On the last day of my round-the-island bicycle tour of Taiwan 台灣 I undertook a brief excursion to the hot springs area of Běitóu District 北投區. I had expected the previous night to be my last on the road but a series of flat tires kept me from finishing my journey. With time to spare the following day I took a meandering route back to Taipei 台北 and, as luck would have it, also chanced upon one more ruin to explore. Not too far up the road from the majestic Thermal Valley 地熱谷 I noticed the crumbling outlines of a building that I correctly assumed was a derelict hot springs hotel: Asia Pacific Resort 北投亞太溫泉生活館 (pinyin: Yàtài Wēnquán Shēnghuóguǎn).
Having a bit of time to kill I dropped the kickstand, slung my helmet over the handlebars, and hopped over a barrier to check out what I had found. Entrance to the jagged concrete ruin I had spied from the roadside wasn’t difficult but there wasn’t anything inside—not on the ground floor at least. Was this building still under construction at the time of abandonment or was it half-demolished? I can’t say for sure—but I speculate it might have been a parking garage. (Update: this first building is actually the back of another abandoned hot springs, this one named Jiāotōng Hotel 交通大飯店. Thanks to Tim Right in the Taiwan ruins study group for the tip!)
The building immediately to the right was far more interesting (and indeed, the rest of the photos in this post were shot there). This was more obviously a hotel, albeit one in a terrible state of decay. As with the other structure I was not entirely sure whether it was actually in use at some point (and stripped bare prior to abandonment) or if it was never completed.
Figuring out the name of this ruin didn’t take much effort—the discarded signboard on the stairway made it effortless. I had my doubts about whether this was actually the name of the place as the buildings I explored don’t appear in any of the reviews or promotional material I was able to turn up—including this ghostly homepage, still live at the time of publication despite having been closed for at least five years. Indeed, based on Google Street View records the main buildings appear to have been demolished prior to 2011, and the entire business only opened in 2002. Not a good run!
You might wonder, as I have, how these other buildings fit into the big picture. This Taiwanese blogger suggests that the resort had suspended operations to expand their business—so it seems likely to me that these buildings were never actually open to the public at any point. It is quite possible that the business simply ran out of money and had to shut down.
I knew nothing of this at the time, of course. My experience was mainly one of wandering through the empty hallways of this crumbling ruin, doing my best to avoid the ravenous mosquitoes that had made this place home. The only untoward thing that happened was a close call with a rotten wooden floor in a room that looked much like an office. It is a good thing I habitually feel out new flooring with my foot before putting my full weight on anything otherwise I would have dropped through to the floor below!
Běitóu District 北投區 is one of the best places in Taipei 台北 to go exploring. This might not be the most interesting ruin I have had the pleasure of documenting but there are many more not far from where this one is found.