San Zhi in Taiwan: the ghost town left behind in the photo

San Zhi – Ghost Town


Sanzhi – a small but pretty famous place, located on the northern coast of Taiwan. Today it is remembered not so often, but twenty years ago many adventurers dreamed to visit here. Genuine interest of both ordinary citizens and sophisticated travelers caused by the unusual architecture and history of this place, which began more than half a century ago.

The history of the city

According to legend, it began in 1975 with the death of a prominent local politician Chiang Kai-shek. It was in commemoration of this man that the authorities decided to build a unique residential complex of concrete and fiberglass in 25 kilometers from the capital of the island state. It was planned to build something quite unusual – a futuristic complex of structures in the form of a cluster of “flying saucers”. Each of them was supposed to have a chic marble staircase, and the entrance would be a waterslide, connecting the upper floor to the adjacent pond or pool.

In 1978 the houses were built and painted, ready for delivery and sale. The project was expected to bring in a lot of money – both from tourists and from future owners of luxury ultra-modern apartments. However, these plans and hopes, unfortunately, were not destined to come true: in the early 1980’s in East Asia, broke out in a credit and energy crises. As a result of serious changes in the structure of the economy developer company went bankrupt, and the project, which was in limbo, was “frozen.

In 1989, the futuristic Sanzhi development project almost got a second life: new investors came forward. They planned to complete the construction and reap the previously expected benefits after the opening, but they could not reach a consensus in the process of preparing to complete the work. As a result, at the end of 1989, construction at Sangzhi finally ceased.

But life in the settlement continued: thrill-seekers, scientists, historians, and simply romantics came here all the time. Some wanted to see with their own eyes this architectural marvel, others simply drove by and decided to walk around the city and take a few photos. There were also those who were eager to leave something of themselves in the city. It was thanks to such people that Sanji, built some forty years ago, quickly fell into disrepair.

Looters and unscrupulous travelers broke windows in the almost completely finished houses, destroyed elements of decor, and on the concrete walls now “adorn” hundreds of inscriptions, the meaning and attractiveness of which are clear only to their authors.

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Time has not spared Sanji either. It destroyed what man had left intact: structures of concrete and fiberglass crumbled under the pressure of vegetation roots, and wooden ceilings rotted by rain and wind. In this condition, the city existed for about thirty years. And only in late 2008 at the initiative of the Taipei authorities began to dismantle the city. Today the city no longer exists in the form in which it was: it was completely dismantled, and on the vacated site formed a wasteland. There are plans to build a health complex and a park.

UFO Houses in Sanji: The Source of the Idea

Initially, at the stage of origin and implementation of the idea, it was assumed that the erected houses will be liked by American soldiers and wealthy Taiwanese. According to the architects and builders, they would be a wonderful place for recreation, a kind of ideal country houses for serious people and their families. In order to attract public interest and get the maximum benefit, in developing the project it was decided to take as a basis the popular idea of the Futuro house – the famous Dombai “Plate”.

The so-called prototype of a UFO house in Sanji, the Futuro house, was installed on the slope of Mussa Achitara Mountain in 1969 (elevation 2,250 meters above sea level) and was popular among travelers because it served as a semblance of an ultra-modern hotel. Externally, this hotel looked like a white, flattened balloon with window illuminators and iron legs. The ball had a diameter of 8 meters and a height of just over 4 meters. At the same time, due to the design features, up to 8 people could be accommodated in the small area of the structure.

The Futuro House, located on the mountain, was one of the first plate houses to be made public. The public liked the idea so much at the time that several more similar structures “grew” around the world. For many years in them stayed amateurs ufology and just ultramodern mobile people.

Now the “saucer” “Futuro”, located on the same slope of the mountain Mussa-Achitar (although it is 250 meters higher), acts as a hotel. It offers guests three rooms that can simultaneously accommodate up to 8 people. Inside you can comfortably take a shower, have breakfast and get a good night’s sleep.

