Wulai Qingpu Hotel 清瀑大飯店

An abandoned hotel at Wulai Falls

While on a day trip to Wulai at the very end of 2013 I was delighted to stumble upon one of the most picturesque abandonments I have had the pleasure of exploring in Taiwan. Mere steps from the southern terminus of the Wulai Sightseeing Tram 烏來觀光台車 one will find a viewing platform across from Wulai Falls 烏來瀑布, one of the most scenic waterfalls in the greater Taipei area. What you might not realize—unless you have a sixth sense for all things abandoned—is that the viewing platform doubles as the rooftop of a derelict hotel with a rather stunning view.

Yinhedong 銀河洞

The waterfall from the temple at Yinhe Cave

Yínhédòng 銀河洞 (literally “Milky Way Cave”) is an extraordinary cliffside temple next to a gorgeous waterfall in the mountains just outside of Taipei. Originally founded in 1914 and extensively renovated in 1958, the temple recently celebrated its centennial, as proclaimed by the red banner draped out front during my first visit in February 2014. In a story that sounds entirely apocryphal, the cave was reputedly a hideout for Chén Qiūjú 陳秋菊, a Shenkeng resident who famously led a rebellion in the earliest years of the Japanese colonial era.