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Report - - Various sites, Taiwan September - October 2017 | European and International Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Various sites, Taiwan September - October 2017



True_British_Metal

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
Hello everyone,

I promise I haven't forgotten about you and the forum. I'm still active and watching the forums here, but it's not often I get up to much over here so you won't find me posting very often. Nevertheless, I've been out and about again and have some new sites to share with you. The sites you all see are relatively small and not really big enough to warrant separate threads so I'll be posting all of them here; they range from bland derp to not far short of epic, but to be honest as I said before the architecture is predominantly filthy grey concrete boxes so of little real appeal compared to European sites. Too many sites here are just not that interesting. But then I still need to get out once in a while, so without further ado here's what I have.

Yuanlin Hospital/員林醫院
A small local hospital in the lower prefecture city of Yuanlin, built in 1963 and closed in approximately 2000. It's one of Taiwan's more famous ruins, often featured in exaggerated media reports and blogs about how the place is allegedly haunted.

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The funny thing is, had this site been in the UK I guarantee you it would be wall to wall graffitied and utterly ruined, but here it seems comparatively fresh. Sure, you've got some graffiti and smashed glass, and everything has been removed, but it seems to be that people here have far more respect for abandoned places than anywhere else.

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As you approach the building you will see that despite paper signs warning people not to enter no attempts have been made in recent years to seal the building whatsoever. No boarded windows, no locked doors, no fences. This is even more surprising considering the site backs onto an elementary school playground, with no boundary!

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The X-ray room. It was a baking hot, humid day so being in here wasn't too pleasant with all the mosquitoes flying around. The coffin on the floor is an abandoned prop from when the hospital was used as a filming location for a cheap horror film IIRC.

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I suppose if there is any appeal to this place, it's a showcase of the crude, bland KMT-authoritarian architecture which Taiwan seems to be so fond of; filthy bathroom tiles decorating the exterior, barred windows, grey concrete and the like.

The real interest in this site is the old vintage ambulance car, left abandoned in the garage outside.
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So there we have it, part 1 of 4. Not a total waste of time for a day off, but I can assure you there are far better things to see yet.
 

True_British_Metal

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#2
Losheng Sanatorium/樂生療養院
If there is a UE scene here in Taiwan, then this is likely to be by far the most popular site in the country and for good reason. It's a former hospital in the Xinzhuang District of New Taipei, built under the 1930s Japanese rule for patients of leprosy, and later operated by the KMT government. 樂生 (pinyin: Lèshēng), meaning happy life in Mandarin, the site quarantined (or imprisoned, depending on your interpretation) patients in a self-sustaining community similar to the UK mental hospitals, with its own sanitary police and medical officers. It was only in 1954 upon the discovery of new treatments that patients were allowed to leave the community, but many by then had been so completely isolated from the outside world that they could only function within the community and not in the outside world, and therefore stayed.

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Today for the past two decades it has been a constant fight between the government's relentless city expansion (in this case, the MRT and building a new depot), patients who still live on site and historical groups who argue for their right to stay and its preservation respectively. The government built a new building at the base of the site, but this is now occupied by short stay patients; long-stay patients were allowed to move in but were discriminated against and forbidden from bringing their possessions and cooking. History professionals demanded that the entire site be preserved in light of its Japanese-era architecture and its significance in medical development. In a blatantly corrupt move, however the inquiry and debate was shut down, and part of the site (the administration block) demolished.

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Today it's a mix of derelict structures and buildings occupied by former patients side by side, all slowly crumbling but hanging on. Suffice to say, many structures are in even greater danger of collapse (you can see cracks in some of the structures) because of its location on a steep hill and earth faults. Attempts have been made to secure the buildings from further damage nevertheless, by installing steel canopies to protect from bad weather conditions.

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The real diamond here is its hospital, a sort of art deco-esque open structure completely free from vandalism and still full of original features! Above is possibly a dentist's chair, but it's difficult to say.

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Upstairs wards
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Laboratory
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Pathology/autopsy room
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If there were any body fridges, I (probably) didn't see them.

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The X-Ray room. See the jar on the floor below? That's half a preserved brain. Unfortunately I left my tripod in England, and I was too scared to pick it up and put it on the table for fear of dropping it! So no close ups.

Funny, how when you don't have a tripod to take photos, one has to improvise... I used a wheely bin! Ha!

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The site's true gem, the operating theatre. Still fully equipped after years of disuse.

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Nope, I have no idea either.
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There were no other places to get a good view of the main hospital building, so here's the best I have.
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So there we have it, part 2/4. There were builders at the far end of the site, and indeed construction work is going on at the base of the site for a new MRT depot, but no security so this was a relaxing, truly brilliant explore. I hope you enjoyed seeing this like I did.
 
Last edited:

Choo Choo m8ty

Mr Reality Hacker
Regular User
#3
That's really interesting stuff that.. look forward too 3 and 4. Thanks for posting a great read and great pics..
 

