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Various sites, Taiwan October - November 2019 | European and International Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Various sites, Taiwan October - November 2019


True_British_Metal

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Various reports with various different members.

Where do I go from here? Though there is a rival explorer who continually beats me to the very best sites in Taiwan (even beating me on a site which thwarted me on my doorstep for 3 years), giving me something to continually pursue, there is less and less to find in Taiwan. All of the sites I've explored are still there for others to see, but honestly finding new sites to explore is becoming more challenging. Nevertheless, here is the latest update from the exploring jaunts in Taiwan.

Visiting with @Ktotakov and @UrbexCentral. I'd been praying to find fellow explorers to go and check out some sites which I'd not yet properly explored, and my prayers were answered when UC sent me a message saying he was coming from down under to do some exploring in Taiwan. Along with Ktotakov and another non-member, I became their guide and translator in return for a good day's exploring. After a series of delays, we made a list for 3 different sites to focus on. Beginning with 亞哥花園/Encore Garden we headed up into the hills of Dakeng, and headed in without issue. A relaxed affair with no cars rallying around this time, only a jumped up kid spending 60 minutes endlessly doing donuts and destroying his car in the car park. No that's not a joke, it really happened. We managed to see more this time, such as the auditorium and spectator's box before heading down to the heart of the site where two of the abandoned buildings have now been repurposed as car storage and a chicken coop respectively. Yet the site continues to decay. The security guard and gardener who lives on site was also present; we bumped into him pulling away weeds from the carousel as we were leaving. This time however he was too preoccupied with work and chose to ignore us. Afterwards we took a 90 minute long car journey down to the heart of Nantou county for the wood factory. However, this time we were thwarted instantly by a machine of a man.. more on this in part 2.

虎山防空洞/Hushan Air Raid Shelter
Whilst I was very much enjoying the company of the antipodeans, I was fuming to have been thwarted at a site I would've assumed to be a walk in, as easy as the figurative ghost house at the end of the road. So as night fell, we headed back towards Taizhong, stopping off along the way at the bunker. I remember endlessly trying to search for clues in ETUB's video on Youtube about its location and giving up... only for it to be pointed out that a report already exists! So I found the location at the bottom of a hill in a town that can be described only as Silent Hill; the lights were on everywhere, but there was nobody to be seen, even in the hospital. I went for a brief look... only to get in and be chased out within minutes for being alone with merely a phone torch in the company of startled bats.

Fast forward to October and here we are. Nervous as ever, I jumped into the bunker and was instantly greeted with huntsman spiders and insects clinging to the walls everywhere. First impressions were that it was mostly quite empty, with the corridors mostly ending in bricked up or landfilled entrances, but nevertheless highly atmospheric with all the bats flying round silently.

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The history is outlined in the report linked above, but as you can make out the bunker was closed in the 1990s, remaining mothballed until 1999 when the 921 earthquake laid waste to anything within reach of its wrath. You can see much of the damage here, particuarly where soil from the earth above has begun to penetrate through the ceiling.



Deep inside the bunker, this was the broadcasting room, presumably the communication point between the military and the rest of the island.



Along another corridor was the meeting room and the lecture room, where generals and intelligence officers gathered to discuss any potential threats from China or any attacks directed towards them.



The portraits of two former Taiwanese presidents, now too heavily decayed to make out.












Tunnel 33, where the ceiling completely gave way to the earth above. Whilst it doesn't present any immediate danger, I dread to think what would happen if an earthquake occurred when anyone was inside.



So we headed back to Taizhong for our final site... only to be thwarted within 15 minutes by the same vigilant watchman from the neighbouring temple whom I'd been caught by 2 years ago. This time however, two police officers were with him. But again, more on this in part 3.

Stay tuned for the next two entries.
 

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True_British_Metal

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
振昌木業公司合板廠/Zhenchang Wood Factory (NB: No history here, go to this link for that).
Visited with Anew Calling. Just to say forgive the blurry shots... my camera was set to manual focus without me knowing all this time! :mad: I'd been to this area 2-3 times before and seen the wood factory from the train, but only now did I make a point of going there. I hasten to confess, dear reader that I have a terrible ego. Though I can hide it sometimes, it is always there. What does this have to do with exploring, you may ask? Simple: it's not about whether you want to do a site, it's how far you're willing to go to get what you want.

When I was with the antipodeans, we'd arrived too late. The site is used for a carpark for the overwhelming number of tourists that arrive in Checheng every day, to the point that one of the abandoned buildings and the entire outside of the site have now been completely swamped with cars and tourists coming in and out. Constantly. Arriving at 5pm just as the car park closed we were greeted by a polite and friendly carpark attendant who says it's now closed. So we park up the road, walk past him and then walk up the road until he's out of sight. Now bear in mind there are no CCTV cameras on the road that I can see, nor are there any PIRs. But as soon as I make my way off the side of the road down the side of the building, BOOM. He drives up on his scooter and stops me instantly. He politely informs me that I cannot go in as it's private property. Not giving up, we make our way further up, and look for a way in. We thought about jumping the fence and running across the single track railway line straight in, and again he drives up to see what we're doing. Drives away. We walk round, trying the bridge to the hydroelectric dam, but again another security guard informs us that we can't cross. We thought about going down the drain pipe under the railway, but that's not something I'd be happy to do.

