Taroko, Taiwan (Indonesia Window) – In 1949 around two million Chinese people, mostly soldiers, arrived in Taiwan.
Many of these war veterans were placed in houses built with cheap materials, forming veteran villages scattered throughout the Formosa Island.
One of the veterans’ villages is about eight kilometers from the center of Taichung City.
According to a tour guide from the Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau, Luke Lu, about 20 years ago the veterans who lived in the villages were moved to a number of flats provided by the government.
“The houses in this village were demolished one by one because the land will be used for developing new buildings. The veterans and their families moved to new houses that they bought at subsidized prices by up to 50 percent,” Luke explained when guiding several Indonesian journalists who were invited by the Taiwanese Government to enjoy Muslim-friendly tours for six days on February 7 to 12.
However, he continued, there was a veteran who did not move out of the village.
“He started drawing the walls of houses in the village. The pictures are very beautiful, even though he is not a painter and never learned to paint,” Luke said.
His name is Huang Yung-fu. He was the last veteran to come out of the village by leaving colorful paintings in the form of rabbits, cats, astronauts, airplanes, and many other images similar to characters in children’s cartoon films.
All the characters on the walls of the former veterans’ houses were drawn in vibrant colors, changing the veteran village from a slum to Rainbow Village which is always visited by tourists.
Huang Yung-fu was finally designated Rainbow Grandpa.
As a tourist site in Taichung, Rainbow Village is not extensive. It only takes 10-15 minutes to sightsee the whole area. However, every corner in this place is fascinating as an “instagramable” spot. People will not miss a moment to take selfie or group photo for their social media while visiting this hippest site.
Since Rainbow Village has becoming more and more popular as a free of charge-tourist destination, the government cancelled the demolition plan.
Veterans’ houses, including the one owned by Huang Yung-fu, are still maintained and functioning for public facilities such as cafe, souvenir shops and boutiques.
Reporting by Indonesia Window