Although Taichung is not a major tourist destination it does have quite a bit to offer including a particularly great night market. You can find it near Feng Jia University. It is more accurately known as Feng Jia Night Market due to its proximity to the university.
If you make the same mistake as us and visit the city on a Monday then none of the museums or art galleries will be open. Take note, Monday is the day that everything is closed in Taiwan.
We were however still able to enjoy our time in Taichung. Instead of heading to the National Museum of Natural Science or the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, both of which we really wanted to visit, we headed to the local shopping centers to enjoy a spot of window shopping and movie watching before heading to a night market to fill our bellies with delicious food. We will be back to Taichung to visit those museums for sure!
Taichung is quite a spread out city with no MRT style public train system. There is talk of a metro being built but until then you will have to make do with buses, taxis and, of course, walking. Due to the lack of a public train system there seemed to be a lot more vehicles on the road. It felt noisier and dirtier than Taipei.
Close to Taichung Main Station the city feels very old and traditional. As you move out towards the suburbs the buildings get taller and taller.
As a holiday treat, we decided to spend a few hours at a local cinema watching ParaNorman. It was the only English movie we could agree on. Luckily for both of us it turned out to be a great film. The tickets were not exactly cheap although the cinema never is. They were around the NTD $250 per person range. It was worth it though. The seats were huge, the popcorn was tasty and the coca-cola was cold. We did have to run over to the 7-11 across the road for some m&ms though.
Of course, we needed a rest after the very strenuous movie watching, so a few hours later we headed to Taichung's Night Market to get a proper feed.
Walking through the night markets in Taiwan is always great. There is so much to look at, touch, hear, smell and devour. Taichung did not disappoint.
The night markets were huge, even by Taiwanese standard. They seemed to go for miles and were filled with thousands of locals out socializing, eating and shopping.
Perhaps because of its proximity to the university but the night market seemed to be particularly popular with young people. That gave it a great energy as well as making it a great place to find youth-centric clothing and accessories, provided you can fit into the tiny Asian clothing sizes.
Taichung's Night Market was the first place we encountered Pizza Cones. They are like an ice-cream cone but made out of pizza dough. Instead of ice cream, the filling is pizza toppings. Ingenious! It cost NTD $70 for a Hawaiian Pizza Cone. Totally worth it.
Finding the Pizza Cones was a surprising highlight to our stop in Taichung. Admittedly it is an oddly western food to find in this location but these were really delicious. After six weeks in Taiwan and many months in Asia we were craving cheese and this really hit the spot.
Taichung, we will certainly be back to experience everything you have to offer. See you soon!