Houtouwan: The Overgrown Ghost Village!


A village located on the northern side of the Shengshan island, one of the Shengsi Islands, is a popular tourist spot, mainly called China’s very own Ghost-town. Shengsi Islands is a chain of more than 400 islands located on the eastern side of Shanghai, China. Rumours make rounds about the village being haunted, but are they true?

This ghost village is almost entirely covered by lush greenery making it look as if, from the beginning of its establishment, it was owned by nature itself. It lies on the top of cliffs and mountains overlooking the horizon adjacent to the sea.

If you are wondering, No! It wasn’t abandoned from the beginning itself. It resided over 2000 residents in the late 90’s.

What was it like when inhabited?

Houtouwan: The Overgrown Ghost Village!

There were around 2,000 fishermen inhabiting Houtouwan. It was popularly known as The Fishing Village, since the time of its establishment. All that is left of it and all that was in existence before, during the times when there were kids singing and dancing with joy in its narrow lanes and people celebrating their culture and life in humongous temples, is what we hear stories about.

Houtouwan was established in the 1950’s. It was abandoned by its people in the 1990’s.

Why people abandoned it – the real reason

Houtouwan: The Overgrown Ghost Village!
Michael Freeman Photography

Is Houtouwan a haunted village?

Fishing, being the primary source of income and a base of livelihood for people here, was affected by competition and resulted in the loss of fishing stocks. Other problems namely, the village being remotely located, difficult to access, poor communication and absence of modernized facilities, lead people to give up and leave it for the good. They later apparently settled in the nearby towns.

Why is it covered by plants?

Although the ghost village has been abandoned just for two decades, it looks like it has been swallowed by plants. Almost every house built on that land has been engulfed by the creepers. Lush greenery is something that has resulted due to its residents abandoning it and the presence of a good misty atmosphere all throughout the region located by the sea.

How do you get to Houtouwan?

Houtouwan: The Overgrown Ghost Village!

It surely isn’t a straightforward ride, but this truly is one of the best places to visit in China. Commutes are to take a ferry ride from Shanghai to Shengshan or Gouqi islands. Gouqi is connected to shengshan via a bridge. The morning ferry ride mostly takes 90 minutes whereas the boat takes around four hours to reach. After reaching Shengshan, take a local taxi to Houtouwan and you are good to go.

Houtouwan has become a tourist hotspot in the recent five-six years, since the release of its mesmerizing pictures has stunned the people. Summer is the best time to visit this ghost town as the vegetation is in full bloom. 

So, what are you waiting for? Add the ghost village to your travel bucket list right away!!!

If you liked reading this, you will love: Centuripe: The Italian Village That Looks Like A Person Chilling Out


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