South Taiwan Ride 2015: Pingtung City to Fangliao

Updated:
A Tudigong 土地公 statue on the outskirts of .

After spending a day riding around Pingtung City I was ready to hit the road again. With no specific destination in mind—only an intention to head in the direction of , far to the south—I checked out of the vintage homestay I lodged at the previous night, stopped at Eske Place Coffee House for a delicious and healthy vegetarian breakfast, changed into cycling wear, and exited the city to the east. I knew almost nothing about where I was headed or what I might see on the third day of my south Taiwan ride in 2015. I only had one stop planned in advance: a hospital in rumoured to be . I didn’t know it at the time but I would spend almost the entire day riding through the historic Hakka belt of .

Chaozhou Jiukuaicuo Catholic Church 潮州九塊厝天主堂

Updated:
A rusty cross over an abandoned Catholic church on the plains of .

While I was out riding in southern Taiwan last year I chanced upon an abandoned church by the roadside in a small village outside of , . I only spent about ten minutes there and didn’t shoot many photos but have since realized that the story to tell is interesting enough to devote a full post to it. The formal name of this place is Jiǔkuàicuò Catholic Church 九塊厝天主堂, though this is commonly prefixed with to distinguish it from the many other villages with the same name in . Details are scant but I should be able to provide a broad overview of how this church came to be here—and why it was left to the elements.

An Unexplored Hospital in Rural Pingtung

Updated:
Around back at an abandoned hospital in rural Pingtung.

Dàshùn General Hospital 大順綜合醫院 is a hulking ruin on the outskirts of in . Abandoned almost a decade ago, it was not in business for very long before it closed due to corruption and mismanagement. There appears to be an ugly coda as well, for it was later the subject of an investment scam (see also: PTT).

Chaozhou Liu House 潮州劉厝

Updated:
Liu House in rural Chaozhou.

I noticed this old-fashioned western style house on the outskirts of in while cycling through the deep south of . In a sea of ugly metal shacks and bland concrete apartment blocks it is a rare pleasure to encounter a building like this one.