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According to the official version, it is the undying popularity of this hotel in earlier times that led the architects of the Sanzhi project to decide to use a similar design, and Hung Kuo Group undertook the construction.

The city’s high-tech equipment, as envisioned in the project, was also expected to bring obvious benefits. There was a hint of a technological future for humanity, and a desire to lure wealthy shoppers. The city was supposed to be flooded with ultramodern technology, which would allow to live a full life without any restrictions and enjoy it to the fullest. Unfortunately, it was never realized, and you can only imagine these possibilities in pictures.

Sanji’s fate: a mystical mystery

According to the official version, a sad fate overtook Sangzhi because of the difficult economic situation in the world. However, there is another explanation as to why the UFO town project was never completed.

According to this version, a large number of car accidents and fatal accidents occurred on the site during construction. Workers died almost every day for completely unimaginable reasons: some fell from slippery roofs and fell dead to the ground, others simply did not work their insurance, and some even managed to commit suicide after meeting ghosts.

According to legend, which has long been passed on by word of mouth from neighboring towns, all this happened for a reason, but because during the construction was damaged or even destroyed the sacred sculpture of the Chinese dragon. Or the fact that the city itself was built on the cemetery of Dutch soldiers of the seventeenth century also brought death. It was noted that during the construction of the builders discovered about 20 thousand remains. It was then, according to the same builders, and began to emerge the souls of disturbed soldiers, who caused the increasing frequency of suicides and accidental deaths.

Rumors about the mystical component of the project arose at various times and slowly but surely spread through cities and villages. And it bore its own – negative – fruit. The result was that the houses built in Sangzhi were never sold because the buyers flatly refused to settle on the burial ground, in the city of the dead… They believed that the haunted souls had long ago settled in these new houses and did not want to disturb them. For some, the thought of a strange cohabitation caused sacred awe, and for others, awe, fear, disgust. This led to years of hesitation on the part of the Taiwanese authorities to demolish unsold houses.

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For the same reason, the question of resuming work on the complex was postponed. Neither the investors, builders, nor the government dared to intrude on the souls of the dead who had taken refuge in Sanzhi. This must be why in 1989, the final decision was made to deem the city uninhabitable after a new investor, a local beer company executive, offered to invest. True, the official reason was different: the unusual construction of the buildings turned out to be dangerous for living, because it could harm human life and health in case of an earthquake, and the latter occur quite often in this difficult in every respect region.

Only after that was it decided to demolish the surviving structures, destroy the construction debris and prepare the vacated land for construction with new, earthquake-resistant structures. But all this is yet to come… For now there are very few impressive tourists in the desolate Sangzhi lands… And only the restless souls of the dead builders still dwell here in peace… They no longer have to think about how to behave at the construction site of futuristic objects of unusual shape.

Sanji is now the past of humanity. And strange, and striking, and even somewhat eerie… It is now impossible to see it with your own eyes. Only photographs can tell you what this ghost town was like. Regardless of what caused its sudden and untimely demise, the very fact of its existence makes you wonder how fear and awe, baseness and grandeur, life and death, reality and nightmares sometimes meet…

San Zhi in Taiwan: the ghost town left behind in the photo

San Zhi is an amazing city with UFO-shaped houses. It was supposed to be a luxury resort in Taiwan, but turned into a ghost town, which for a long time attracted fans of abandoned structures and finally disappeared from the face of the earth in 2010.

But photos of San Zhi circulated on the Web still cause genuine interest among tourists. The unusual appearance of the saucer houses continues to intrigue and inspire a sense of mysticism in a city that no longer exists.

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San Zhi in Taiwan: the ghost town left behind in the photo - Photo 2

San Zhi in Taiwan: the ghost town left behind in the photo

A city of the future with a cosmic design

In 1970 they decided to create a luxury resort in the north of Taiwan, which could seduce even the most sophisticated VIP-experts with its peculiarity. But there is another reason for the appearance of San Ji. According to some versions, the modern town was supposed to be a place of residence of the U.S. military and their families.

