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2020-02-212020-02-22

Day One

Taichung: Temples and colored walls.

Talk about last-minute, just two days before the planned trip I whipped out the credit card and purchased a flight to Taipei with KLM. With everything going on in China (Corona virus) I decided to wait until the last moment before deciding to go or not.

The flight was about two-thirds full and I didn't have any neighbours. This gave me the luxury to sleep lying down across a row of 3 chairs.

At Taipei airport you had to fill out a health declaration wich they check two times and keep. You also pass the, now common in asia, temperature check and there are plenty of notices telling you to wash your hands and wear a mask if you have a cough.

From the airport I took a 2-hour bus to Taichung where I arrived at about eight in the evening. After a quick 7-Eleven for water it was time for sleep.

Confucius Temple, Taichung, Taiwan

After a nice, but short sleep I woke up around 04:00 and decided to stay in bed until 08:00, went down for a (chinese) hotel breakfast and then out the door to explore the city.

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Time to start off the trip right with a visit to a temple which took me to the center part of town.

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Built in 1972, the temple has a very relaxing atmosphere, there was almost nobody there, except for a group of people taking an art class and a small group of women playing flutes, which made everything even more relaxing.

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Wan He Temple, Taichung, Taiwan

From the Confusius temple to another temple, the Wan He Temple. A seven kilometer walk right through the center of town with plenty of things to see along the way, it's a nice anchor point for today's itinerary. Amongst the things to see was the old Taichung Broadcasting Bureau where a lady was exercising.

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Some parts of the city are older than others and it shows, though the people living there are always friendly.

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My path to the next destination was right through a park in the center of the city with plenty of people wandering around and children playing.

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There was a cycling tour going on near the temple, and plenty of cyclist took the opportunity to visit the temple in a sea of lycra.

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Rainbow Village, Taichung, Taiwan

From the Wan He temple it's a short ten minute bus ride to Rainbow village, one of the more well known tourist locations of the city. The buses in Taichung are free for the first couple of kilometers, which is great! You do need a card to tap in-and-out in case you go further. You can get ifferent types of cards at convenient stores such as the 7-eleven. Make sure to get an "Easy Card" this will work across the country including the Taipei metro. Don't forget to top it up with 100 Taiwanese Dollars when you get it.

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I wonder how many Colored Villages there are, I've seen the ones in Indonesia and Korea.

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This one was created by a man who lived in a "temporary" village created after many soldiers from the Chinese army came to Taiwan after the second world war.

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Over time these villages became run-down and the government wanted to replace the villages with better housing. Mostly high-rise buildings, as the land they were on was quite valuable. You can see the construction going on in the background.

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Mr. Huang Yong-Fu (黃永阜) wanted to protest against the destruction of his village and decided to to paint the houses. The result is Rainbow Village.

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From one set of colored walls to another, on the way back to the hotel I came across Painted Animation Lane, an alley featuring paintings of cartoon characters. Nice if you happen to be in the neighborhoud, but not something to set out for.

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I also came across a random group of photographers

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Jetlag is starting to kick in and back at the hotel it's time for a short nap and a shower (it's 26 degrees Celcius, a lot warmer then the 8 degrees in the Netherlands) before heading out for dinner.

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