Stanton Club 飛宏象山國際聯誼中心

The Stanton Club 飛宏象山國際會議聯誼中心 was an exclusive business and recreation facility located in the foothills of the Nangang Mountains 南港山系 in Xìnyì District 信義區, Taipei 台北. Although details are scant, it was in operation from the late 1990s until approximately 2005, when it went out of business for reasons unknown. Most of the club is underground—and with floorspace or around 3,500 ping, a Taiwanese unit of measurement corresponding to approximately 12,000 m2, it was a rather large place. Perhaps owing to its relatively accessible location this became one of the most notorious ruins in Taipei for awhile, even appearing on television at times. The space was finally leased and renovated in 2018 so I am now at liberty to share some photos from several forays made to the site in previous years.

Jiamuzi Bay Minsu 加母子灣民宿

Jiamuzi Bay 加母子灣 is a beautifully remote and scenic stretch of coastline just north of Taitung City 台東市 in Dōnghé 東河, Taitung 台東. It is also home to the gutted ruins of an abandoned minsu 民宿 (a funky bed and breakfast or homestay-style inn) readily visible from just about anywhere along the bay. While cruising along the coastal highway on my first Taiwan bicycle tour in late 2013 I stopped two stops to take a closer look: once beneath the moody remnants of Typhoon Usagi and again on a sunny afternoon the following day.

Vanilla Garden Minsu 香草園民宿

I was out riding a scooter from Changhua 彰化 the hot springs resort town of Guanziling in rural Tainan 台南 when I noticed a rundown, seemingly abandoned building by the roadside in the mountains of Zhongpu, Chiayi 嘉義. Stopping to investigate, I discovered a minsu 民宿 (essentially a bed and breakfast) in the early stages of decay. Initially I had no luck finding out any information about this place but more recently I uncovered its formal name: Dongzijiao Vanilla Garden Minsu 凍仔腳香草園民宿. Dongzijiao, apparently famous for its betel nut crop, is the name of the nearest village.

Renoir Resort Club 雷諾瓦俱樂部

Renoir Resort Club 雷諾瓦俱樂部 is a surprising find in Guanziling 關子嶺, the most famous and well-developed hot springs town in Báihé 白河, Tainan 台南. I went to stay there one night in the spring of 2014 to have a look—but I didn’t expect to find an abandoned club next door to where I was staying. I should have known—this is Taiwan, an urban exploration utopia. There are abandoned buildings absolutely everywhere. Sometimes you will get lucky and discover someplace cool without even trying.

The Mystic Island of Pulau Besar

One of my stranger day trips in Malaysia was to the mystic island of Pulau Besar in the state of Melaka, better known as Malacca to most English-speaking people. Situated in the Strait of Malacca, one of the world’s most important shipping lanes, the small island of Pulau Besar is steeped in myth and legend. It is also widely considered to be haunted—which partly explains why most of the island is abandoned.