I’m sure Taichung / Taizhong, Taiwan’s third largest city, is famous for something, but I found it notable mostly as the City of Bears. Seriously, it’s got bear statues everywhere! 100+ bear statues, scattered around the city. I suspect that it’s rubber duck envy – as probably the only major Taiwanese city not on the coast, it can’t have a giant inflatable rubber duck in its harbor, so it went for bear statues instead. I guess it worked?
Have some bears!
During the weekend, it gets amazingly crowded. Somehow, it reminds me a lot of NYC’s Central Park, the way it’s not much more than a large lawn, but still filled with a lot of people playing Frisbee, badminton, and having picnics.
On one side, the Parkway is anchored by the National Museum of Natural Science (國立自然科學博物館), which has a lot of very cool exhibits. Even though less than 1/3 of the exhibits have English captions, and most have no English, I quite enjoyed wandering through the museum.
The culture of Taiwan’s indigenous / aboriginal people:
Traditional Chinese science – celestial charts, qi lines, etc.
Traditional Chinese pharmacy:
Bear park (not its actual name) – a bit away from the Parkway, a construction company dug out a lot in preparation for building a shopping mall, only to find that the land was inappropriate – and so turned the dug-out lot into a park and pond, now filled with bears.
CMP Block Museum of Arts (勤美術館): a hipster outdoor art exhibition museum.
Fortune telling! It’s a Plinko machine, where you can drop in a coin. My fortune urged me to have kids soon. I’m not sure if I’m ready for that.
Fengchia (逢甲)/ Fengjia night market is absolutely huge and incredibly crowded, but also very nice. There are two shops, side by side, that both sell chicken – the left leg (fried), and the right leg (grilled). I found the golden left leg to be more delicious!
Bits and Bobs:
– If you’re visiting Taichung, I highly recommend staying at Unicorn Hostel – it not only has some great facilities, but a very cute owner (she’s already got a boyfriend, fellas). Some new friends that I here had hotpot and visited the bears or Taichung together.