San Zhi UFO houses are destroyed! (三芝飛碟屋 拆毁)

San Zhi

Most of you are probably wondering…

“What the hell are Sanzhi UFO houses?!”

… Well, take a second to read this Wikipedia excerpt and find out:

The UFO houses were constructed beginning in 1978. They were intended as a vacation resort in a part of the northern coast adjacent to Danshui, and were marketed towards U.S. military officers coming from their East Asian postings. However, the project was abandoned in 1980 due to investment losses and several car accidents death during construction, which is said to have been caused by the unfortuitous act of bisecting the Chinese dragon sculpture located near the resort gates for widening the road to the buildings. Other stories indicated that the site was the former burial ground for Dutch soldiers.

I first heard of them when I was reading a article entitled “The 6 Creepiest Places on Earth” (it’s quite humorous, you should read it!). Seeing a place in Taiwan (just a day trip away from me) rated #2 creepiest place on earth definitely caught my interest.

San Zhi is located near Danshui (the last stop for the MRT) in the northern part of Taipei County. The pod houses (or UFO houses) were located right on the coast of the northern tip of Taiwan. I had planned to visit the site before I left Taiwan, and I finally did on March 27th. There is some news circulating (mostly written in Mandarin Chinese) on the net about whether they are destroyed or not. Mostly just from a news site and some forums; however, none of them have any definite answers or pictures to support that the pod houses were destroyed. So I am writing this to let you know, that none of the pod buildings exist anymore.

My friend, Dave, and I got off the bus from Danshui, walked past a wall graffiti of Che Guevara and then to the gas station which is located beside the site where the pod houses existed until early 2009. Climbed over a wall next to the gas station and to our dismay, it was a flat plot of land bordering the coast. We weren’t surprised though, because the bus driver had told us they were taken down, and I had a bad feeling that they were from the rumors online. We walked towards the beach, anyway and I saw pieces of the FRP (fiber-reinforced plastic) built pod walls. This building material is definitely not suited for something built at a location so vulnerable to high winds and monsoon seasons in Taiwan. It’s no wonder they were in heavy decay and very instable at the time of their destruction. The buildings in the west were green, in the east pink, in the south blue, and in the north white.

Most of the FRP pieces are small, however we did find one very large piece at the end of the beach (far from the actual site).

EDIT: I found a picture on Flickr from Cypherone of the razed area in March 2009. The Remains in 2009

There may be a museum in the actual downtown of San Zhi about them – or at least some more historical information – but I highly doubt it. We just took the bus back after a quick word with some local beachcombers about the structures.

So, it is with great sadness, I have to say that I was just 1 year late in viewing these very strange and awesome structures. It was still worthwhile to visit though! I am very grateful for all of the toursists and locals who visited the pods before their destruction and took beautiful HDR photographs with their expensive Nikon cameras (much better than my Canon, haha). I read somewhere online, from someone who visited, that it was like ‘walking on another world’ at San Zhi. I hope you enjoy the awesome pictures as much as I do:

By Noelas

Flickr Sets

I have scoured the web for any information on the late San Zhi pod structures and compiled the most useful links here (many of them have great pictures):
Official News Report: (click on English Version) – great pictures
UFO house past lives
[En Español] – very nice pictures:
[En Español] –

Funny photoshops of the pods:

Here are 7 Abandoned Architectural Wonders of Modern Asia (#3 is San Zhi) by

And for more urban decay, derelict buildings, and awesome feats of mankind, here’s a forum thread dedicated to it:

Farewell, strange pod structures.

@ The Daily Bubble Tea – Hahahaha, Oh well. As I wrote though, it was still worth the trip. And now the internet has some extra pictures for any people not sure. Thanks for linking my blog! 🙂


~ by flerick on April 5, 2010.

21 Responses to “San Zhi UFO houses are destroyed! (三芝飛碟屋 拆毁)”

  1. […] Asia announces to readers that the Sanzhi UFO houses have been destroyed.  You should have emailed me and asked if they were still there, I could have saved you the […]

  2. UFOs or no UFOs… So long as you had a good time that’s all that matters!


    Actually, there was something on the internet about those houses. I should know; I posted it!

  4. @Todd: Yes, Indeed! 🙂

    @Jenna: Oh, good to know! Google didn’t let me find you though =[ Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  5. Maybe because I called them “pod houses” instead of “UFO houses”…whatever. They were still cool and it’s a shame that they’re gone. I’d actually been there years ago and they really were as creepy in real life as they seemed.

  6. I’m finally at the acceptance stage of grief that I didn’t get a chance to see them while they were there.

  7. Hahahaha yes, me too.

  8. […] San Zhi UFO houses are destroyed! (三芝飛碟屋 拆毁) […]

  9. That’s sad. Thay would have to make this a good location, or a kind of theme park. But no, they prefer the easier way of destruction…

    I am beginning to worry for the destiny of the japanese island of Hajima…

  10. It is sad to know that these strang buildings along with its haunted stories will no longer be. Even though i doubt i’ll ever visit this place myself, but it was very interesting reading about it. Thanx for letting me know of the building standing or not.


    Cheers ^^

  11. how come there aren’t much info on the web about the “accidents” concerning the place?

    • My guess is there really isn’t any solid evidence that the accidents occurred. Who knows for sure, but right now it stands as a fascinating myth.

  12. COOL!

  13. from what i’ve ever been able to gather regarding the accidents it’s that the company that had been building this destroyed all records that had anything to do with the site. because of this there are no records of the accidents, the builders or the architect even.

  14. Just learned about the San Zhi resort recently and was doing some research about it when I came upon this article. Has some good pics and links to others, but upon more research I have one big question. This article, and others I have found, state that this resort was demolished in late ’08 / early ’09. But upon doing a Google Earth satelite search of the site with updated 2013 images, it is still shown as being there. So question being, does it still exist? And was not demolished as claimed? There are many conflicting articles about the state of these pods/buildings/resorts, some saying they are gone, others say they still exist. I am simply trying to find the truth, any help with info would be appreciated. Thanks.

  15. Hi Chad,

    They are indeed gone. The pictures in the middle of the article are ones that I personally took after taking a trip up to San Zhi (with hopes of finding the structures still intact). That was in early 2010, I believe. Google Maps is just not updated since they were torn down.

    The pictures I took show wall pieces of the pods, but there were no actual structures left at that time.

    • Thanks much for the info. They look like they would have been really fun to visit and urban explore. Guess I’ll just have to explore them thru your links and pictures.
      Don’t think I will be very trusting of Google Maps anymore either, since they were torn down in ’09, and the Satelite images I found showing them have a image copyright of 2013.

  16. Thank you so much! I have an AP World History project and I chose to do abandoned places. You provided me with great links that Google didn’t give me! Thank you x10!

  17. […] Nos informa @otonashi_saya de que la ciudad abandonada de San Zhi, en Taiwan, fue demolida en 2009. Una pena para los amantes de los rincones abandonados, aunque siempre se recordará como uno de […]

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