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Synapticism

An experiential journal of synchronicity and connection

Cǎotún 草屯 is an urban township located in the northwest corner of Nantou on the border with Taichung 台中 and Changhua 彰化. It is remarkable mainly for being home to a large weekend night market and a couple of unusual temples.

Brutalist Parkade

Stripped down to the core in Caotun
Just a parking garage.

Cǎoxiédūn Public Parkade 草鞋墩公有立體停車場 is an intimidating structure looming over one of the main commercial shopping streets in Cǎotún 草屯, Taiwan 台灣. I was there in search of an abandoned theater but was immediately impressed with the strikingly brutalist design of this multi-storey car park. It is merely a place to park so there’s little more to say, though it would seem that it was recently derelict. Probably the only other tidbit of information worth conveying is that “Caoxiedun” refers to the original name of the town. You can be sure the first settlers never imagined this monument to honest architecture standing in their newly sown fields.

Caotun Night Market 草屯夜市

Taiwan Times Village building and Caotun Tourist Night Market
Caotun Night Market offers a jarring architectural mix of ersatz vintage brickwork and owlish shipping container chic.

Tonight I visited one of the biggest night markets in Nantou, the Cǎoxiédūn Tourist Night Market 草鞋墩人文觀光夜市 in Cǎotún 草屯. Located at the north end of town, the sprawling open air Caotun Night Market offers a somewhat unusual twist on the Taiwanese night market formula of meals, snacks, drinks, cheap goods, clothing and accessories, and fairground games. I have now visited more than a dozen night markets in this area of Taiwan 台灣 and this one definitely stands out.