Longtan Strange House 龍潭怪怪屋

Yeshan Building from the back
Longtan Strange House from the back garden. I suppose it is better to be obscured by trees than garish advertisements.

Longtan Strange House 龍潭怪怪屋 is a notorious architectural oddity on the northern edge of Lóngtán 龍潭 in Táoyuán 桃園, Taiwan. In Chinese it is also known as Yè Fābāo’s Strange House 葉發苞怪屋, after its owner and lead designer, and is officially named the Yeshan Building 葉山樓. It has been under construction for decades but at some point the money ran out and the owner has plastered it with advertisements, ostensibly to raise money to complete the project. Nowadays there is little to see beneath the incredible number of promotional banners hanging off the side of the building.

A closer look at the back of Yeshan Building
First look at a weird house in Longtan
Longtan Weird House from across the street
Longtan Strange House from across the street. This is the intersection of several major roads and the main way out of town heading north.

Until very recently I was living in Zhōnglì 中壢, about 12 kilometers north of Lóngtán 龍潭, so I made a point of riding over to check it out despite having heard that there wasn’t much to see anymore. And it’s true—visiting this place was a real disappointment. It could have been something out of a Hayao Miyazaki film, instead it’s a garish monstrosity that nobody should go out of their way to see… but since I went to all the trouble of taking a few photos I figure I may as well add it to my growing catalogue of roadside oddities here in Taiwan.

Dusky skies over Longtan Weird House
So many advertisements. Seems like an awful waste of what might have been a cool place to visit.
Yeshan Building at sundown
A closer look at another corner of the building. I like the little piece of a balcony protruding from one of the ads.
A closer look at the Longtan Weird House
Here you can clearly see the alphabetical flourishes on the top balcony.
Around back at Longtan Building
The back of the building from the ground floor.

For photos from better times (when there were less ads) I suggest checking out Lao Ren Cha’s post about this weird house. Naturally this place has seen extensive coverage in the Chinese language media and blogosphere; for examples, try here, here, here, here, and here. The owner still plans to finish construction from the sounds of it so who knows, maybe it will be cool again one day.