BY: JESSICA BEUKER
Gouqi Island, located in the mouth of the Yangtze River, is one of the 18 inhabitable islands of the nearly 400 in the Shengsi archipelago. The islands are surrounded by vast blue sea, golden beaches, deep caves and tall cliffs, and boast a subtropical climate. Traditionally, the islands have relied on their fishing industry—the largest in China—for their economic prosperity. These days, however, the economic base has shifted towards a multitude of other things, including shipbuilding, lighting production, tourism and service industries, as major contributors of local economic output, according to Amusing Planet. The adverse effect of this newfound economic diversity is the abandonment of many fishing villages.
Gouqi Island is home to some of the best-preserved villages, but one village in particular is harboring a new kind of life. This vacant fishing village, with its well-kept homes and little dirt roads, is being completely swallowed by nature.
When many people think about China they think of overpopulation and industrialization; pictures of smog-ridden, hyper-crowded, litter-filled streets often come to mind. But China was once a place with hundreds of tiny rural villages and quaint communities. Most of these villages are now abandoned, but life still fights its way in. Gouqi Island is a beautiful green oasis, and proof of what happens when humans leave nature to do its thing.