An Abandoned Firetruck in Old Zuoying

Location: Remains of Zizhu and Chongshi Village (自助新村 崇實新村), Old Zuoying, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

I was out on a bike ride today in old Zuoying and decided to check in on the remains of some of the villages that were once there. One of them, Zizhu Village, was famous for being decorated and graffitied by local students. It became a tourist attraction until it was torn down in 2011/12. Neigbouring Chongshi village is also gone. All that remains is the odd house, or wall.


I found a way in via one of the side streets that wasn’t blocked off and rode around for a bit. I’ve seen lots of this type of village before so I wasn’t particularly looking to photograph empty or derelict houses.

That was when I stumbled upon this.


A massive abandoned firetruck hiding behind some bushes.


I had a good look around the truck before determining that it was, in fact, abandoned.


The back doors were open. Hoses and other equipment still present.


I tried the door handle on the cab – it opened.


The dash was covered in all sorts of switches, each of them crudely labelled in Chinese with white marker pen.


Yes, you did see right. The keys were in it. I started it up and… no, not really. When I find something like this I try not to touch anything, and record everything as it stands.

The rest of the village was bare and nature is starting to reclaim the land. The result being things like lampposts in the middle of fields.


After being chased out of the village by a pack of wild dogs I met a couple walking past who told me there was a bomb shelter in there from the war. The guy pointed in the general direction and told me to look out for an entrance with stairs going into the ground, so I went back in.


I couldn’t find the thing anywhere, and that’s not from lack of trying. I did find this massive wall, though. It seemed to be some kind of protective boundary wall by the looks of it. I wish I could have seen it when the village was still intact.


I looked in some of the doorways and went on top but all I could find was debris.


My last-ditch attempt at finding the bunker was scuppered by another pack of wild dogs and I was too tired to keep looking so called it a day.

About the author dave

I'm a web developer and photographer from the UK living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I shoot with a Canon 650D and a Ricoh GR.

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