Taiwan’s Abandoned: Adventures within the Green Mansion

Remember how I went to find an abandoned place in Keelung and failed miserably? Well it didn’t end at all badly as I thought because my little misadventure actually led me to a new opportunity to explore.

After posting the blog piece, I came into contact with a fellow explorer who kindly offered to take me along on his next adventure to an abandoned site. Seeing the last attempt didn’t go so well, I needed all the guidance I could get. So last weekend we set out on a little scooter ride to explore Neihu’s Green Mansion (內湖區). Who says you can’t make friends through blogs?

There’s nothing quite like scootering up a mountain through rain and mist to add more mystery to our already foggy adventure. Both Caden and I have never been to the Green Mansion before, and did not know what to expect. But with coordinates in hand, we were sure we’ll be able to find it. I again felt that rush of excitement knowing that I’ll be able to discover yet another place!

I don’t know what it is with my attempts to explore and stray dogs though, as fate has it that I had another run in with them. We were enjoying our brisk ride when out of no where I saw a flash of white and then heard a loud yelp. Before you jump to the conclusion that we ran over an innocent animal, let me explain that strays attacking scooters whilst on the road is quite commonplace here. This one jumped out at us as we were entering a corner. We were completely blindsided and didn’t see it coming. Thankfully it was a side-swiped and the dog was ok. We knew this for sure because despite the seemingly serious collision, it chased after us, barking and snapping at our heels. With the extra weight (me) on a 50cc scooter and going up a hill, the acceleration was no where near quick enough as I would like. I have never seen a dog this angry, nor have I felt this scared of one before. Thankfully, the incline wasn’t too steep. After awhile the road flattened, and we were able to leave it behind…though not without it continually staring at me with menace in its eyes. I still think about that image.

So that was the grand start to our adventure. We finally made it to the Green Mansion and found that there was very little left to what the previous explorer had discovered two years ago. The Green Mansion turned out to be two separate buildings, though one looks more like an industrial building rather than a mansion. Each floor including the roof, had been almost completely pilfered or destroyed. Much of the space was left ignored for so long that nature is sprouting here and there.

I still found the place interesting because there were obvious signs that squatters have also made the most of what’s left here. I could form a picture of how they lived…albeit the vision I got was an alcoholic, squatting his or her woes away. A little depressing but nonetheless a perspective to reflect on. Surrounded by lush hills and open scenery, I imagine this place would’ve been very picturesque to live and hold functions in.  It is hard to fathom why the owner had left it to rot. Though I would’ve liked to see more, this is the life of an abandoned building – if you wait too long, you would be sure to miss out.

I find this idea rather fitting in the context of exploration as well. As my new friend has so eloquently put it:

Adventure is certainly living in the moment

Special thanks to Caden for the feature photo in this blog and for giving me an opportunity to explore more of Taiwan!

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