Built in the early eighties, these extraordinary sea-view homes are known as the "UFO houses" by the Taiwanese. Just 15 kilometres from the capital, the deserted residences have been left abandoned for the past three decades. Now they face imminent demolition.
The constructors who launched the project, which was never completed, announced two months ago that the structures would be bulldozed in order to build a "more normal" hotel complex. This, however, didn't go down well with the Taiwanese blogosphere. A debate over why the decision had been taken so suddenly spiralled into an excited dispute over paranormal activity. The more rational web users pointed out that high winds and large windows led to shattered glass and over-heating, while others said that the project had in fact been abandoned because ghosts haunted the grounded spaceships.
"The authorities don't care about the 'history' of monuments"
Leo Chang is a photojournalist from Taiwan. Fascinated by unusual homes and their backgrounds, he writes on his blog that the buildings should be classified as "historic monuments".
At the end of the seventies Taiwan had just overcome the oil crisis and was embracing a new economic boom. The flying saucer resort is a representation of the affluence of that time - the money that people had to spend on new and fancy things. But sadly, the owner went bankrupt before he had time to complete the project.
Although they were abandoned 30 years ago, people passing by today are still very impressed by the very unique architecture of these buildings. And they're still famous. That has a lot to do with all the ghost stories written about them in the past 30 years. It's said that in the 17th century hundreds of thousands of Dutch soldiers were buried underneath the ground that the UFO houses stand on. Some people even say that ghosts are still flying around the houses! The idea of "haunted houses" attracts people - the resort has become a hotspot for tourists now! It's also a big talking point on the web. I think the Taiwanese Council for Culture should preserve these houses as national historic monuments. But the authorities don't care about the "history" of monuments. They're more interested in making loads of money."
Photos posted on Leo Chang's blog.