The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Category Urban Exploration

Urban Exploration in Hsinchu City

Finding and exploring abandoned buildings is generally referred to as Urban Exploration (or Urbex for short). The ironic thing is, most of the urban exploration I’ve been doing has been out in the countryside; abandoned amusement parks or hotels up in the mountains, or old bunkers out by the coastline. Perhaps in my case calling it “exploring modern ruins” would be more accurate, but that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as Urbex. Recently however, I’ve been doing some actual urban exploration.

Whenever I’m out and about, could be the morning commute, could be running some errands after … Read the rest

The Sunken Road

First I want to thank my wife for finding out about this place and sharing the information with me so we could arrange a trip. Now on to the post

Down in Jiayi (Sometimes also spelled Chiayi) in South Taiwan there’s a region with a lot of fish farms and oyster farms. In fact it’s so many that the GPS makes it look like the expressway is running on a bunch of islands and sandbanks out in the ocean, even though it’s actually on land. Over time the usage of these seafood farms has changed and some of the old … Read the rest

Neglected Spaces

There’s a certain type of spaces that I feel strangely drawn to. The kind of spaces at the edges of the urban landscape, half forgotten spaces hidden behind and below the infrastructure that keeps our cities running. I don’t really have a good name for them, liminal spaces isn’t quite correct, backstreets indicates something that is more populated, they’re definitely not slums and you can’t call it wasteland; forgotten spaces is wrong, people still remember them, and they’re not abandoned or deserted. Perhaps the best term would be neglected spaces, they’re a bit dirty, they don’t get taken care of … Read the rest

Mapping the Tunnels part 2

Shortly after I made my last post about the old military tunnels at Fengqi Sunset Trail, my friend Johan, who is a Youtuber, contacted me saying he wanted to make a video about the tunnels. My other friend David, who was the one to introduce me to the tunnels in the first place, said he would also like to join (you can find David's post here). Said and done, the three of us met up at the trail head and with Johan filming we made another foray into the tunnels. Continue reading about our underground adventure.

Mapping the Tunnels

When my friend posted a video of walking through a long, seemingly abandoned tunnel I immediately knew I would have to go there. I asked where it was and he sent me the location. From what I could understand, there was a big network of tunnels down there and I somehow got it into my head that I shouldn't just go there, but I should try to make a map. Despite a few of the tunnel branches being blocked, the place is still so big I had to go there twice to fully explore every part of the system. I did eventually end up with a map. It's not particularly accurate; it's not to scale and I only made some rough estimates of the twists and turns of the different passageways. I also didn't come up with a good way to add in slopes and stairs, so that's not included either. That said, every intersection is included, as is every exit and every dead end. If you go down into these tunnels you should be able to navigate using my map. Check out the map

Abandoned Hotels Around Shimen Reservoir, Part 3

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. … Read the rest

The Abandoned Temple

My favorite Taiwanese film is The Great Buddha + , and in it there is a scene where the main characters go to pray in a temple dedicated to former Taiwanese dictator Chiang Kai-shek. Apparently the scene was filmed in a real temple which has been (mostly) abandoned. Knowing that I like this kind of place, my wife found out where it is (thank you honey) and last weekend we decided to go check it out.

The temple is in rural Miaoli, close to a small village called Baishatun, and is actually marked on Google Maps. The place is … Read the rest

Abandoned Hotels Around Shimen Reservoir, Part 2

Over a year ago me, my wife and my friend went to Shimen Reservoir outside Taoyuan City to explore a few abandoned hotels, which you can read about here. There are a couple more abandoned hotels in the area which we were planning to visit but for whatever reason we never did. Recently I've had the feeling that I really should go do it, so last weekend I decided it was time. While my wife stayed home to take care of our baby (thanks honey), I packed my flashlight and camera then set off on the motorbike...read the rest

Buddha World part 3: the Last Castle

Last year we explored an old hotel in the abandoned amusement park temple (which I later found out is called Buddha World). When we went there we thought the hotel was the last unexplored building, but we spotted another castle-like structure out in the jungle. That time we weren’t able to go explore it so I had to make do with a couple of pictures taken from a distance.  This weekend we’ve finally taken the time to come back so I could take a closer look.

Yini didn’t feel like going into the building so I left her in the … Read the rest

Abandoned Hotels Around Shimen Reservoir, Part 1

Shimen Reservoir is a big man-made lake in the mountains outside Taoyuan City. It is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding mountains, and nowadays there are more than ten distinct tourist attractions in the area. As everyone knows, with tourists come business opportunities, and a number of hotels, restaurants and caf├ęs have sprung up along the lake shore. In the past it was common for visitors to stay overnight but as transportation improved, especially with the construction on the No. 3 highway, the market for hotels has gone down. As a … Read the rest

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