Shulin is a heavily industrialized district of approximately 185,000 residents on the southwestern periphery of Taipei. Until recently it was home to one of the most well-known large-scale ruins in the metropolitan area: the former Taiwan Motor Transport Maintenance Depot (台灣汽車客運公司機料廠), more generally known as the Shulin Factory. This abandonment was far from secret—it was regularly used for photo and video production, airsoft and paintball games, flying drones, practicing graffiti and street art, and the occasional underground techno party. It was so popular, in fact, that it attracted several con artists who impersonated security guards and the property owner to charge a fee for usage of the site, occasionally extorting large sums from more professional operations, which eventually led to their arrest. As for the history of the site itself, Tobias at Only Forward has published an extremely thorough account of this ruin, and I don’t have very much to add apart from my own original photos from two separate visits to the now-vanished site.

Taiwan Motor Transport Factory Entrance
The most accessible end of the old maintenance depot.
A Sidelong View of the Shulin Factory
A sidelong view of the factory building. Each of these openings would have been maintenance bays.

This complex was likely completed in 1980 with the founding of the state-owned Taiwan Motor Transport Company (台灣汽車客運公司), or Táiqì (台汽) for short. The maintenance depot is ideally located along the main north-south transportation corridor, and would have served a fleet of hundreds of coach buses throughout the 1980s. Unfortunately the company struggled to remain profitable, and by the end of the decade it was running at a loss. The grim financial prospects led to downsizing and eventual privatization, with daily operations transferred to the newly founded Kuo-Kuang Motor Transport Company (國光汽車客運股份有限公司) in 2001. From the sounds of it, this particular maintenance depot discontinued operations in 1995, and has been idle ever since.

Inside the Shulin Factory
The remains of a van in the grassy area at the far end of the factory floor.
Safety First in the Taiwan Motor Transport Maintenance Depot
The giant characters emblazoned on the wall: Safety First (安全第一).
No Graffiti Inside the Shulin Factory
Now This is a Knife
Trash Art in Shulin Factory
Painted Faces in the Shulin Factory
Within the Shulin Factory
First view from the second level.
Overlooking the Grassy Field Inside the Shulin Factory
Overlooking the grassy field at the Shulin Factory.
A Long View of the Shulin Factory
A long view of the factory floor with the water tower in the distance.

Normally I am interested in digging a little deeper into the ruins I document on this site but in this case my work has already been done by scores of others. Apart from this excellent post by Tobias, there is an incredible amount of media captured at this site and published online. If you’re curious to see more, just search for the name of the site in Chinese (樹林台汽廢墟 works pretty well). I will only mention this drone footage, which does a fine job demonstrating the scale of the complex.

Inside the Taiwan Motor Transport Factory in Shulin
One last view from within the old factory in Shulin.

Oh, and rumours are true—we had a wicked rave here one night. It was quite impressive to see hundreds of people assemble in this abandoned complex and dance until dawn. Even the phony landlord had fun, from what I recall.

Shulin Factory Rave
Dawn Breaks at Shulin Factory
Moonrise Over Shulin Factory
A Hole in the Sky at Shulin Factory
A hole in the sky.

Finally, I should reiterate something briefly mentioned in the introduction: this place has been demolished as of 2019. It now exists only in our collective memory.


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