Be that as it may, the original intention was to build an ultra-modern settlement in just 25 kilometers from the Taiwanese capital. San Zhi was supposed to become a symbol of innovation. Perhaps that’s why it was decided to build houses in the shape of UFOs.

The inspiration came from the Futuro Hotel in Dombai, which was built in 1969. The era of the original conquest of space is imbued with the spirit of space travel and dreams of encounters with extraterrestrial civilizations. Not surprisingly, thoughts of space exploration were incorporated into the innovative design of future homes in Taiwan.

San Zhi/Taiwan: Ghost Town Remnant in Photo 3

A city of the future with a cosmic design

Taiwan’s “Eden” with a touch of mysticism

The founder of the project, Sang-Ji, was confident of success. But fate decided to adjust his expectations. Already in the early years of San Zhi construction a series of failures caused doubts about the feasibility of the project.

Construction began in 1978, but two years later the developer filed for bankruptcy. To resume the frozen project was almost impossible. That’s where the mystique of the area where they wanted to build San Zhi played a fatal role.

It was rumored that many accidents occurred at the construction site. One could put it down to the project’s tight schedule. But locals saw it as an act of God. It was said that a dragon statue was dug up during the initial construction work, and the disturbed deity punished those who disturbed him.

Even more horrifying stories about the mystique of Sainte-Jean are related to the Dutch soldiers’ cemetery that had existed there since the colonial era. Allegedly during the construction of thousands of skeletons were discovered, and the disturbed souls of the dead began to take revenge on the builders . For this reason, the frequency of accidents during construction increased sharply, and none of the builders wanted to take part in the project at the risk of their lives.

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San Zhi/Taiwan: Ghost Town Remnant in Photo 4

Taiwan’s “Eden” with a touch of mysticism

UFO houses without occupants

Because of such a mystical and sad halo, the Taiwanese symbol of innovation quickly became synonymous with doom . In the early 1990s, San Ji was partially completed, but dreams of a luxury resort very quickly turned into nothingness. No one wanted to come here. The settlement with its UFO-shaped houses quickly became a ghost town.

A total of about 60 saucer houses were built there. San Ji’s houses had no sharp angles. Even the staircases were rounded. Each UFO house had a staircase and a slide leading to a swimming pool or directly into the lake. Originally, the dwellings were supposed to be surrounded by paradise gardens, but they were never laid out.

The bright colors of the UFO houses in St. Giles gave the ghost town a particularly fantastic look. Equally extravagant were the two-story buildings that resembled “flying saucer” sandwiches.

Not surprisingly, all these futuristic panoramas and the mystical fame of St. Gilles quickly attracted photographers, lovers of mysticism and walks through abandoned places to the ghost town. It was thanks to them, photos of UFO houses flew around the world, generating increased interest in such extraordinary structures in Taiwan.

San Zhi/Taiwan: Ghost Town Remnant in Photo 5

UFO houses without occupants

Gone, but not forgotten, ghost town

But the mystique of San Ji did not disappear . Soon there were stories of ghosts inhabiting uninhabited UFO houses. Many of the extreme tourists who had been to Sang Zhi spoke of the place’s oppressive energy. Locals have said that this place has been cursed for a long time, and no one could ever live here.

Perhaps the legends of ancient curses played a decisive role in the fate of the ghost town of Sang Zhi. In 2008 it was decided to destroy the UFO houses. By 2010, all the buildings had been destroyed. According to some reports, as of 2018, the San Gee area was an absolute wasteland .

The UFO houses in San Gigi remained only in the numerous photos that abounded on the Internet. They still stir the imagination and remain an unsolved mystery: was there mysticism in them?

San Zhi in Taiwan: A Ghost Town Remains in Photo 6

Gone, but not forgotten, ghost town

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