Found just off the coast east of Shanghai, the Houtouwan (后头湾) village on the northern side of Shengshan Island (嵊山岛) used to be populated by 2,000 fishermen. However in the 1990s, the majority of them were forced to give up their houses and re-locate to other places. Houtouwan could well be one of the most verdant and strikingly green village worldwide, as practically every building is slowly being reclaimed by nature with ivy and other lush vegetation.
Also called ‘The Lost Village,’ photographer Joe Nafis has captured an strangely wonderful aspect of the village. He has beautifully caught the exceptional allure of the deserted fishing village of Houtouwan using his drone. From above, it is possible to fully understand the extent of the foliage carpeting the walls, roofs, and openings.
“Using the drone to explore the village first was a good idea as the paths were not well maintained and overgrown,” Nafis explained. “Some of the buildings were in tatters, while others looked like they were going through a remodel. It was all very strange. On the Sunday there were a few tourists, about ten to fifteen, and then on Monday we were the only people in the village other than the three to four that still lived there.”
Although the village is still inhabited by only a small number of people, almost all of the areas have become permanently inaccessible, creating a mystic charm that reminds one of a fairy tale location.
all images by Joe Nafis