Gone Green: Vacant 50 Years, Chinese Village Conquered by Ivy

green town

Nestled in the hills on a remote island at the mouth of the Yangtze River in China and full of rich foliage, one could imagine this small fishing hamlet to be an idyllic place, at least for nature if not for people – it has been abandoned by humans now for nearly half a century.

green town in mist

green platform balcony stairs

Ivy has become the dominant and defining feature of both the natural and built environments of this place, slowly but surely creeping over sidewalks and streets, up walls and roofs, and ultimately taking over the town.

green town deserted buildings

In some cases, collapsed portions of structures have made it all the more easy for the greenery to work its way over the sides of buildings and into their empty floors.

green overgrown alleyway path

Set on Gouqi Island, one of hundreds of small islands in the area, the Houtou Wan Village was a victim of changing times and circumstances, a combination of urbanization and depleted fish populations that drove its inhabitants to seek work elsewhere.

green window glass

Today, it is enjoyed only by visitors who seek it out explicitly, like photographer Jane Qing, chartering boats to travel to its shores and document the decay as well as the rebirth the place is now home to in its second life.