Changhua Travel Guide
Chinese Name: 彰化县 (zhāng xiàn)
Area: 1,074.4 square kilometers (414.8 square miles)
Location: in the central area of Taiwan Island, southeast China
Administrative Division: 2 county-administered cities (Changhua, Yuanlin); 24 townships
Area Code: 008864
Zip Code: 500
GDP (2019): CNY118.6 billion (USD 17.2 billion)
The Most Populous County in Taiwan
Changhua County is located in the central part of Taiwan Island, bordering the Taiwan Strait to the west, Nantou to the east, Taichung to the north and Yunlin to the south. Changhua showcases neither complex terrains nor a highly modern and prosperous cityscape. What attract tourists' attention are the wonderful cultural sites, beautiful natural landscape and charming coastal scenery. There are academies, Lukang Small Town, old mansions and temples. In terms of natural attractions, the Daduxikou with large wetlands is the favorite of bird watchers. The Pakua Mountain which is regarded as the landmark of Changhua provides a panoramic city view. When you visit Changhua, of course, do not miss the specialty snacks such as the Changhua Meatballs and Lukang Oyster Omelet.
Attractions - Things to Do
Pakua Mountain: Lying northeast of Changhua, Pakua Mountain is 315 feet (96 meters) high. It was a military fortress during the ancient times. The Buddha statue, sitting on a white lotus pedestal as high as 72 feet (22 meters), on top of the mountain is the landmark of the county. Fountain show is held at the Nine-Dragon Pond in front of the Buddha in the evenings of weekends and holidays. Behind the statue is the Buddha Hall which houses historical relics and 19 Buddhist paintings.
Lukang Small Town: Lukang was an important cultural and commercial town during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) where one can learn traditional Taiwanese culture. It has many well-protected ancient temples built during the Qing Dynasty and the Japanese colonial period (1895-1945). Among them, the Lungshan Temple, Thean Hou Temple, and Wenwu Temple are the most famous. The traditional streets can be seen whilst strolling through the Lukang Old Street, Touching Breast Lane and Half Well. Enlighten yourself about the customs by visiting the Folk Arts Museum.
Lungshan Temple: It is the best-conserved Qing style architecture of Taiwan, built in 1653. It is in this temple where Taiwan’s biggest ancient bell is hanged. Both the carvings and the colorful decorations are exquisite and beautiful, especially the caisson ceiling above the stage, which is to resonate during the performance.
Thean Hou Temple: This one in Changhua is superior to any other Matzu temples in Taiwan, because the Matzu statue in this temple is the only one that comes from Matzu’s birthplace, i.e. Meizhou. The temple was built in 1685 and the last reconstruction was in 1936. It now occupies a large scale area and has a majestic splendor to it. A continuous stream of people comes to pray every day.
Wenwu Temple: It consists of Wen Hall, Wu Temple and Wenkai College. The Wen Hall and Wu Temple were built in 1812 whereas the Wenkai College was constructed in 1822 to commemorate the founding of Taiwanese culture. The temple has a pleasant ambience with three buildings all surrounded by lawns.
Lukang Old Street: It is also called the “Cannot See Sky Street” because Lukang is windy and sandy. Residents thus built a roof above the street to prevent sands from being blown down. Hence one cannot see the sky looking up. Many historical buildings stand here such as Yuanchanghang and Shiyi Building.
Touching Breast Lane: The lane is so narrow that only one person can pass through at a time. If therefore two people meet along the way, they have to brush past each other; hence its name. According to the elders, the residents shortened the distance between the houses in order to prevent the strong sea wind.
Half Well: It is not actually a half well but rather the wall of a house that divides it into two parts. One half is inside the house and the other half outdoor. It is to provide water for those people who couldn’t dig a well. It goes to show close relationships between neighbors. The well is nowadays filled with soils and become a sightseeing spot.
Folk Arts Museum: The museum was the rich Gu Family’s former residence, the building of which was completed in 1919. It was then donated in 1973 and subsequently became the Folk Arts Museum. More than 6,000 daily necessities (what are they?) from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) to early Republic of China are on displayed here.
Confucius Temple: It was first built in 1726 to worship Confucius. Baisha Academy, one of the four most famous academies in Taiwan, was located in the temple. The front gate is always closed except during worshipping day every September 28th; hence, visitors must enter through the side gate.
Cheng Sing Gong Temple: The architecture is magnificent and grand. This goes to show people’s respect for their national hero Cheng Sing Gong, who reclaimed Taiwan back from the colonists and made positive contributions to its development.
Other Attractions in Changhua: Zigzag Lane, Fragrans Lane Art Village, Taiwan Glass Museum, Tiger Mountain Rock, Fan-shaped Garage…
How to Get to Changhua
One can board a train from Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung or any other city to Changhua. Fare for an ordinary train from Taipei costs TWD 320-415 with the duration of 2.5-3.5 hours, and from Taichung, it takes 15 minutes with a fare of TWD 31-40. The high speed train from Taipei takes 70 minutes, costing TWD 795 for a non-reserved seat and TWD 820 for a standard seat, and from Taichung, it costs TWD 125-130 with a travel time of 10 minutes.
See more about Taiwan Train
By long-distance bus:
There are bus services from Taipei or Taichung to Changhua. The bus from Taipei West Bus Station departs every 30 minutes for a 3 hour ride, costing about TWD 300. Services from nearby Taichung High Speed Railway Station or on Shuangshi Road will take about 1 hour.
How to get to Lukang Small Town:
Take bus on Jhongjheng Road near Changhua Railway Station to Lukang. It departs every 10-20 minutes with the journey time of 30-40 minutes. You can also take the long-distance bus on Fuxing Road in Taichung, which departs every 15 minutes with a travel time of about 1.5 hours.
How to get to Pakua Mountain:
It takes only 15 minutes on foot from Changhua Railway Station.
Changhua Travel Tips
One must not miss the many varieties of delicious local foods, such as meatballs, cat mouse noodles, Yuanlin sweetmeats, pork intestines with ginger, flat noodles, pork in wine sauce, braised pork prunes, and smoky sausages. Jingcheng Night Market and Lukang Luhe Night Market are good places to taste these foods. In addition, Yuzhenzhai offers pastries like pineapple cakes, phoenix eye cakes, and ox tongue biscuits.