Town transforms itself with cartoon murals

Who needs street numbers when you've got the Little Mermaid, SpongeBob or the Transformers? In the village of Huija, in southern Taiwan's Shanhua district, each house stands out from its neighbor thanks to different cartoon murals. Huija has seen an increase in property prices and the arrival of busloads of tourists since it underwent its unusual facelift over the last year. The village's animation-style reinvention was inspired, according to locals, by three sisters who picked up their brushes during a visit their grandmother’s house in April, 2014. Bored and wanting to keep their grandmother company, the women covered the exterior of her home with pixelated cartoon characters and portraits of Daruma dolls, a traditional Japanese lucky charm. On one of the windows is a sign that reads: “This is where grandmother lives.”

People here in the community started to copy them and style their own homes,

says one neighbor, who gives her name as Mrs. Liao.