Published on Wednesday, 19 August 2015 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
Eventually everything goes back to the Earth, like the abandoned Chinese village of Houtou Wan, and the result is a mystical place that will take your breath away and make you wonder if magical beings reside there.
Within a span of 50 years, the abandoned village has become a beautiful secret garden with its buldings completely covered in lush foliage. The Houtou Wan village is located on one of the 394 Shengsi Islands of China's Yangtze River. It used to be a thriving fishing town a few decades ago but it was gradually abandoned as the number of fishing vessels outgrew the size of the bay and the population was forced to relocate.
Almost all of the villagers left Houtou Wan in the last half century for greener pastures, without realizing that their former village will become one of the greenest pastures man has ever laid eyes on. Mother Nature worked her magic in oliterating all signs of human occupation and turned it into a whimsical paradise.
Today, thick and luscious ivy covers nearly every inch of the many buildings in Houtou. This secret garden village's rustic charm is attracting more and more tourists every day, with hundreds flocking in to marvel at the dilapidated, crumbling houses blanketed with lush vegetation.
Not all the villagers left Houtou 50 years ago. A few chose to stay behind with their families and live their lives out in the charming little village. One of the few that remains today is 59-year-old Sun Ayue, a former fishman, who lives alone in a moss-covered house with no electricity or running water. A couple of elderly residents continue to return too, like Xu Yueding and his wife Tang Yaxue, who left the village over 20 years ago. They visit their old home every day, welcoming in tourists and selling them bottled water, which is just about the only souvenir you can buy in the village.
Remember to stop by this picturesque village if you find yourself in China.