The Chinese village reclaimed by nature: houses abandoned 30 years ago hidden under the blanket of foliage

The Chinese village reclaimed by nature: remote island homes abandoned 30 years ago are nowadays hidden under the blanket of foliage

  • The village of Houtouwan, once the richest fishing villages on the island of Shengsi, is now abandoned after fishermen have left
  • It is one of the nearly 400 islands that form the Shengsi Islands that lie east of the Chinese coastal province of Zhejiang
  • Now flooded with wildlife and greenery, the mystical island has acquired a fairytale appearance and attracts tourists
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A small village on a Chinese island in the Pacific Ocean, less than three miles wide, has returned to a state of natural wilderness after villagers left their homes and landed about thirty years ago.

The village of Houtouwan, once the richest fishing village on the island of Shengsi in Zhejiang province in eastern China, was completely abandoned at the beginning of the 21st century, mainly for economic reasons.

Fishermen who once inhabited the village left when they discovered it was more lucrative to live and work on the mainland rather than the remote and difficult to access island.

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Other villagers started to leave the island for a simpler life in the 90s, many wanted better education for their children or medical treatment.

In the 1980s the village had a population of around 3,000, but in 2002 the village was officially depopulated and merged with a neighboring village.

Now flooded with wildlife and greenery, the mystical island has a fairytale feel and attracts thousands of adventurous tourists.

An aerial view of the village of Houtouwan, Shengsi province, Zhoushan city, Zhejiang province in East China

An aerial view of the village of Houtouwan, Shengsi province, Zhoushan city, Zhejiang province in East China

Green spreads like a blanket over the houses, now abandoned. A double story flat block can be seen covered with foliage in an end of the world style that takes on nature

Green spreads like a blanket over the houses, now abandoned. A double story flat block can be seen covered with foliage in an end of the world style that takes on nature

Green spreads like a blanket over the houses, now abandoned. A double story flat block can be seen covered with foliage in an end of the world style that takes on nature

Some properties have prevented them from being completely camouflaged by the plants, either because of their positioning, or perhaps sporadic maintenance of their owners
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Some properties have prevented them from being completely camouflaged by the plants, either because of their positioning, or perhaps sporadic maintenance of their owners

Some properties have prevented them from being completely camouflaged by the plants, either because of their positioning, or perhaps sporadic maintenance of their owners

One roof can be seen free from the ivy - it shows signs of life. A paved staircase can be flooded with greenery

One roof can be seen free from the ivy - it shows signs of life. A paved staircase can be flooded with greenery

One roof can be seen free from the ivy – it shows signs of life. A paved staircase can be flooded with greenery

Location: Shengsi Islands - consisting of nearly 400 islands - are located east of Zhejiang Province in China, just hours from Hangzhou Bay

Location: Shengsi Islands - consisting of nearly 400 islands - are located east of Zhejiang Province in China, just hours from Hangzhou Bay

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Location: Shengsi Islands – consisting of nearly 400 islands – are located east of Zhejiang Province in China, just hours from Hangzhou Bay

Hilly terrain combined with a green covering gives a mystical appearance because hints of the man made are enclosed by nature

Hilly terrain combined with a green covering gives a mystical appearance because hints of the man made are enclosed by nature

Hilly terrain combined with a green covering gives a mystical appearance because hints of the man made are enclosed by nature

View of houses covered with creeper in Houtouwan village, Shengsi county, Zhoushan city, Zhejiang province, East China

View of houses covered with creeper in Houtouwan village, Shengsi county, Zhoushan city, Zhejiang province, East China

View of houses covered with creeper in Houtouwan village, Shengsi county, Zhoushan city, Zhejiang province, East China

Every day, hundreds of tourists visit Houtouwan, who find their way along narrow footpaths past dilapidated houses overtaken by vegetation
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Every day, hundreds of tourists visit Houtouwan, who find their way along narrow footpaths past dilapidated houses overtaken by vegetation

Every day, hundreds of tourists visit Houtouwan, who find their way along narrow footpaths past dilapidated houses overtaken by vegetation

Known as the Chinese ghost fishing village of Houtouwan, nature is swallowed up in the absence of humans

Known as the Chinese ghost fishing village of Houtouwan, nature is swallowed up in the absence of humans

Known as the Chinese ghost fishing village of Houtouwan, nature is swallowed up in the absence of humans

Gypsum crumbles in the dirt, while plants thrive in the free environment of people, who slowly reclaim the space

Gypsum crumbles in the dirt, while plants thrive in the free environment of people, who slowly reclaim the space

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Gypsum crumbles in the dirt, while plants thrive in the free environment of people, who slowly reclaim the space

The seaside town by the sea is now a traveling must-see, visited by tourists from all over the world

The seaside town by the sea is now a traveling must-see, visited by tourists from all over the world

The seaside town by the sea is now a traveling must-see, visited by tourists from all over the world

. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) news (t) china

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