Go inside the abandoned Chinese village that nature is taking back one house at a time

Houtouwan Chinese village

Damir Sagolj/Reuters

After abandonment, nature has begun to reclaim the village.

Nearly fifty years ago, more than 2,000 people called this bucolic Chinese village home.

Now, only a handful remain.

Houtouwan clings to the lush green coastline of a tiny island in the Zhousan archipelago at the mouth of the Yangtze River in China. Half a century ago, it was a busy regional center and a port of call to a sizable fishing fleet.
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But as was the case with so many agricultural communities in China, the lightning speed of the country's modernization has left Houtouwan a virtual ghost town.

The photos below, taken by Damir Sagolj for Reuters, show how the force of nature has retaken this village in a matter of decades - and turned into a tourist attraction.