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Report - - Planes and Ships, Taiwan June 2019 | European and International Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Planes and Ships, Taiwan June 2019



True_British_Metal

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
Visited with a non member.

This has been some time in the pipeline. Not having a scooter to get to remote locations doesn't help either, but better late than never. Unfortunately in the age of the internet and viral media however, being late also means putting up with the instagrammers and selfie addicts who get wind of the same news as you do and head down there. Urbex isn't a trend here, with only a select few dedicated photographers including myself focusing on the hidden dereliction of Taiwan. Much of it sub-par, but occasionally there's an absolute diamond of a site that appears and that's what's happened as of last year. Once I get my tripod and torch back from England expect a few more interesting sites too.

Even if the locations in question are in rural districts out towards the west coast they've gone pretty viral amongst everyone from recently graduated students and wannabe fashionistas looking for a unique backdrop as well as just the plain curious. Were I to be cynical I'd say this could be what UE will look like if the hobby continues to rapidly expand with the advent of Youtube promotion and selfshot videos, but as long as I get what I want I try not to be.

The Flight of Happiness, Zhongli
This not an abandoned site per se. It's actually a pet project of a businessman who for 30+ years has bought scrap aircraft to resell or dispose of himself. In this case instead of scrapping it he's in the process of building a rotating plane restaurant with a flying saucer house next to it; a childhood dream. It's certainly a novel idea, don't you think? Thus far its centerpiece has been fully restored inside and out, and they've certainly done a beautiful job of it, keeping the cockpit intact but the interior stripped out and fitted with restaurant tables. The red-striped plane is as of yet wingless and remains unrestored. The restaurant hasn't properly been opened though, and with the debris and unrestored items dotted around the site it'll be some time before it opens fully.

So I rocked up to the site expecting this to be fully abandoned and a free-for-all. Unfortunately there were people on site, so I asked if I could take photos, which they happily obliged to... for a fee. So in I head and look round. The site is littered with abandoned ex-Taoyuan airport buses, one of which is under restoration but the others are abandoned as well as an ex-police patrol boat. Sadly this trip felt like a wasted journey...



Obviously my first intention is to get inside the flagship plane, so I walk up and the second I walk inside I'm told no entry and I have to leave. Shit. No photos inside, and I can't look round.

I wanted to jump on the patrol boat, but underneath the plane is an old lady watching my every move. Don't want to get booted out so soon.












The red-stripe plane as you can see is de-winged and awaiting restoration. I did look hard for a way in, and had this been a free-for-all I'd have propped something against it but too many prying eyes means no access.









Not a 100% wasted journey, but had I known there'd be no access inside the aircraft then for the effort that went into getting here I'd have left it. Nevertheless I'd finished up and met up with my mate after who went onto join me on the best site to come out of Taiwan since the sanatorium.

Part 2 below.
 

True_British_Metal

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#2
Zhen Feng/振豐號 Cargo Ship, Taoyuan
What an absolute beast this was. Truly stunning. I've actually done two abandoned ships here in Taiwan, one site in Wuqi west of Taizhong, the shell of an abandoned party ship and escape boat dumped on the side of the road. I took some shots on my phone, but the ship was just an empty shell so not worthy of anything resembling even half a report. The other was a fishing boat in Taidong just abandoned in the middle of nowhere, but sadly I was too stupid to get my camera out the car when I climbed up and took photos on my phone. Stupid, stupid me.

But you know what was really strange about this site? Instead of it being a Duke of Lancaster situation where there are unlicensed guards with golf clubs or a proper security guard to keep people out, they realised how popular this has become and not only let the ladder down but literally got a digger down to make a mud platform from which people can climb onto the ship! A free for all. Thankfully in contrast to Europe and America, Asians are mostly very respectful of abandonments and don't trash the place or steal stuff. This time they're there to do the same thing as me, to explore the ship in all its glory.

On October 11th 2018 Taiwan maritime patrols received a distress signal from Zhen Feng, which had had its hull breached and flooded. Fearing the boat could overturn or sink, the ship was forcibly beached up and the 12-strong crew airlifted to Taipei. No casualties, but it's likely by the end of the year the boat will be hauled away to the scrapyard just further up the coast or scrapped on site.

So my friend and I drove up to the coast, and already there were about 20-30 people already in the area poking around the ship. A dampner on the atmosphere, but literally everywhere I went things were undisturbed and kept like the crew just walked out. That's not because photographers put them there, that's because it's genuinely how it is. Only the ravages of harsh weather has altered the place, and now it slowly decays.



Unfortunately I left my torch in Landie's car in England, so I was forced to use a meager phone torch to light up the engine room. Still, I like how the results turned out here.




The kitchen, still fully stocked.


I spent some time looking around the living quarters, which were again untouched, still complete with alcohol, clothes and boating equipment left as they were. Unfortunately lack of a tripod and confined spaces meant it was impossible to get any proper photos. So I headed to the cabin room.

Communication equipment


Still complete with all the computers and associated equipment, seeing this was nothing short of epic.




Look at the top left of the picture. Although I often say how intact sites are in Taiwan, in the world of business and in personal dwellings to abandon the statue of a god is to bring extreme misfortune on one's life so as you'd expect this was removed.










The escape boat










Taiwan's architecture is as ugly as human sin, and so as I always say urbex here doesn't come close to anything that we see in Europe. Ever. However this was an exceptional site that probably will not be around for longer than a year if that, so I'm so relieved to have finally been able to tick it off the list and get it done. Truly epic.

There will be more to come from me once I have the gear again, but whether it'll be anywhere near as good as this is thus far anyone's guess.

Love and best wishes,

TBM x
 
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