The Chinese village reclaimed by nature: Remote island homes abandoned 30 years ago are today hidden beneath blanket of foliage
- Houtouwan village, once the richest fishing villages in Shengsi island, is now deserted after fishermen left
- It is one of almost 400 islands forming the Shengsi Islands which lie east of China’s coastal Zhejiang province
- Now overrun with wildlife and greenery the mystical island has taken on a fairy-tale feel, attracting tourists
A tiny village on a Chinese island in the pacific ocean, less than three miles wide, has returned to a state of natural wilderness after villagers abandoned their homes and land around 30 years ago.
Houtouwan village, once the richest fishing village in Shengsi island in east China’s Zhejiang province was totally abandoned at the beginning of 21st century due mostly due to economic reasons.
Fishermen who once inhabited the village moved away once they discovered it was more lucrative to live and work on the mainland rather than the remote and difficult to access island.
Other villagers began leaving the island for an easier life in the 90s, many wanting a better education for their children or medical treatment.
In the 1980s the village boasted a population of around 3,000 inhabitants, but by 2002 the village was officially depopulated and was merged with a neighbouring village.
Now overrun with wildlife and greenery the mystical island has taken on a fairy-tale feel, attracting adventurous tourists in their thousands.
An aerial view of Houtouwan village, Shengsi county, Zhoushan city, east China’s Zhejiang province
Greenery spreads like a blanket over the homes, now deserted. A double story flat block can be seen coated in foliage in an end of the world style nature take over
Some properties have avoided being entirely camouflaged by the plants, either because of their positioning, or perhaps sporadic maintenance from their owners
One roof top can be seen free of the ivy – showing signs of life. A cobbled staircase can be seen engulfed by the greenery
Location: Shengsi Islands – made up of nearly 400 islands – are located east of China’s Zhejiang province just hours from Hangzhou Bay
Hilly terrain paired with a green covering gives a mystical appearance as hints of the man made are enclosed by nature
View of houses covered with creeper at Houtouwan village, Shengsi county, Zhoushan city, east China’s Zhejiang province
Every day hundreds of tourists visit Houtouwan, making their way on narrow footpaths past tumbledown houses overtaken by vegetation
Known as China’s ghost fishing village Houtouwan has been swallowed by nature in the absence of man
Plaster crumbles into the dirt while plants thrive in the people free environment, once again slowly claiming the space back
The coastal seaside town has now become a travel must-see, visited by tourists from around the world