An Abandoned Courtyard House in Shalu

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Old brick gateway to a traditional courtyard house in Shalu.

Last February I went on a productive day trip around without any particular destination in mind. After visiting an abandoned anti-airborne fortification on Dadushan and the eerie Wansheng Zizhu Monastery I breezed through on the way to Wuqi Old Street 梧棲老街. While making a pitstop at a 7-Eleven on the side of the highway I noticed what looked like an old Qing dynasty building building obscured by some foliage and went to take a quick peek. Traditional courtyard homes, or , are an ubiquitous feature of rural and yet another thing I regularly document wherever I go—and this one is unusually striking with its red brick archway.

Wansheng Zizhu Monastery 萬聖紫竹寺

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A gleaming white anomaly flanked by two half-finished buildings.

Wànshèng Zǐzhú Monastery 萬聖紫竹寺 is an unusually austere temple located on the seaward slope of the Dadu Plateau 大肚台地 in , . At first I assumed it was abandoned, for there was absolutely nobody around when I visited. The main hall is in an obvious state of disrepair and the two flanking buildings remain unfinished. After wandering into both altars I left with more questions than answers. Apart from the Pǔtuóshān White Temple 普陀山白衣道場 it isn’t at all like most other temples I’ve seen in .

Taichung Airport 台中航空站

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The departures hall at Taichung international. No line-ups, no hassles.

Taichung Airport 台中航空站 is the smallest of Taiwan’s three international airports but also one of the most convenient for visa runs to , among other places. Technically it is located in , somewhat out of the way from proper, but not terribly inaccessible.