Alternative Things To Do In Taiwan: Taichung Flower Garden & Rainbow Village | TAIWAN WITH AVA PART 3


I was really looking forward to this!

On our third day in Taiwan, I woke up early as usual for my coffee. For this out-of-town agenda, Ava's mom will join us on our trip outside of Taipei City called Taichung. Unlike in Korea where transportation system is pretty much consistent whether you are in Seoul, or in Busan or Daegu, Taichung is pretty much a challenge for a first timer. Maybe it's like Jeju where there are not much train stations that will drop you near the tourist spot? Anyway, get ready for cab rides or walkathons!




GETTING TO KNOW TAICHUNG

This nature city is located on the western side of central Taiwan. The Taiwanese aborigines originated in Taichung, so maybe that's where the theme park name came from (we also went to this theme park the next day for Klook!). I only realized it the next day on the way to the tour, that we went to Taichung TWICE in this trip! Taipei to Taichung takes around 2.5 hours by bus, so it's as if we went Manila to Tagaytay twice for this trip! Haha! 😅

HOW TO GO TO TAICHUNG FROM TAIPEI

I wasn't able to fully discover the routes myself because again we were with Ava's mom so she's pretty much in charge of the navigation since Tita lives in Taiwan and can speak to the other locals for directions. We still got lost and had major boo boos here and there because what is a trip without those?? Haha! Anyway, here are the different ways that you can take, and some side comments from my experience.


SLOWEST : BY BUS

I guess going to Taichung from Taiwan by BUS is the most affordable means at 220 to 260 NTD, but it is also the slowest at 2.5 hours travel time. I read online that they also have overnight buses, which I think is the best option for those who want to spend one full day in Taichung. I have no experience on this so I have no other information, but you can check more details like bus routes and fares on this page.


FASTEST : BY HIGH SPEED RAIL (THSR)

Taiwan's own bullet train reminds me of the ones I took in Japan and Korea! Very impressive. We were able to ride this just because na no choice kami with the time, having early call time for the tour the next day. This is so convenient though, it cuts travel time in half (from 2 hours, 1 hours nalang or even less). But it is also pretty expensive at 700 NTD (Php 1200) and that's just one way! Payment is in cash or card, they do not accept Easy Card.


WHAT WE TOOK : TRAIN (TRA)

This option has the more practical price at 375 NTD or Php 660 one way, but it still takes around 2 hours travel time. If you're not in a hurry, then this is the way to go! Having experienced both the bullet train and this regular train, there is not much difference in terms of comfort and seats, okay naman parehas. Payment scheme is also cash or card, while Easy Card is also not accepted here.

So going back to our long journey to the Chungshe Flower Market (or Zhong She Guan Guang Flower Market), so we got down in Taichung Station only to realize that we still need another bus ride to our target destination. Tita asked the train peeps for help, and they suggested that we take the train again but this time go down Houli Station, before taking a taxi. If you are taking the TRA, you can drop off Fengyuan Station which goes before Taichung Station.

I have read online that a blogger just walked from Tai'an Station to Chungshe Flower Market, but this will take a whopping 30-minute to walk, so I guess I will suggest talaga to just be prepared for taxi rides when you go to Taichung!


Take pictures of maps so you know hindi ka pa lumalagpas! They also have a lot of train volunteers that you can ask for help, they are super willing to guide you! As you can see, Fengyuan goes before Taichung Station:

To me, not much difference ang experience ko with their regular train to the bullet train. More of the travel time lang talaga nagkaka talo, unless siguro you book business class!

Btw, they also have a "chance passenger" option because their trains do get full! If you are pressed with time, then this is an option. Palipat lipat ka nalang ng seats when the ticket holder gets in the train, or may time din na we just stood for one hour just so we get back in Taipei on time! 





Some Train Thoughts and Tips:

1) Bring baon! Haha! Sisiw sakin ang 2 hours when I have something to eat, lalo na when you haven't eaten your breakfast! Bring water too! They have food carts going around from time to time, pero mas masarap and tipid padin mag baon!

2) Stay alert! Although tempting matulog, the train has several stops and nakakatakot pag lumagpas!! 

3) They do have toilets inside the train, so yey!

4) Great leg room too, so yey! Best to get the window seat for the view (as always).

5) If you can, get a taxi that will package your tour around Taichung so you can go to several destinations in just one day!




Where To Go In Taichung?

Here are several places that you can visit on your trip to Taichung. If you're going DIY and have a full day, then you may get to 2-3 of these. We arrived in Taichung way past lunch time already, so we were only able to go to two (Chung-she Flower Garden and Rainbow Village) and that's with a help of taxi pa haha.

1) Chung-she Flower Garden - Bus 91, 264, 265, 270, 271, 272, 275-279

2) Xinshe Castle - From Taichung Station, take Fengyuan Bus No. 91, 264, 265, 270, 271, 272, 275, 276, 277, go down Shinshe Zhongxingling. Walk for 20 minutes.

3) Lavender Cottage - From Shinshe Zhongxingling, travel shuttle bus for Lavender Cottage.

4) Rainbow Village - From Taichung Station, take Bus 27, 29, 30, or 40 to Lingtung University.

5) Sun Moon Lake

Honestly, I hope that travel app companies like Klook create a Taichung tour nadin in the future since it is already becoming a popular Taiwan destination. Maybe the tour can actually go to all five of these places in one day! Will make life simpler, haha!

Here's the taxi driver that we were lucky to meet in Chung-she Flower Market. He drove us from the rainbow village, then to the train station at 1500 NTD or Php 2640. Mas magaan and practical since group kami, but when you are traveling solo baka medyo mahal sya.