True_British_Metal

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#5
Part 3/4: Jùkuíjū Mansion (聚奎居)
Again, not the most epic of sites but one that's within easy reach of home and requires little effort to get in. This is an abandoned mansion in Wūrì (烏日) district, built in 1920 by businessman and landowner Chén Shàozōng (陳紹宗) in an architectural fusion of the traditional Taiwanese U-shaped building and internal courtyard and the baroque revival design dating from the era of Japanese occupation. Without plagiarising what has already been written about this by Syanpticism, the building was supposedly occupied by a Taiwanese poet Chén Ruòshí (陳若時), and used as a place for art and literature students to gather. Any details (at least in English, my Mandarin is still very much at A1) of closure dates or reason for so are not entirely clear, although sources suggest this was due to sweeping land reforms of the KMT which pushed Chén into debt and thus enabled the government to seize the property in the 1950s. During this time, it was likely occupied by soldiers based at the nearby military base.

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Although I work in the same district, I'd never actually seen or known anything about this particular place until I started actively searching for sites to do. Finding it wasn't difficult, but it's tucked well out of the way of the busy area in a quiet residential area down a small, desolate lane. The site was once open as a quiet tourist attraction (still derelict), occupied by a solitary guard not so long ago, but is now gone; any artifacts or furniture have long disappeared, leaving a crumbling empty shell.

In 2016 the government purchased the property from its owners, and put up fencing around the outside. However there is at present no sign whatsoever of any work having begun, leaving me free to roam the place for a short 20 minutes.
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Not a bad place to spend a short time shooting, although the next site was arguably far better. Stay tuned for part 4.
 

True_British_Metal

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#7
Part 4/4: Yùměi Hall 玉美堂
The final part of this thread is another Japanese colonial era mansion, located in a small village outside of Changhua, Jiālǎo Village (茄荖村). This was built in the 1920s to a western design in addition to the Chinese-inspired ancestral shrine of the Hong family next door, known as Chóngxīng Hall (崇星堂), built earlier on in the 1910s or 1920s; dates vary.

The evidence that Synapticism found suggesting its former residents had since either been pinched or moved into a side room downstairs; I couldn't really find anything of note (considering I don't know enough Chinese characters to be literate), and that I did pay any attention to was just a uninteresting diary from the 1980s which just detailed small day-to-day tasks like housekeeping. All I really know is that the Hong clan were involved in business and politics, setting up schools and trade organizations in the local area. For reasons I don't know, one member was a victim of the KMT crackdown and sent to the Green Island prison off the south east coast of Taiwan. Since the 1980s the family are said to have moved to America, leaving their motherland behind.
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The building is hidden by trees along the main road, but is only a short walk up a driveway, guarded by two stone lions and a stone fence. The front garden appears reasonably well kept, but the back garden is long overgrown and desolate. Does it have a caretaker, a guard, vigilant neighbours to watch over it? I don't know, and I don't see anyone. A dog is sat outside the main gate, who barks at me in suspicion initially, but otherwise does nothing.

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I get in with ease, and already I'm beyond stunned. As I said about Yuanlin hospital, it's so amazing to see just how much respect people show for abandoned buildings. A thick layer of dust covers everything in sight, no footprints, smashed glass or sign of graffiti; I'm not, but it honestly feels like I'm the first person in here in an eternity.

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The rooms are full of old and unusual artifacts, ranging from Chinese-style furniture to stereos and paintings. What the most magnificent thing about this place is, however is its quaint, ornate wooden interior, decorated with simple yet enchanting art.

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Does anyone have any idea how old that TV is?
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Stunningly beautiful bedroom, still complete with furniture.
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The upstairs balcony showed a degree of damage from the horrific 1999 earthquake, showing a large crack running through the floor. Look to the right of the roof of the ancestral shrine here; the crack in the roof is another result of that same event.
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I headed into the ancestral shrine next, to be met with the lights still flickering at the table. My jaw dropped, and I got nervous; someone clearly watches the place regularly, and being alone with an A1 grasp of Mandarin meant I was too nervous to stay long. I was careful not to do anything stupid or disrepectful; to just take a couple of snaps and get away.

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These tablets IIRC are supposed to represent the deceased members of the family.
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I headed back to the front to get some more externals, and the dog is still there. Except this time he seems happy to see me, and comes up for a bit of love and attention. Nobody turns up whilst I'm there, so I snap a few more shots before saying goodbye and heading home.

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On a final note, there is at least one more local site I have left to check out. But getting in is a mission to say the very least; it's a cinema in a very busy part of the city, and worse still guarded with CCTV 24/7, watched by the security for the local temple at night. I spent too much time loitering, then stupidly thought the watchman wouldn't be observing the cameras; I spent too much time loitering, and by the time I attempted to climb up he came out and blew his whistle at me!

Nevertheless, I'm not giving up. I'll get in eventually. Somehow.

I hope so.
 

Choo Choo m8ty

Mr Reality Hacker
Regular User
#8
That's a great post.. enjoyed all of it.. Nice write up and pics . Thanks for putting all that up and hope you get in your cinema