visited this time was DaoDong Tutorial Academy 道東書院 in Hemei, built in the Qing Dynasty, about 1857, an early school, and also now a shrine. It’s beautiful!
It’s also free, and nobody else was there except a gardener. Fascinating!
We then move rapidly into the 21st century with some new street art in Changhua City. Dull and boring grey walls of homes are being painted in different colours all over rural Taiwan, inspired maybe by the success of the Rainbow Village in Taichung. In Changhua Chung-Chuang Local Community they have taken a 3D art approach 彰化忠權彩繪社區 which is attracting a lot of visitors, especially children – and brightens up the area ~ there’s even snowmen ha ha!
Moving along, we also visited 2 factories that are open to visitors, one making biscuits (cookies) and another making cakes. Both offer DIY baking and cooking sessions for children. The cake factory is new, and looks like, yep you’ve guessed it, a cake. I like it. Factories all over the world are famous for being the most unattractive and terrible-looking designs, so this one takes the biscuit (well, cake)!
And then to the Rainbow House 卡里善之樹, which is full of umbrellas. This village used to be famous for making umbrellas, and one of the homes is now set out to show the world that a few umbrellas can brighten up a place immensely. Success! A boring old alleyway has been transformed by hanging umbrellas. And as for the tree, well, yes, it’s an umbrella tree. All quite amazing!
So that’s Changhua. Changing fast. Mixing old and new. Ancient and modern. There’s plenty more to see, plenty more painted walls all over the place that we drove past but had not time to stop. This is the one at the Rainbow House…
Ah it’s fun, yes Changhua is a great place!