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Taiwan’s Rainbow Village: How an artistic grandpa saved his abandoned village

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

Taichung’s Rainbow Village is a colorful, painted former military village that was saved by 94-year-old veteran Huang Yung-fu, affectionately known as “Rainbow Grandpa.” When developers offered Rainbow Grandpa - the last remaining resident of the village - $2 million NTD ($61,000 USD) compensation or new housing, Rainbow Grandpa declined both offers. Instead, he started to paint.

Using all colors of the rainbow, Mr. Huang started with the interior of his house, painting animals, people, and multi-colored patterns. His lively DIY project, including wide-eyed pandas and people popping out from doorways, soon covered all of the village’s empty, neighboring homes. Local university students discovered Huang's work and campaigned to save the area, eventually convincing local authorities to preserve the former military village.

Today, visitors can meander through the narrow, cozy alleys of Rainbow Village, take photos, pose with props for selfies, and even meet and greet sweet Rainbow Grandpa, who can be seen drawing away. Rainbow-themed food and drinks can be purchased as well - a rainbow popsicle is most refreshing! Visitors can take a piece of Rainbow Village home with them, too. All souvenirs are replicas of Rainbow Grandpa’s original artwork and a reminder that one person can always make a difference.


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