As you travel east from Danshui along the number 2 highway that runs along the north coast of Taiwan, you come to the small town of Sanzhi Just before arriving in Sanzhi, there’s an interesting site hugging the shoreline – an abandoned hotel/apartment complex that looks like somewhere ET might call home. I first heard about this a couple of years ago, but it was only recently that I was able to get out there. The first attempt to go there with a friend was about a year ago. At the time, all we knew was that it was on the north coast somewhere but we weren’t quite sure where and we ended up turning right where we should have turned left, so we missed it. About 6 months later, I came across it on Google Earth which allowed me to learn exactly where it was. Even knowing where it was, it took another 6 months of waiting for the right combination of weather and light before I made it out there.
Accounts vary on the origins of this complex, and indeed, as to whether it was meant to be a hotel development or a housing development. Apparently, it was constructed in the 1960s and included/was to include a dam to protect it against sea surges, floors and stairs made of marble and a small amusement park. The site was commissioned by the government and local firms and there is no named architect. Local papers at the time reported that there were numerous accidents during construction which caused the death of some workers. As news of these accidents spread, no one wanted to go there, even to visit, and the project was subsequently abandoned. The ghosts of those who died in vain are said to still linger there, unremembered and unable to pass on. The complex was left in its unfinished state because no amount of redevelopment will bring people to the area due to superstitions about ghosts, and it can’t be demolished because destroying the homes of spirits and lost souls is taboo in Asian culture.
When I was there, I met 4 young university students who were passing by and stopped for a look. They didn’t want to get to close to the buildings for fear that the ghosts would take them. They told me there was “heavy evil” in the buildings.
Anyway, here’s the pictures. As always, clicking on a picture will bring up a larger version.