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.