Day 2 - Rainbow Village

Day 2: Rainbow Village and Miyahara

Exploring Taichung

This morning we were provided with McDonald’s breakfast from the hotel. Basically it’s just McDelivery to our room. Tried their pork muffin, pretty decent, something new too. New in a sense that we were served McDelivery food at a hotel for the first time. Today we’re gonna explore Rainbow Village, and the legendary Miyahara Ice Cream. Nothing else really matters for today.

Rainbow Village

Again, unlike Osaka, Taichung is not connected via subway. Bus would be the main form of transport here, and judging by Google Maps’ estimation, it is less time consuming to travel by cab. Besides, we are not sure how the system works, and we’ve got no IC Card yet. So whatever, we got the hotel concierge to hail a cab for us to Rainbow Village.

The driver dropped us off nearby, and it was relatively easy to spot the nearby Rainbow Village. Also pretty sure we’ll just need to follow the crowd. It was literally a village, so damn many tourists acting like villagers. Uncouthed, rowdy, virtually not giving a shit about anyone else and blocking people from taking photos. This renowned behavior can only stem from one country. Yes. Everybody knows. Despite the crowd, we still managed to capture some nice shots. Kudos to my Google Pixel 3.

Rainbow Village to Luce Chapel

Luce Chapel was touted as one of the more grand architectures in Taichung. We hailed a cab from Rainbow Village over to Tunghai University. Luce Chapel was located right smack in the middle of the university. For a brief moment we celebrated Easter Sunday as Christians. It was literally Easter Sunday, but not sure why the church was locked up. Literally nothing to do here yo. If I had one of those neuralyzers from Men In Black, I’d erase our memories of this place.

Seriously we’re not entirely sure why the university is considered a “tourist attraction”. What did they expect tourists to come here for? Study? Today we learnt the hard way that not all reviews you read online are trusty. Not for Taiwan at least. Took some pictures for keepsake and off we go for our next location. Not sure which is more painful: the fact that there’s absolutely nothing to do here, or the fact that we spent more than 300 NTD getting in and out of this university.

Taichung Second Market 第二市場

Finally, time to feed our hungry stomachs. We arrived at the Taichung Second Market after a grueling experience at the church. Now this is more like it, our kind of tourist attraction. It’s kinda like a wet market fused with the night markets. You get to try a variety of food, along with random stalls ranging from raw pork organs to mushrooms to old-fashioned clothes stores. What a random mix of shops here!

In Singapore, hawker stalls are graded on their hygiene practices from A to D. If you look at the hygiene levels of the food stalls here, they’re probably at F. If there was a system for fire safety, this place would be an F too. Those fellas are literally cooking deep fried stuff next to a gas canister. And in this cramp area, people are stir-frying woks on naked fires. I cannot emphasize the fact that one wrong move means this place is going up in smithereens.

We didn’t exactly like what we see, or how seeing the food was prepared. But you know, losers can’t be choosers. Besides the fact that the place was gross and all, the food was indeed tasty. Tried this sausage and yam cakes and glutinous rice dish. To me it’s just called “flour platter”. But it tastes good. We topped off lunch with a bowl of noodles. Meat ball noodles, basically their version of our bak chor mee. The redeeming point is the price, nearly half of what we’d have paid back home.

Miyahara Ice Cream 宫原眼科

Some minutes away from the Taichung Second Market, lies another famed must-go place: Miyahara Ice Cream. We’re no longer believing the reviews online anymore, until we see for ourselves. Not gonna copy-pasta content from other sites, but if you wanna read more about Miyahara, Google it yourself.

So this building consists of 2 parts, the main section with the restaurants and gift shops. And the ice-cream section. The main area was very Ghibli Studio-ish, I like. However, really nothing to shout out about except to take photos of the interior. We ain’t gonna buy these super expensive pineapple tarts. After touring the interior for grand total of 5 minutes, we went out to queue for our ice-cream.

We ordered the Sri Lanka Black Tea and Rum & Raisin flavors. If I had continued my Higher Chinese in primary school, I would have managed to read and understand all the flavors on the menu. And wouldn’t have chosen Rum & Raisin because it is literally just the same as what, Swensen’s? The only difference was the toppings, we chose the pineapple tart which is the most Taiwanese. Overall, this is not really living up to the hype and the 45 mins wait.

Chun Shui Tang 春水堂

Next stop, is the famous Chun Shui Tang. It is said that pearl milk tea originated from Taiwan and these folks were the ones who created this drink. We wanted to pop by here because we read that you could DIY your own milk tea. But then again after arriving here, we realized that this branch didn’t have the DIY services. Doh. Sad but we just ordered our drinks and took this chance to rest our legs after walking all day.

There was a fun fact question printed on the wall: “Why are pearls from Chun Shui Tang smaller than others?” They claim that a smaller pearl brings out the taste better. To me, it could be just so they don’t need to manufacture bigger straws.

Taichung Yi Zhong Street 一中街

After resting our legs, it’s time to refill our tummies once again. Taiwan is really all about eating to our hearts’ content. We hailed a cab to Yi Zhong Street, which is another popular night market in Taichung. One unique thing about Taiwan is the amount of claw catcher machines. Really every few steps, there’d be a shop fill with machines. We tried our luck, spamming away our coins on one of those Rilakkuma machines. But no luck, what a scam. Down the same stretch of shops, we found a shop selling Rilakkuma gacha boxes so we got one for Minmin. Duh it costed less than the amount of coins we threw away at the machines.

Whatever. It’s time to eat! Found a gyoza stall that had a queue, so we tried it too. Nothing fantastic, honestly our CP Gyoza tastes better. We had random food, while seeking shelter from the on-off showers. Tried their flaming beef, which we now have at Plaza Singapura and Orchard ION. And some pig intestines meesua to top it off. The food here was quite average.

I promised Minmin that I’ll try stinky tofu when we go to Taiwan. I’m really not sure why Minmin loves it so much. Or rather, I’m not even sure why any sane human being will put that smelly thing near their face. Oh well a promise is a promise. I tried 2 small bites. Nearly died. Nope, I’m not going to eat it for the rest of the trip anymore.

Such a damper, it had to rain at this period. Anyway we were already quite tired from all the walking today. Such a good excuse to cab back to our hotel. Hope it doesn’t rain anymore for the rest of our trip!