The pool, plants and
installation artworks on
Calligraphy Greenway resemble
the composition of Chinese
The interactive tourist
information stop is the best
place to understand
everything about the
Following Calligraphy Greenway
for a brand-new Taichung experience
Words by Yang Wen-lin Photography by Lo Yu-chen
Translated by Angel Pu
Calligraphy Greenway, Taichung's striking new greenbelt, is the perfect
way to rediscover the beauty of this city!
After over a year of anticipation, the Calligraphy Greenway has finally been fully unveiled to the people of Taichung. However, like most residents, I had no idea what had changed by comparison to the old Jingguo Boulevard. Thus, one day in a relaxed state of mind, I decided to explore this reconstructed greenbelt for myself.
Like a green scarf draped across the city, the Calligraphy Greenway stretches from the National Museum of Natural Science to the Liuchuan River, passing by Civic Square, the Park Lane by CMP shopping mall, and National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts along the way. Its new name is inspired by the fact that its landform and environment evoke the art of Chinese calligraphy—sometimes intense and sometimes calm; sometimes concentrated and sometimes scattered. My plan to walk along this greenbelt had me starting from the Pavement of Evolution. On this special paved walkway near the Science Museum, every three steps represent 1.8 million years of the Earth's evolutionary history. All creatures from every geologic period are shown in full-scale, besides the blue-green algae and other unicellular organisms which are, of course, enlarged. Strolling along this stretch, you'll be amazed by the evolution of life.
Diverse day and night vistas
The section of Calligraphy Greenway between Taichung Port Road and Gongyi Road is the best example of its combination of green energy, evening illumination, stylish shops and interactive tourist information stops. Visitors here can enjoy varying kinds of beautiful scenes at different times of the day. For instance, the fountain, which is turned on for 10 minutes every two hours for during the day, looks pretty normal until nightfall, when its frequency increases to every hour and its appearance completely changes with the lights as it also helps cool off warm summer evenings.
The meters-long interactive tourist information stop is an ideal guide for visitors as it illustrates the general layout of Calligraphy Greenway, including details regarding restaurants, hotels, shops, arts and cultural establishments, and public institutions. If you want to become more familiar with nearby areas, you can use the provided information to perhaps visit nearby shopping venues you haven't explored before. Park Lane by CMP is among these must-visit places and features a green wall composed of over 150,000 living plants—serving as a healthy "lung" for the city.
Perspectives change with the seasons
When walking on the Calligraphy Greenway, you will see various, separate styles of greenery along its length. Whether it is a warm spring afternoon, overcast and raining, or a breezy summer day, there are interesting scenes to take in—joggers, elderly couples, young lovers, dogs and their owners, and much more. My favorite spot features a row of seats on a terrace. I love to sit there for hours looking at the passers-by until I realize that I myself have also become a part of the scenery.
The most delightful part of a stroll along the Calligraphy Greenway always comes when I'm discovering adjacent alleys and lanes. For example, there is a restaurant called The Home Chef hiding upstairs in a building next to Civic Square. You can find this building by the sign of cake next to its ground-floor guardroom. The savory aroma of handmade pineapple jam is so strong that you'll encounter it as soon as you enter the elevator. There is also a very famous traditional Taiwanese snack known as "mi mahua" (fried dough twist with honey) that can be found on another alley next to Civic Square. If you're seeking a fancy dining spot, look no further, as a large percentage of Taichung's most unique restaurants can be found along and near the Art Museum Parkway. After a full meal, I suggest taking a walk to look at public artworks on the parkway, such as the leaf-shaped iron seats.
Cultural attractions ubiquitous in this city
Shops and eateries near the Art Museum Parkway also offer all kinds of classes. For example, the famed Chun Shui Tang teahouse teaches visitors how to make that establishment's most popular items—Bubble Tea and Pearl Milk Tea. La Piogg music salon has a do-it-yourself violin class for those who have plenty of time. Zhengdaguangming Ink Brush provides ink brush-making classes. However, if you are not interested in such classes, you can head over to Zhongxing Market near the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. Once an old traditional market, it has been transformed into a small arts village for avant-garde artists and galleries.
After viewing outstanding works of art and exhibitions at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, don't forget to take a look at the museum's gift shop, where there are all kinds of arts-related products like jewelry, clothing and dining utensils, created by local artists and not found anywhere else but here. There are also some reasonably-priced replicas of works by masters such as Chagall, Monet, Vincent van Gough and Picasso, imported from French.
With so much to do and see, have you made plans to visit the Calligraphy Greenway soon?
Left: Calligraphy Greenway offers a diversity of
Right: Everyone can experience their own unique forms of enjoyment when walking on