We walk back, and look down the drop one last time for a way in. BOOM. I can't see him anywhere, and yet he suddenly reappears and knows exactly what I was doing; looking down for a way in. This time he's less than pleased, so I have to do my best to ignore his angry demeanour and walk away.

So what now? I'm with ANC and I have to avoid Terminator at all costs. Initially look at a way in that I only later discovered would lead to serious injury or death if I'd chosen it; climbing up a hill and down what on the other side was a cliff with a river at its base. We considered it, but thank fuck we chose not to risk it. So plan B was to go river tracing until we reached the side of the site. All well and good, until you reach the banks. Loose topsoil and few trees to keep hold onto meant getting up was seriously difficult. After trial and error we found a way up thankfully. But then I was faced with grass taller than myself, and had to beat that down to get in! Nightmarish. But we got in.





Since its abandonment in circa 1999 (again, a victim of the 921 earthquake), it's decayed absolutely beautifully with light cascading in and lighting up the foilage like a cathedral of industry.





This area was mostly stripped, and had little in the way of artifacts and machinery left. Still, one can't help but be stunned by what one sees.

So we head out, ever paranoid about Terminator being around. So we sneak out and end up inside the repurposed carpark disguised as tourists. We may be carrying cameras and tripods and be foreigners, but the disguise works. We look around for a way in out of view of the attendants, and nobody bats an eyelid. Despite occasional CCTV cameras it ends up being a walk in. What a faff, going along a fucking river!





We entered the old workshops, where virtually everything was left behind for us to enjoy. And what a joy it was to see it, in all its rusted beauty.





By now we were less paranoid about Terminator, being in a relatively safe area away from prying eyes. Still, we were ever vigilant.



It was at this point we got super paranoid. Outside was an endless stream of tourists going in and out constantly, and we thought it would only take one to break our cover.





All of this was absolutely stunning, but the best was yet to come. Just you wait.







This was the closest we'd get to being seen, with tourists metres away with us inside. So on my hands and knees, trying my best to avoid the attendants I shot this brilliant laboratory.










You know what REALLY made me feel stupid? As we were walking out, we bump into a bunch of Taiwanese instagrammers being anything BUT stealthy. After all the effort we put into getting in here, and they just walk in and don't have a problem. Incredible. As we walked out of the site we spotted them inside and gave them a cheeky wave, not that anyone else noticed. Ha! A solid reward for a solid effort nevertheless.

Stay tuned for part 3.
 
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True_British_Metal

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
豐中戲院/Fengzhong Theater
Visited with two non members. History can be found in this report from 2016.

Funny. Abandoned theaters and cinemas are as synonymous with exploring in Taiwan as asylums are with the UK, but it's only now that I've actually done one.

This is it. The site that taunted and thwarted me for 3 years, finally busted open. Unbeknownst to me there has always been a secret way in which was covered by rubbish, but recently we noticed a few ways in that appeared. I was waiting to meet up with the antipodeans when I walked past the building expecting it to be sealed as always, except the fire exit was unlocked... Now was our time. Before that I'd tried so many times, including climbing up but being caught by the temple watchman in 2017. Many times I'd walk past the cinema on my way somewhere and have a peep... a local would often stop and watch me to see what I was doing such was their paranoia. They wouldn't break their gaze until I'd left.

Late in the evening, we head down there and get in within seconds. Big mistake... the watchman is still watching the CCTV pointed our way. We get in and lock the door; I'm elated. I head up into the main projection room and start from there, peeping around the nooks and crannies. Getting to the second projection room is along a corridor with the windows removed; it's impossible without being spotted by someone from outside so I don't try it. I head back down to shoot the auditorium, and someone is banging on the door trying to get in. It's been 10 minutes or less and we're busted. We give ourselves up and are greeted by the watchman and two policemen. Since the others can't speak Mandarin and the police don't speak English, it's left to me to be a translator and mediator. Thankfully I managed to put everyone at ease and we're let go.

Fast forward a month. Not only is the fire exit open, the front door has had the lock cut off. Even today the door is wide open. Recruiting my colleagues for a night mission, we head in at ease and go straight to the second auditorium.


Thick dust is everywhere, and decay in places is really beginning to enroach upon the fabric of the building. We look around the nooks and crannies of the cinema, and I'm still terrified of anyone being alerted by the noise of our footsteps and torchlight so I'm extra vigilant.







Opening in 1944 as an opera house for the Japanese, it's not particularly spectacular but there's considerable local interest in its preservation and so it's well looked after. Reports suggest it closed in 2004, but this is where it's confusing. There are posters for Tomb Raider and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone pinned up inside and outside, which are both 2001 films yet upstairs in the office there's a calendar for 2007.


The projectors have been removed in both rooms, which is unusual as the abandoned cinemas I see in Taiwan still have them in situ more often than not.



What I also found truly fascinating is that unlike other cinemas in the world this one doubled up as a home for the owner and his family! We spent time poking around inside the living quarters, finding everything left as it was when it was abandoned, albeit in a dilapidated, dusty state. Bedrooms, offices and living spaces all intact.









So there we have it. An itch finally scratched. If I can still get in I might just pop in to see the second projection room for what it's worth but it's unlikely given the attention I got before. Thanks so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. It'll be some time before I do anything else, but let's see.

Love as always,

TBM x
 
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