You can see his mobile number in this photo, in case you have a local sim on your trip and might want to book him! Super nice and honest ni lolo, super recommended! He is also very trusting by not taking our payment muna during the whole trip, we paid him when he dropped us na on our final stop at the train station.

Sayang we met him na on our last stop, but just to give you an idea, lolo said that the usual "kontrata" pricing for 12 hours taxi service in Taichung is about NTD 4000 (Php 7000). Again, mahalia but more convenient and mas makakarami ka! Perfect if you're with a big group.


He has a photo album inside the car with his other tours around Taiwan:


Chung-she Flower Garden

Also called the Zhong She Guan Guang Flower Market or Jhong-she Flower Market, this place is basically a HUGE garden with different types of flowers per area. They also have photo set-ups like the famous pink piano in the middle of the lavender field, a red truck for the red floral field, etc. So basically, it is a photo session when you go here! Don't forget to go further for the sunflower field, and also to take a good look at a distance to see the nice mountain backdrop!

Btw, there are flowers all year round so there's nothing to worry about. Entrance Fee is NTD 120 per head.








We entered the Chung-she Flower Market at around 3ish already. Grabeng na-late na kami noh coz we really got lost! It was the golden hour naman na, so I see it as a positive thing lending us a perfect lighting. Hindi din hulas on that cloudy day so in a way, still feeling the lady luck is on us!

There were few groups of people in the park when we were there, so we had the chance to take photos without photo bombers! Haha! I cannot imagine it on a weekend or during peak seasons! Anyway, we were pressed with time, so we just jumped from one field to another. No time to waste!



Pls notice the mountain at a distance, what a beautiful backdrop for the lavender fields noh?!





Sarap mag emote dito! Super ganda naman talaga. :)

Nakakatuwa na ang dami nilang paandar! Hahaha!


Realization: This is much bigger than most flower fields I have been to already! Minsan you play with camera angle lang, but eto malaki sya talaga! Although you will still need to angle a bit para di masyado kita mga tao sa likod, haha! And as expected in a flower farm, ang daming bees!

I've never seen so much real sunflowers in one place! One of my favorite flowers!



Ang dami pang photo set-ups here and there, but hinayaan na namin yun sa kanila! Haha! Maraming couples and families. I think this place is perfect for prenup photo shoots! Also, nakakatuwa na the place even considered the best angles for your photos. May makikita ka biglang monobloc chair sa gitna ng field, only to realize na AH! DUN TATAYO ANG PHOTOGRAPHER! Hahaha!





Hindi masyado mabenta si drums set compared kay piano, hehehe:

Eto palang, super sulit na binyahe to Taichung!

Rainbow Village

Again, hindi pala malapit ang Chung-she Flower Market sa Rainbow Village. The taxi ride felt about 30-40 minutes din a! Again, it pays to get a trustworthy cab driver for your Taichung journey so you can relax during the ride. Open your Google Maps so he knows that you are alert as to where you are heading.

Anyway, so the Rainbow Village has an interesting story. Also known as the Caihongjuan Village, the whole place was painted by just ONE MAN--a war veteran Mr. Huang. The Rainbow Village is one of those former veterans villages the government was about to be tear down, so Mr. Huang decided to paint animals, shapes, and colors on the houses one-by-one.

Whether sadya niya o hindi, his strategy worked! Pretty soon the place got the attention of the locals, THEN even the tourists, so the government decided to suspend the demolition and retain this new attraction! I am in love with this concept, and you know what, wala kaming binayad ni isang sentimo to enter this work of art!








Photogenic corners here and there... Don't forget to look down!


Like the Chung-she Flower Market, the Rainbow Village is a cute photo location! Enter the narrow alleys to the inside houses, and find a spot for your OOTDs! I saw several food stalls by the back of the village, and a souvenir shop in the middle. Other than that, it can be just a quick stop-over.








This is the souvenir shop that sells small versions and merch based on Mr. Huang's artworks:

Nakaka GV yung place noh? Without even know its history, naappreciate ko sya for being so extra! 



A playground by the entrance:

In another life, maybe this is how my house looks like!



Our cab driver dropped us off Fengyuan Station, which is the nearest station from the Rainbow Village at about 30 minutes via car. Then we rode the 2-hour train again back to Taipei:

We ended the day with a good pizza - pasta - salad dinner in another tita-approved resto, before we maximized the night with a stop-over in Shilin Night Market!

Super kaduper sarap ng pizza nato:

Kami nagsara ng resto because we came in so late! Haha! But super sulit ng food, after the tiring day ang sarap ng good dinner.

Go down Jiantan Station (Red line) for the Shilin Night Market:



Basically, it's Myeongdong all-over again! Hehe! They have clothing stalls, cute stuff stalls, stores, food kiosks, etc. If I have all the energy, I can shop here for hours so buti nalang pagod ako lols!




RECAP: Budget to Prepare:

Train - 375 NTD

Entrance Fees - 120 NTD

Taxi Package - 4000 NTD / 12 hours (this is not fixed, but just to show you how much we were charged so you have an idea on your own trip!)

To be continued....

Watch my Day 3 Instagram Stories:


Comments

  1. PS: Medyo mahirap yung directions for Taichung, but if you have more suggestions or tips pls do feel free to post them here in the comment box for the others to learn from! :) Hopefully mapadali na ang Taichung trip next time now that it is gaining popularity. Baka may tours na din yan or easier commute system. :)

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