Some 40 miles east of Shanghai sits Houtouwan, a once-thriving fishing village. Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, while the Cultural Revolution raged elsewhere in China, Houtouwan was home to prosperous fishermen who built courtyard houses atop dramatic cliffs overlooking the sea. But as China's economy grew in the ’80s, competition from commercial fishing as well as better opportunities on the mainland led Houtouwan’s residents — all 3,000 of them — to abandon their homes. Creeping vegetation quickly took over, creating an eerie site now visited only by curious day-trippers.JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images THE BACK BAY JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images THE ONES WHO STAYED
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