Best time to visit China

Houtouwan in China

No one even noticed how this once prosperous fishermen's village turned into an eerie green abandoned place

Best time: all year round


Once upon the time Houtouwan, situated about 65 km from Shanghai, was an active compound, with around 2,000 fishers and their families living there. But in the early 1990s, the inability of a small bay to meet the growing fish industry demands made residents start their migration to the continent in pursuit of a better life. Step by step, almost every house became godforsaken, and only a few of residents obstinately continued to live there.

Houtouwan is a total photographer’s paradise. For several decades, forces of nature covered the colony with robust overgrown foliage. The decaying pieces of furniture and different household items are forever petrified precisely where they were placed before the villagers left.

Nevertheless, some residents who continued to live in Houtouwan have found a more profitable business than fishing. They now help an increasing stream of tourists to see the magnificent landscape.

The village may be visited all year round. The best time depends: it's summer for lush green vegetation and swimming season; but if you want to find the area truly abandoned, you need to go in the low season.

Practical info

When did Houtouwan become an abandoned village?

Houtouwan started becoming an empty village in the early 1990s, when the bay could no longer meet the fish industry demands. The population moved to other cities, leaving the houses behind. Some villagers chose to stay, and so a handful of houses remained. Today, Houtouwan is a ghostly abandoned village in China. Show more

Where is Houtouwan located?

Houtouwan is located in the Zhoushan Archipelago's southeastern part, which is in the Zhejiang province of China. It sits on Shengshan Island's easternmost part, which is 65 km away from Shanghai, China. Today, Houtouwan is an abandoned village covered by lush greenery, attracting tourists worldwide. Show more

What is the history of Houtouwan before it became abandoned?

Before becoming an abandoned village, Houtouwan was a thriving fishing village with about 2,000 people, including fishermen and their families. The village was prospering until the early 1990s when overfishing depleted the bay's resources, prompting residents to move to the mainland. Since then, the village has become a faded memory hidden in nature's bosom, with foliage taking over everything. Show more

What is the best time to visit Houtouwan?

The ideal time to visit Houtouwan depends on what you are looking for. Tourists who prefer luxuriant vegetation, green landscape, and swimming should visit Houtouwan during summer. If you want to experience the abandoned state of the village, visit during the low season. Houtouwan is ideal for sightseeing, and autumn (September to November) and spring (March to May) offer ideal weather conditions. Show more

Are there any activities or businesses available for tourists in Houtouwan, aside from sightseeing?

Houtouwan is mainly an abandoned village, but tourists can experience several activities and businesses aside from sightseeing. There are a few villagers who have adopted tourism to host a growing influx of tourists. They offer tourists fresh produce, farming products, and seafood. Houtouwan presents an ideal opportunity to sample the local cuisine while exploring the ghostly abandoned village. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin