China’s mysterious overgrown ghost town

An abandoned village in China has become an unlikely tourist attraction after its overgrown appearance captured global attention.

Houtouwan on Shengshan Island, part of China’s Shengsi Archipelago, looks like something out of a fairytale. The former fishing village was officially depopulated in 2002.

The village was once a prosperous place and had more than 3,000 residents in the 1980s. However, people started to leave in the 90s due to its remote location.

In the years since, the empty houses in the cliffside location have been taken over by lush greenery, creating an enchanted effect.

When photos of the abandoned village went viral in 2015, Shengsi’s mysterious ghost town caught global attention.

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At the time, officials struggled to cope with the influx of tourists with one saying: “Our telephone lines are jammed and we are getting more tourists to Houtouwan.

“Houtouwan of Shengshan hasn’t been equipped with the conditions to open to tourists…we urge visitors to preserve its tranquillity for now.”

However, in 2017 the area started to prepare for tourists and a viewing platform opened offering a glimpse of the village.

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Tourists can also hike around Houtouwan but aren’t allowed to enter the empty houses as many of the structures aren’t secure.

In 2021, a whopping 90,000 tourists visited the village, creating a new tourist boom for Shengshan island.

The village is only around 40 miles from Shanghai, making it a popular weekend trip from the Chinese city.

The majority of tourists visit in summer as that’s when the views are most striking with the greenery in full bloom.

Abandoned villages have captured attention for years and a ghost town in Italy is one of the most popular spots.

If abandoned villages aren’t quite your style, why not visit the world’s most beautiful village or check out a gorgeous seaside town?

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