Taitung White House 臺東阿伯小白屋
The Taitung White House is a strange-looking house built by hand by a former KMT soldier. It's a popular location and you can usually spot an Instagrammer or two here taking photos of the oddly shaped house, which reminds people of Howl's Moving House.
The Taitung White House began construction in 1966 by Li Wenchang (李文昌), who was an ROC soldier born in 1928 in Guangxi and moved with the ROC army to Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War. He built the house while he was still serving in the military. Originally the house was made of wood, then he added brick to the walls. After a local coast guard station was abandoned in 1970, he moved the materials from the coast guard station over to build his house into the four-story building we see today.
Mr. Li had a son who later went on to become an Architect, and urged him to move to Kaohsiung in his old age, but Mr. Li refused this offer.
In 2015 a nearby animal feed factory was torn down to make way for a hotel being built here, making the white house much more obvious to passersby.
Mr. Li still lived at the house and was a bit of a recluse but still agreed to interviews from the media. He rejected offers from others to purchase the property.
Mr. Li finally died in his home at the age of 89 in 2017.
For further background on the house, you can check out this blog by Josh Ellis.
As of the time of this article, the White House is still standing and there are no plans to sell it or tear it down that I am aware of. It is still a popular attraction in Taitung.
How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: Go south on Provincial Highway 11 until you reach Taitung City. The house is near the southeast corner of Taitung near the ocean on Zhengzheng Road.
By bus: From Taitung TRA station, take a bus to central Taitung. The house is about a 20-minute walk from any bus stop.
I have driven past the white house once. It is an oddity worth stopping next to if you are interested in weird houses. But you can't go inside, so you will probably only stay here for about five minutes.
View from the outside.
Side view of the four story house.
View of the side door.
Rebar coming out of the roof.
Open spaces on the roof.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more of our blogs on Taitung to come!
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