The Awesome Village of UFO Houses, Taiwan

Attention please, I have a request. I need all your spare change – and the name of someone who knows how to dispel evil spirits. Why? Because the top of my list of things to do in Taipei on my recent trip was visiting what’s known as the Wanli UFO village, a group of 15+ abandoned 1960s homes, some of which look like UFOs, and now I’ve seen them, I’d rather like to live in one. But to do that I need big bucks – and maybe a small exorcism.

Let me explain…

Taipei is home to a village of abandoned UFO Houses. Here's the story and how to get there.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which mean I earn a small commission if you use them to book. This does not cost you any extra.

UFOs, UFOs Everywhere

Frankly, exploring things that look like UFO’s isn’t always on my holiday list (well, except that time I went to Roswell and that small trip I took to the middle of Nevada) but when I heard about an abandoned village of spaceship houses just a short drive from Taipei City I was intrigued.

I mean come on, why wouldn’t you want to see these things – look at them.

They look like they could take off and whisk you to another galaxy any second. And, if they don’t, no matter, as these particular homes also have a prime beachfront position and a sea view. I’d happily kick back on my space porch and chill if I had to stay in the same spot.

It’s paradise.

Well, if paradise had a spooky, abandoned, ‘honey. let’s just grab the kids and get out of here NOW’ kind of vibe.

Yep, that’s right – I mentioned that the houses were abandoned. UNDERSTATEMENT.

This place literally looks like one day, the whole village upped and left in seconds. There’s still furniture in some of the houses, curtains on the windows – some even still have TVs, video recorders, bedding and clothes.

It’s like whoever was living there ran screaming for the hills.

Just outside is Wanli UFO village where you'll find a heap of abandoned UFO houses.
One of the most unique things to see in Taipei is the UFO Houses. Here's where to find them.
Inside of one of the Venturo Houses close to Taipei. One of a village of UFO Houses in Taiwan.

Why is There a Village of Abandoned UFO Houses in Taiwan?

Now, there is a mystery. The homes are officially known as Futuro Houses and, according to the team at The Futuro House, a site that explores all things Futuro, there’s no official explanation.

There are however a couple of theories. One is that the ground the houses are built on was the burial ground of a few thousand Dutch soldiers leading superstitious locals to fear their spirits, another that a large dragon at the front of the site was damaged during construction which doomed the site to bad luck.

Add to this a few unexplained deaths in and around the site and it was enough for people to up and leave.

A short bus ride from Taipei is this village of UFO houses - add it to your list of things to do in Taipei

The little I know about Taiwanese culture means that sounds totally feasible – but, the same story is also told about another group of futuristic houses that were also built close to Taipei in Tamsui.

Known as the Sanzhi UFO Houses or the Sanzhi Pod Village, these two-storey pod-like houses were built as potential holiday homes aiming at American serviceman in the region, but after a series of spooky car accidents in the area, just like at Wanli everyone up and left and in 2008 the village was knocked down and redeveloped into a theme park (slightly weird choice for somewhere with potential ghost issues but we’ll go with it). Check out this post if you want to see pictures of the Sanzhi UFO Houses – they looked amazing.

Which development had the curse I don’t know, but the upshot is – the Wanli houses were abandoned some time in the 1980s, but unlike Sanzhi, no-one got round to knocking them down.

What Type of Cool Houses Are at Wanli?

The most eye-catching are the Futuro homes, the ones that look like UFOs.

Designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, around 100 of these homes were made in the 1960s and 70s.

Originally designed as ski chalets, the fact that they were easy to transport and just as easy to put together means they were soon springing up outside of the Finnish ski fields – Australia, USA and other parts of Europe all saw their own Futuro homes appear.

However, people often didn’t like how modern they looked and some places even banned them as eyesores. That, combined with the sudden rise in the price of plastic caused by the oil crisis mean production of the homes stopped in the 1970s and they’re now incredibly rare.

Which is what makes the UFO houses in Taiwan so amazing. There’s so many, in one place, with no-one officially living in them. I literally walked round muttering ‘How? Why? And will the bank give me a mortgage if I don’t mention the possible curse thing?’

Futuro Houses were created in the 1960s. There aren't many left in the world, but just outside Taipei is a whole village that's just been abandoned.

Nestled alongside the UFO houses are around 5-6 slightly less iconic, but still amazingly cool homes in a second design by the same architect known as the Venturo House.

Again, there are very few of these left in the world – and yet, there’s a group of them here just sitting there. Empty.

The whole place completely blew my mind.

Taipei is home to a village of adandoned Futuro and Venturo Houses - and it's amazing. Definitely one of the unusual things to see in Taipei

For a group of abandoned homes, they are remarkably well preserved – probably because they are made of plastic which stands up to the sea air better than say, wood or plasterboard might.

There’s also minimal signs of human damage – a couple of the doors have been wrenched off and some of the windows have gone but there’s no obvious graffiti or wilful damage that you might find in another country. Whether that’s just because it’s not in the Taiwanese culture to treat things without respect, or is to do with fear of spooky repercussions I don’t know but it does make for an incredible hour or two exploring.

Is it Safe to Explore the UFO Village?

It seemed pretty safe to me.

I’m scared of way more things than is good for me – and my fear of breaking rules means that as fascinating as I find abandoned buildings, most of the time exploring them is off limits as I won’t enter anywhere that’s roped or fenced off – or where it looks like I might fall through the floor!

