Tucked away in a narrow alley in a small town in south Kaohsiung, Anle Lou 林園安樂樓, is one of Kaohsiung’s most popular Instagram and photography easy ruin, “urbex” spots.
Originally a restaurant, it was built in 1931 by Lin Shouyi 林壽益. Its original name was Fenghua Restaurant and Hotel 風華大酒家、大酒店. It was the most famous restaurant in Linyuan, hosting many of Linyuan’s businessmen and elite. In the early 1940s, the restaurant was taken over by the Japanese military and became a club for Japanese officers. It was also used by many kamikaze pilots as the place that they went to have a night out before flying out on what could be their last mission.
After the war, it was made into a restaurant again and was successful for a time hosting many local people. However, all good things must come to an end and the restaurant closed and reopened a few times, but then closed for good. The building was forgotten and left to ruin as Linyuan was built up around it.
But then it was used as a filming location in a Taiwanese TV Drama called A Touch of Green 一把青 and regained some fame. Then, of course, Instagram came along and many IGers (myself included) came to check it out and get a photo on the now-famous staircase.
The lower and upper floors have rooms where people ate, drank and probably had fun.
There’s lots of information on Anle Lou in Chinese here, here and here for example. However, I haven’t seen any information about it in English so I figured I would write up a little bit about it and get some out there for everyone.
Linyuan 林園 is a small, but pretty active town with a lively old street 老街, a nicely restored police station 頂林仔邊警察官吏派出所, and a nearby mountain to explore 清水巖風景區. So if you go to Linyuan don’t forget to stop by Anle Lou 安樂樓 and say hi!