5 abandoned places in Asia for brave travellers

#3 is infamously haunted!

Ho Thuy Thien
  • Cheong Kamei
  • September 2019

Venture to these deserted spots, if you dare.

1. Hashima Island, Nagasaki

Hashima Island
Hashima Island was the inspiration for the villain’s lair in the James Bond film Skyfall.

For almost 100 years from 1887, Hashima Island powered Japan’s industrial age thanks to its rich coal deposits. Schools, gaming houses and living developments were built and at its peak in the mid-1950s, the booming mining town was the world’s most densely populated area. The coal would eventually run out, the mines would be closed and the island completely abandoned by 1975. Up till 2009, the island was closed to visitors but today, tour groups brave the choppy waters to learn about its history.

2. Ho Thuy Tien, Hue

Ho Thuy Thien
Climb the staircase that leads to the mouth of the dragon for an unobstructed view of the park.

Despite costing over SGD$4 million to build, this water park never became the sensation it had hoped to be. Ironically, it was only after the business failed that it gained legendary status. Today, visiting the attraction is somewhat of a badge of honour for adventurous travellers. Take your time to explore the empty water slides and massive amphitheatre — it’s a surreal experience reminiscent of a post-apocalyptic world.

3. Bedugul Taman Rekreasi Hotel & Resort, Bali

Bedugul Taman Rekreasi Hotel & Resort
Bedugul Taman Rekreasi Hotel & Resort is shrouded in stories of ghosts and demons including rumours that the spirits of workers who died during the construction of this hotel haunt the corridors.

The luxurious resort overlooking rice fields, forests and Mount Agung never opened to the public, and “Ghost Palace Hotel” (as it is commonly known) has remained deserted for over a decade. Today, the marble floors are covered with moss and the massive structure is overgrown with vines and weeds, and it has become a coveted off-the-beaten-track attraction for urban explorers in Bali.

4. Airplane graveyard, Bangkok

Airplane graveyard, Bangkok
If you’re heading to the airplane graveyard, take note that three families now live in the aircrafts and might ask you for an “entrance fee”.

Right in the heart of the city on the edge of Ramkhamhaeng Road is a field of derelict planes including a Boeing 747. How they got there in the first place is still a mystery even though the most common theory is that they belong to a rich Thai businessman who has been selling the parts over the years for scrap metal.

5. Bokor Hill Station, Kampot

Bokor Hill Station
Bokor Hill Station opened in 1925 after nine months of intense labour that resulted in the deaths of almost 1,000 Cambodian workers.

Perched atop Bokor Mountain, spending a day out at Bokor Hill Station will shed light on why its geography played such a significant role in its rich, dark history. French colonists built a resort there as a reprieve from Phnom Penh’s heat and humidity. When the country gained independence from France, Cambodian elite moved in for the same reasons. Ultimately, its remote location, high vantage point and proximity to Vietnam made it one of the last strongholds of the Khmer Rouge.