Paris of The East Ghost City

The Top Abandoned Places to Visit in China

The lively tourist sites and stunning natural landscapes of China make exciting attractions for visitors.

However, there is another side to the country that is worth some exploration as well. China is notorious for constructing buildings that never get to see a single occupant, leaving them abandoned nearly as quickly as they were built.

And, even those places that had a chance to serve a purpose, they are left to crumble without much thought. Even though they aren’t in use, these abandoned places are still beautiful in their own way.

So, if you like a bit of exploration, here are some of the top abandoned places to visit in China.

Paris of The East Ghost City

Paris of The East Ghost City

Developers in China loved Paris so much that they decided to recreate the city in their own country.

Starting construction back in 2007, in the Zhejiang district, this gated community was meant to resemble Paris as closely as possible.

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There is a 354-foot replica of the infamous Eiffel Tower among other famous Paris landmarks. This “little Paris” was planned to hold 100,000 people and draw in local Chinese from the surrounding rural areas.

However, when the population was counted in 2007, it only reached 2,000 and had been dropping drastically since then.

Technically a ghost town, there is talk that people will eventually start to move in here again one day. Either way, seeing a faux European city in the middle of China is quite the sight!

Jing Jin Eco City

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Located about an hour from Beijing is a mini city that is both Chinese and European. The area is home to 3,000 villas, a hot springs resort, a five-star hotel, two colleges, a golf course, museum, entertainment facilities and a large vacant lot.

This city has all of the makings of a popular vacation destination, but the problem is, that no one is really there. The project began back in 2002 and was considered a satellite, eco-city that would be visited by wealthy executives.

While developers argued that it would take-off in time, it seems that no one was interested. Experts say that economic opportunities and infrastructure have fallen behind the process of property development, making it difficult to attract the residents that they needed. Occasionally a store will open up, but the few residents who do live in the city, say that they never last.

Ordos Ghost Town

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Ordos has been nicknamed the world’s largest ghost town as it was built to accommodate more than a million people.

Located in Inner Mongolia, this futuristic city has only seen occupants in 2% of its buildings. In fact, the construction of the town was abandoned before it ever was finished.

Since Inner Mongolia itself seemed like a great location for a mega city, no one thought that Ordos would fall so flat on its face. A whole lot went wrong, as bills weren’t paid, deadlines weren’t met, and investors started to pull out.

Because of all of these issues, the streets remained empty and entire buildings were just left, completely unfinished. Even the apartments that were fully completed were priced much too high for anyone to want to move in.

Rumor has it that people do move in now and then, but it doesn’t take them very long to move out. The word about this ghost town eventually got out to large media sites back in 2009, and many reporters from all over the world made the trip to capture this ghost town in action.

Gouqi Island Fishing Villages

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Part of the cluster of Shengsi Islands, just outside of Hangzhou Bay, the Gouqi Island is considered a piece of China’s largest archipelago.

While fishing used to be the primary industry here, other things like shipbuilding, ship repairs, and tourism have slowly come in to replace it.

Because of this, many of the fishing villages on the island have become abandoned. While not all of them have been properly preserved, the best ones still standing are on Gouqi.

Nature came in to reclaim the buildings here as everything is beautifully covered in moss and ivy.

The only people still living in the area are a few elderly residents who don’t want to leave their homes, but people who visit will typically only see the stunning remains of the villages as well as a few other tourists wandering around. If you love to take photographs, this island is the place to do it!

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Shannon Ullman

Hey! I'm a published American travel blogger and teacher. My travel writing has been featured on Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Matador Network and Thought Catalog. I spent over a year living and traveling around China while I taught English there. I have also visited dozens of other countries around the world.