A Traditional Home in Huatan

A traditional home in Huatan 花壇
One of countless traditional homes in rural Changhua County.

Although urban Taiwan is choked with nightmarish concrete and tile architecture, charming sanheyuan—traditional three-part courtyard homes—in various states of disrepair can be found throughout the countryside, particularly in areas with a long history of agriculture. Unsurprisingly, traditional homes in Taiwan are similar to their mainland counterparts in Fujian Province. The centermost room is often a shrine, as is the case with the home in this photograph. Each wing, or “hùlóng” (護龍, literally “protecting dragon”), contains an assortment of bedrooms, kitchens, and storage areas.

I found this particular home in Huātán 花壇, a township in rural Changhua 彰化 that I went to explore after noticing several old buildings from the roadside. Many traditional homes in the countryside are abandoned but this one seems reasonably well-maintained. If you’re curious, I have also posted photos from inside an abandoned sanheyuan.