Does anyone know the official medical term for people who have a strange fetish for forgotten, destroyed, and abandoned buildings? Whatever it is — I’ve got a severe case of it.
Symptoms include inability to drive past rusty, abandoned structures without feeling an untamable yearning to go inside and explore, and the occasional tendency to trespass.
Longdong (龍洞, aka. Dragon Caves) is my favorite spot to snorkel on the northern coast of Taiwan. Every time I drove by, I couldn’t help but notice a row of factories that lay on the hills just off the coastal road. Its massive scale, eerie presence, and hidden possibilities quickly added itself to my bucket list of must-explores in Taiwan.
With fellow urban explorers in tow, we headed for the factories last month. To my surprise, the factory visible to the road is only the tip of the iceberg. Tucked behind the hills and overgrown greens was an entire area, or more like a whole district, of large forgotten structures, broken-down huts, and remnants of mile-long pipelines.
The area is fenced in, there’s an opening from previous vandalization that provided easy access from the road. Although several considerate government-issued plaques explained that the factory had poisonous residues of copper, it failed to clearly state what the area actually produced when it was still in commission.
The massive open factories, high ceilings, and cubicles with strange openings just fueled out confusion for what on earth these factories were made for. Several blue canisters with toxic logos still sat in the middle of what seemed to be a recreation room, next to rusty folded-up ping pong tables.
The area is covered in graffiti, perhaps due to its easy access. We even bumped into a photographer and model taking shots with the broken, tagged backdrop.