I’ve previously explored two abandoned hotels near Shimen Reservoir (read about them in Part 1 & Part 2). There is one more abandoned hotel near the reservoir that has been on my list of places to go explore but I haven’t been able to find the time. Last weekend, me and a friend decided to go to Buddha World which I have written about here. When we got there however, we discovered that the place was closed. Neither of us was really up for breaking in to a Buddhist temple, so we had to think of something else. Buddha World is not too far from Shimen Reservoir, and since he was interested in abandoned buildings I suggested we check out the last hotel on my list. He agreed and off we went.
The hotel in question lies a couple of kilometers east of the Shimen dam at a place called the Amuping Marina. I stupidly failed to note down the name of the hotel but it’s the largest building in the area and on Google Maps it looks like it is called 阿母坪薑母紅糖包 or Amuping Ginger Brown Suger Bun. Before I start posting pictures I have to mention that the hotel, at time of writing, is only partially abandoned. There seems to be a group of people who have occupied the first two floors of one wing of the building and taken up residence in the old guest rooms. It also seems like they are doing some kind of construction/renovation work in the building, but if they are, it’s going extremely slowly. Whatever the exact situation, there was some activity in the eastern, lakeside wing of the hotel. Not wanting to disturb the people there for fear they might try to kick us out or maybe even contact the authorities, we stayed clear of this part of the building.
We started by exploring what we thought was part of the hotel but turned out to be a smaller separate building, possibly some kind of annex. It looked to be abandoned with the typical dark lifeless windows and walls covered in dirt and mold. A fence of corrugated iron running all around the ground floor blocked access, but to my surprise there was a gap in the fence at a staircase one the outside where we thought we could enter. However, at each landing there was a rusted metal gate, locked by a relatively new padlock. We did not want to break in, especially with the people working next door, so we had to make do with looking from the outside.
Since we couldn’t enter the ‘annex’ we tried the main building instead. It seems the main entrance is in the part of the building occupied by people, so that was out of the question. We found two side doors plus something that looked like a garage entrance, all three were shuttered. We kept searching until we came to a small backyard full of broken bricks and other construction debris where we could see an empty door opening. Unfortunately, the entrance to the backyard is blocked off by another corrugated iron fence. The fence is in pretty bad shape so we started checking for gaps big enough to get through but couldn’t find anything. Once again it looked like we would be limited to seeing the place from the outside.
I had almost given up when my friend figured out a way we could get around the fence and into the backyard. After checking that we would be able to get back out again, we climbed in and started exploring.
We soon found a room that was extra fancy, it even had a rock garden. Must have been some kind of suite.
It didn’t take us long to realize that most rooms look more or less like the one above. Normally I would at least look in to each and every one of them but this time it didn’t feel necessary. What surprised me was that the windows in most rooms were whole and I couldn’t see plants growing in any of them. In most abandoned buildings the opposite is true. Once we reached the upper floors we were no longer limited to exploring the inside, but could also look out the windows and get a better view of the outside.
While exploring we quickly noticed that one part of the building was under construction, or at least it had been before the place became abandoned. We thought the people on the lower floors might be working there so we avoided it for the most part, but I did snap one photo from a room facing the construction site. As you can see there is plenty of incomplete concrete construction with rebar poking out from it.
After exploring for maybe an hour we reached the roof. Here we could get a better overview of the place and it soon became clear to us that there was a lot less activity in the building than we had first assumed, and the risk of bumping in to anyone was much lower than we had thought. My friend took this chance to bring out his drone and capture some areal shots. He was kind enough to give me permission to use some of his footage, check it out for a better overview than I can provide.
Drone photography courtesy of Johan Marais
We explored the roof a bit, checking out all the different levels, then started heading back down. Knowing that we didn’t need to be quite so careful about bumping in to the workers/squatters we checked out some of the parts we hadn’t dared explore on the way up.
On the roof we also found this creepy shrine with a handless goddess
Corridors from the way down
While exploring abandoned buildings I’ve found there are two types, ones where people have left a lot of stuff behind, and ones that are mostly empty. This places belonged to the latter so I was surprised when we came to an area where there was quite a lot of stuff out in the corridor. We looked around for a short while until we realized we had wandered in to the part of the building occupied by people, and the stuff we were seeing belong to them. We snapped a few photos but quickly decided to turn around and leave.
At this point we had explored as much of the building as possible without really risking to bump in to the people living/working there so we decided to call it a day. As far as abandoned buildings go this one was pretty good, though I’ve been to some cooler ones recently, for example the other two hotels in Shimen reservoir or the Abandoned Temple. Nonetheless it was really fun to to go out exploring again, and nice to have some company for a change. I also want to thank my wife for waiting outside with our son while me and my friend were inside.