When I was younger, I always dreamed of having a treehouse to call my own. There were plenty of trees at my favorite neighborhood park, and my ten year-old mind couldn’t understand why it wasn’t acceptable to take one of them captive and create a fort where I could hide away on a hot summer’s day, or read books & do homework in on a cool fall afternoon.
Tainan was the next stop on our Taiwan Adventure, and one of the highlights for me was spending an afternoon at Anping Tree House.
A Bit of Tree History:
Taiwan was at one time a hub of foreign trade, until the Japanese took over and removed all foreign trading in 1911. Tait & Co. was one of the five main trading firms located in Tainan, and the main merchant house building eventually became the offices for the Tainan Salt Works. It is now a museum that offers visitors a look into early Taiwanese life, including exhibitions on early Taiwanese settlers, and the lifestyles of various people groups in the country.
Next to the merchant house museum is the main attraction – the treehouse. Abandoned for hundreds of years, the Tait & Co. warehouse was eventually overrun by a Banyan Tree. The branches and roots of the tree made the warehouse their home, and the walls have become worn and faded.
According to folklore, the aerial roots of the banyan tree give off negative energy, and for many years, locals stayed far away from the warehouse because it was said to be haunted. In 2004, things changed when the government opened the warehouse as a project of the National Anping Harbor Historic Park.
Our Anping Treehouse Experience:
Walking through the Anping Treehouse was a surreal experience. Not only was it interesting to see this piece of Taiwanese history, but seeing how the tree so effortlessly worked its way through this building was amazing. There were parts of the treehouse where it was hard to tell what was the warehouse and what was the tree – it all seemed to blend together in a creepy and fantastic way. I’m not sure how much the government did to the building to make it safe and accessible for the public, but I feel like they did a great job of maintaining the natural feel of it all.
We didn’t realize that our ticket included admission to the Tait & Co. museum, but still enjoyed walking through the abandoned building and taking pictures. Along with the warehouse, there is also a small cafe and gift shop where you can buy things related to the treehouse along with other knickknacks from around Taiwan.
Check out our video below to see more!
Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Price: 50 NTD per person; Free entrance for Tainan Citizens with a verified ID