The Pod Village of Sanshiz

Photos by MJ Klein

For years I’ve been reading about this mysterious place in northern Taiwan, where there are abandoned homes that resemble UFOs.  I’ve always wanted to go there and check it out, and thanks to our good friend Andres, we were able to do so recently.

Googe Earth Pod Village

This Google Earth image shows an overview of the complex.

Pod Village

This is the first view of the pods from the road.  Yes, those are chickens that some people are keeping inside the fence.

The story of the Pod Village is fairly well known.  Begun by a petroleum company in 1980 , the project was halted when the company ran out of money.  Taken over by a bank and eventually by another group of investors, the project was started up again, but (as things go sometimes) the investors had a disagreement and the project was abandoned for good in 1989.

Pod Village

This complex has some interesting features.  This depression apparently was part of an underground lobby complex that originated from another set of buildings.  Now it’s full of rain and sea water.  I think it looks like it would have made a very nice Roman style pool.

Pod Village

Pod Village

Pod Village

Pod Village

As you can see, there are 2 pools in the complex.  This place had everything!

Pod Village

There is even a “cave” for kids to play in.  As I was walking around I kept thinking what a cool place this was and how much fun it would have been to live here.

Pod Village

Being close to the ocean, it does get hammered pretty good by wind and spray.

Pod Village

This has contributed to the decline of the complex.  The pods are fiberglas (FRP) shells hung on a concrete frame.

Pod Village

Pod Village

Many of the pods are literally falling apart.

Pod Village

Looking inside, you can see how open the interior must have been.

Pod Village

This is some kind of water processing plant behind the cave.  It looks like it was the pool filtering system.

Pod Village

Pod Village

I recommend that you click on any of these photos and go to the Flickr Pod Village Photo Album to view the rest of the photos of this amazing place.  To help views find other photos taken of this amazing place, I’ve created a group on Flickr.  Please feel free to add your photos to this group.

Thanks for reading about the Pod Village of Sanzhih.  Please be sure to give us a rating so we know what you think of this article.

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12 comments

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  2. Isn’t it amazing how a little flock of chickens in that particular photo is enough to give the property a sense of being lived in at first glance (albeit by vagrants)? Really awesome photos, I enjoyed the peek under the structures too. It could have been a cool little community to live in!

  3. Good documentary of the place. The slide you can see in the water in the next-to-last shot was actually still in place the first time I was there (April 2007) and it was possible to walk up the slide (carefully) and on top of the cave. The second time I was there (Dec 2007) it had been broken up.

    Todd – The demolition will be delayed because a director from Europe wants to use it in a movie and he’s convinced the government to halt the demolition for now. You might still have time to make it there this winter.

    cfimagess last blog post..Studio Intoxication

    1. cfimages » what i cannot understand Craig, is how people who go there purposefully destroy things. it’s one thing for nature to do it’s thing, but breaking the windows and the FRP shells, slides, etc. – i just don’t get that. when i got there i feel some kind of reverence for the place…. thanks Craig.

      1. I think the damage comes from two separate sources. Firstly, a lot is general weather damage – storms and typhoons etc. I was there on a windy winters day and saw a window break just because of the wind. Secondly, I think people often damage and harm what they are afraid of, and there are plenty of people afraid of this place.

        Oh and the broken slide looked like it had been removed and broken up by authorities – it looked cut and the pieces had been piled up fairly neatly.

        Taiwan in general seems to have a lot less wanton vandalism by alienated youth than the west.

        1. cfimages » yes, i think your assessment is probably right on. at any rate the site is impressive and it would have been a good contribution to Taiwan to have it finished.

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