There’s something about the controlled chaos of nature reclaiming the land that is awe inspiring. Maybe it’s the way that structures, presumed to last indefinitely, can so quickly find themselves overgrown and subsumed as some sort of allegory of human development and hubris.
Or maybe it’s nothing like that at all, and nature reclaiming the land is simply really cool looking.
Whatever the reason for this fascination, the Anping Treehouse (安平樹屋) in Tainan, Taiwan is staggering. The largest warehouse of its time in the Anping district of Tainan, the building was formerly used in the export of sugar and camphor before becoming the office and warehouse of the Japan Salt Company during Japan’s occupation of Taiwan.
Now, the warehouse is largely a series of masonry wall shells enclosing—and being enclosed by—the searching and strangling roots of a massive banyan tree. The tree, whose roots fall from its branches looking for further purchase as it grows, sidle throughout the building forming webs blocking doors, veins running along walls, and massive tentacles lying above and across the building’s collapsed ceiling.
Throughout the treehouse runs a skywalk, which allows visitors to walk up a story through the collapsed roof and see the entirety of the building and how the tree has grown to so fully engulf it. Though a somewhat popular destination with other tourists, the treehouse still has enough vibes to make you feel like you’re delving deep into the jungle…even if the ticket office and a main road are less than a five minute walk away.
Entrance to the treehouse costs 50TWD (roughly $1.60 USD); note you can also buy a multi-ticket that allows entrance into a number of other historic sites in both Tainan, including Anping Fort, and the Chihkan Tower.