None of those things applied at the UFO Village – at least the day we went.

The road is completely open and unfenced so you aren’t trespassing walking around the site.

The houses seem structurally sound although you should wear closed-toed shoes as there is some broken glass and exposed metal. Obviously, you still need to be super careful where you tread – just because a floor looks solid doesn’t mean it is!

A Venturo home in the Wanli UFO Village - one of the UFO Houses in Taiwan close to Taipei

Most of houses are open and you can wander in and out of them – however, increasingly people are moving back into the homes and obviously, you shouldn’t wander around any that look occupied.

It’s pretty clear which are which – the occupied ones have clean curtains, closed doors (well, actually often just doors) and even toys on the balconies – not to mention cars or boats parked outside.

When we were there, about 10am on a Saturday morning, we had the whole place to ourselves. We wandered upstairs, through doors, into kitchens and took roughly 200 photos! Can you say trip highlight?

Abandoned UFO House in the UFO Village in Wanli, Taiwan. Close to Taipei it should definitely be on your list of things to do in Taipei

How to Get to the Wanli UFO Village

For an abandoned destination it’s actually pretty easy to reach! You just jump on a bus.

Specifically, the 1815 bus from the Kuo-Kuang bus station next to Taipei Main Station.

This is also the bus that goes to Yehliu Geopark (where you’ll find heaps of cool rock formations) and there’s a large sign saying this at the stop so it’s easy to spot if you’re in the right place.

The bus takes about an hour to get to the stop you need. On Google maps, it’s called Green Bay, but on the bus it will actually say it’s stopping at Feicui Beach which confused us slightly.

The journey costs NTD$88 and you can use your Easycard.

Once you get off the bus head towards the large hotel complex, that looks a bit like a castle, on your left (see below).

Follow the road that leads to this round around and you’ll soon see your first house on your right. Don’t climb up into the bushes, if you keep walking you’ll find a path that winds through the whole place.

If you want to visit Wanli UFO Village, look for the hotel that looks like a castle next to it

It’s all clearly marked on google maps. The easiest reference point is the Howard Green Bay Resort Hotel.

Need a Sim Card in Taipei – I book mine through Klook. Click here to find out more and order

Is There Anything Else Nearby?

There’s a small temple but it’s not that exciting. The beach is pretty but in the direct vicinity frankly, the big draw is the houses.

Yehliu Geopark is, however, only about 40 minutes away by bus, so you can combine the two.

This was our original plan but be warned; because we went to the UFO village on a Saturday, by the time we’d finished exploring it was close to lunchtime and all the buses to Yehliu were coming past full and wouldn’t stop for us.

This might not be the case in the week, but if you do want to visit both, you might find it easier to grab an Uber to take you up to the Geopark – it’s only a 10-minute drive by car.

There were a couple around the day of our visit but by the time we realised what was happening with the buses, we were hot and fed up and just headed back to town.

To get back to Taipei, simply go back the way you came and the bus stop to town is on the other side of the road.

Looking for some other quirky things to do in Taipei – check out our full list here.

So, while a village of abandoned houses that look like UFO’s might not have been on your ‘Taipei must see’ list – if you’ve got time to spend a morning out of the city I’d suggest adding it. It’s one of the most unique places I have ever been. See it soon before someone buys the land – or the homes. Or send me the cash, so I can buy them and I’ll let you come visit.

Once the exorcist has been anyway.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which mean I earn a small commission if you use them to book. This does not cost you any extra.

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Just a short bus ride from Taipei, Taiwan is an abandoned village of UFO style Futuro Houses. Here's how to find it if you're planning a trip to Taipei and are looking for something a different thing to add to your list of things to do in Taipei. Click to read it now or save it to your Taipei or Taiwan board for later. #taipei #futurohouses #architecture #thingstodointaipei #taiwan

7 Comments

  1. Lyn @ A Hole in my Shoe

    I never saw these in Taiwan, but there was a UFO house in a Perth suburb we would pass regularly growing up in the 70’s.

    Reply
  2. Margarita

    OMG! This is such a cool spot!!! Abandoned future – what an unusual concept.

    We have a UFO spot in Australia as well. It’s called Wycliffe Well – the UFO capital of Australia, though it would be out of its league next to this place :). It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere, between Alica Springs and Darwin, near the Devil’s Marbles.

    Reply
  3. Lyn aka The Travelling Lindfields

    ‘Like this post’ – I love it. I so wish I had known about this place when we went to Taipei years ago. Like you I am a great fan of abandoned buildings and anything even vaguely connected with UFOs. I am pretty sure I have seen one of these houses somewhere in our travels but I couldn’t tell you where it was. I am not even sure of the country, although I have a feeling it was somewhere in Australia.

    Reply
  4. Paula Morgan

    How much did you just want to start fixing one of these cute little places up and claiming it as your new home! Very Jetsonesque, I just need a flying car to go with it. Fab find Helen.

    Reply
  5. sue

    Definitely putting this on my list for the next time I am in Taipei. And, the geopark, too. Loved these houses and your post.

    Reply
  6. Bree

    one word….WOW

    Reply
  7. Alison

    These are incredible! A friend recently visited them and posted some photos on Facebook. I think they’re fantastic and I’d love to live in one! Maybe not these actual houses, but a replica. 😉

    Reply

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