Travelogue: Taichung

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?
Taichung - I love bear
Taichung - bear 2

Have some bears!

I guess there’s a bit more to Taichung than just the bear – in city center, there’s a pretty nice park, called the Parkway. There are a lot of bears here!
Taichung - parkway 1 Taichung - parkway 3

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.
Taichung - parkway 2 Taichung - parkway crowded

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.

Evolution, as a snakes and ladders game:
Museum of Natural History snakes and ladders evolution

A virus!
Museum of Natural History virus

The double helix!
Museum of Natural History DNA statue

A water-based clock:
Taichung - Museum of Natural History water clock 2

The culture of Taiwan’s indigenous / aboriginal people:

Early humans:
Museum of Natural History early humans 1 Museum of Natural History early humans 2

Taiwan, as mapped by fruit farming:
Taichung - Museum of Natural History taiwan as fruit

An exhibit on human health – including an exhibit on cryogenics!
Museum of Natural History cryonics

A discovery center, showing off not only classics such as a bubble tube, but also advanced topics such as rotational momentum, elliptical reflectors, and electrocardiography (O_o):
Taichung - Museum of Natural History bubble tube Taichung - Museum of Natural History discovery center

Comets and celestial objects!
Museum of Natural History meteor impact

Traditional Chinese science – celestial charts, qi lines, etc.

Traditional Chinese pharmacy:

Chinese loom and water wheel:
Taichung - Museum of Natural History loom Taichung - Museum of Natural History water wheel

Geometry in nature:
Museum of Natural History geometry in nature

And of course, everybody loves dinosaurs:
Museum of Natural History fossil Museum of Natural History dinosaur

Oh, and the Museum of Natural Science also has a botanical garden, with a giant butterfly statue:
Taichung - botanical garden Taichung - Botanical garden butterfly

I’ve got no idea what this is – some sort of ancient Chinese symbol?
Museum of Natural History thing 1 Museum of Natural History thing 2

The Museum of Fine Art (台中勤美術館) anchors the Parkway on the other side, but I had no idea how to interpret any of the exhibits there. What can I say, I’m not an arts guy.
Taichung - Fine Art Museum

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.
Taichung - bear park 2 Taichung - bear park 1

CMP Block Museum of Arts (勤美術館): a hipster outdoor art exhibition museum.

The bear-related signs amused me greatly:
Taichung - CMP musem 2 Taichung - CMP musem 6

A… postcard vending machine?
Taichung - CMP musem postcard vending machine

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.
Taichung - CMP musem slots 1 Taichung - CMP musem slots 2

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!
Taichung - Feng Chia night market Taichung - Feng Chia fried chicken

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.

– Bears decorated with extra clothing and accessories for Christmas:
Taichung - bears decorated for Christmas

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