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Houtouwan (Chinese: 后头湾; pinyin: Hòutóuwān) is an abandoned fishing village on the northern side of Shengshan Island (Chinese: 嵊山岛; pinyin: Shèngshān dǎo), one of the Shengsi Islands, a chain of 400 islands located 40 miles east of Shanghai, China.[1][2][3]

Houtouwan at dusk, December 2018

The village was once home to more than 2,000 fishermen among other residents, but was abandoned in the early 1990s. Today the village is home to only a handful of people, yet is a popular tourist attraction.[4] Reasons for the near total abandonment of the village include problems with education and food delivery. Since its abandonment, greenery has overtaken what was once a bustling village.[5]


  1. "Abandoned Chinese village swallowed by vines".
  2. "The Abandoned Fishing Village of Shengshan Island - Urban Ghosts". Urban Ghosts Media. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
  3. 谢梦洁, ed. (26 June 2018). 嵊泗网红景点“绿野仙踪”后头湾村正式对外营业 [Shengsi's Internet-Famous Sightseeing Spot "Green Heaven" Houtouwan Village Officially Opens for Business]. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  4. Taylor, Alan. "The Abandoned Fishing Village of Houtouwan". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
  5. "Abandoned 'ghost village' in China becomes overgrown". BBC News. Retrieved 8 June 2018.

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