The former Xizhou Telecom Bureau 溪州原電信局

Xizhou Telecom Bureau 溪州原電信局

This week I visited the small town of Xizhou in southern Changhua to locate the eponymous Xizhou Theater. I found no way into the theater but made a serendipitous discovery while walking around the block in search of another access point. Across the street I noticed the utilitarian outline of the former Xizhou Telecom Bureau (溪州原電信局), a modest building that once housed a combined post office and service counter for the state phone company, then known as the [Directorate General of Telecommunica­tions (交通部電信總局). The sign above the entrance simply reads Diànxìnjú (電信局), or “telecommunications bureau”, which is all anyone needed to know in those days. Taiwan’s telecom monopoly was broken up in 1996 with the privatization of what became known as Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信). In the absence of any sort of historic information about this obscure abandoned office I’d guess it was built sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

The former Xizhou Telecom Bureau 溪州原電信局
Someone has turned the former Xizhou Telecom Bureau into a nursery.
Vintage window grating in Xizhou
Vintage window grating on the side of the old telecom office. The wavy look is not one I’ve noticed before.
Nature claims the outbuildings of an office in Xizhou
Nature claims a building behind the main office. Unseen in the undergrowth is a mother dog and her several pups.
Someone is gathering wood back here
Apart from operating a nursery around the former office some mysterious individual has also been gathering wood here.
Peering through the gates in Xizhou
Peering through the gates. Postal service counters can be seen in the background.

You may notice a great many potted plants out front and bags of soil laying around the interior of the office. Someone clearly uses this old building as a nursery of sorts. Part of the courtyard is being used for wood storage and there are other small gardening projects laying around. Whether this is just someone’s hobby or an actual business is beyond my knowledge. I didn’t end up sticking around for very long as light was fading and I had a few more places to see before nightfall.

A peek inside the Xizhou Telecom Bureau 溪州原電信局
A peek inside the interior.
Behind the counter at the Xizhou Telecom Bureau 溪州原電信
Behind the counter.
Wavy metal grating in black and white
Wavy metal grating.
Unique window grating on an old telecom office
Broken glass and unique window grating.
Metal shutters and wooden doors in Xizhou
One day the metal shutters came down for the last time and the front door was locked forever.
An abandoned post office box in Xizhou
A closer look at the rusty old post office box out front.

This might not be the most impressive ruin I’ve visited but the classic window grating and other small details make it a worthwhile addition to the catalog. Probably the coolest sight of all is the old post office box out front. I’ve seen vintage mailboxes like this one at various tourist sites around the nation but I do not recall seeing one in its original state, rusty and weathered by the passage of years.

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