February 2, 2010

Anping Tree House Discovery

A house was occupied by a giant banyan tree which formed a unique fairytale look and also mysterious scenery in the north side of Anping, Tainan. It’s hard to describe how it looks unless you go to see it for yourself. However, it can be described as-“There are walls in the trees, and there are trees in the walls”!

Located next to the British Tait & Co. Merchant House (英商德記洋行), the Anping Tree Houses (安平樹屋) used to be a warehouse of Tait’s. Tait & Co. was one of the British Trading Company branches established in Taiwan in 1867. This beautiful western Colonial style architecture has a totally distinct look from the traditional Anping houses. Now, it is a wax museum showing the immigrants’ life in Taiwan’s history.

Right next to the Tait & Co, the elegant Chinese calligraphy exhibition can be seen in the house of a famous calligraphist, Mr. Chu, Jeou-Yin.

Because the warehouse was abandoned for many years, a giant banyan tree has occupied the warehouse. The banyan aerial roots and trunks became part of the house. For over 200 years, the brick walls in the house were faded and collapsed. The growing roots and trunks took over the walls, windows, doors and ground. I really could not tell which parts are the house’, and which parts are the trees’.

According to the Taiwan’ folklore, banyan aerial roots represents negative energies. Local residents stayed away from this warehouse because they believed there were strong negative energies within. For many years, this place was known as the “Haunted House”, and become a mystery place for the local residents!

This creepy feeling finally ended in 2004. The government built a display center around the tree house to introduce the tree house history and the ecological environment of the surrounding area.

The trails and stairs were built around and inside the tree house. We walked inside the ancient trees and learned about the natural environment. Climbing up the second floor, an amazing look of the tree can also be seen. We rest on the bench and enjoyed the cool breeze under the most natural shade.

Now the tree house provides a learning experience for all age groups. There were a group of school kids on a fieldtrip while we were there.

It’s good to see that Anping Tree House is no longer being scary. It has successfully transformed the creepy image to a natural and educational art work in Anping! Read More

10 comments:

Rafael Lam said...

The Anping Tree House is fantastic nature scene,
remind me a place in Cambodia, the trees are growing around the stones!

micki and kristen said...

That must be the Ta Prohm Temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I have not been there, but have seen lots of pictures of the Temple. Wish to go there somedays!

1ondoncalling said...

那老榕樹的生命力好強哦!
就連殘壁也不放過。
不知道為甚麼榕樹總是讓我聯想到古印度。

Re: Love Story Double Bill / 爱情故事双部曲 / Double Bill Kisah Cinta / 恋物語の二本立て

I find it extremely hard to enjoy the opera if you can't understand the story. Hmm... It's a bit of shame because it fails to attract more young people to take over the century old "business".

Zhu said...

What a unique place!

On a side note, the calligraphy looks beautiful.

micki and kristen said...

To londoncaller- I was searching the info online, and found out that the widest banyan tree (Great Banyan) in the world is found in India, is about 200-250 years old.

To Zhu- I really like that calligraphy as well, very elegant!

shloke said...

Impressive! Definitely look creepy to me...especially during nighttime. Glad to know that it has been transformed into an ecological and educational place.

Cheers!
mylo

micki and kristen said...

To Mylo- Hum.. I could image too during the nighttime before it was transformed~~

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

When I saw the first photo, I thought it was taken at the Ta Prohm ruins in Cambodia. Any rumors of ghosts around there?

1ondoncalling said...

250 years old is not that old.

In California, there's type of redwood called Sequiou (Can't remember how to it...)
They're like living legends! Most of them are more than 500 years old! Some even exceed 1,000 years old!
I first came across them from National Geographic. ;-)

micki and kristen said...

To Nomadic Pinoy- It does give you a bit Ta Prohm feeling, doesn't it? :) This empty tree house was known as the "Haunted House" before it was transformed to an ecological place. I did not feel creepy while we were there in November~~

To Londoncaller- ha! The Great Banyan tree is found in India is the widest tress in the world, not the oldest :)~~ I am sure there are plenty ancient trees around, such as the ones you mentioned in CA is about 500-1000 years old :)

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