A Glimpse Into the Past
Taichung’s Folklore park offers a glimpse at privileged life in the late Qing dynasty. Covering 1.6 hectares, construction on the park began in 1984 and it opened in 1990. The main complex was built in the Southern Fukien-style with open green areas surrounding. There are three sections inside: a Folk Hall, Folk Arts Hall and Cultural Heritage Plaza. The Folk Hall is reminiscent of how a home would have operated a century ago in pre-colonial Taiwan. Rooms such as the kitchen and tea room are full of artifacts and utensils that are free to touch and take photos of. The Folk Arts hall contains a traditional Chinese tea house and restaurant while the plaza features exhibits and classes in bamboo weaving and paper umbrella making among others.
While most information is in Chinese, there’s easily enough to look at to keep you interested for an hour. Next to the folk hall, a well-maintained Suzhou-style water garden helps break the monotony of late-Qing dynasty life. If you can, look out for the pair of eagles (May 2017) that have nested in the trees above the garden! The onsite restaurant features a great range of foods to suit all tastes in a nostalgic setting. There’s also a shop selling souvenirs and Qing era toys. The green areas around the walled park further attract large numbers of locals in the late afternoon to picnic, play with the kids, and people watch.
Entrance to the Folklore park is free and open 9 till 5pm Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays). Parking is convenient in an underground car park immediately under the complex.