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Gouqi Island is an Abandoned Green Paradise East of China

In the mouth of the Yangtze River lies an incredible example of Mother Nature reclaiming what was hers. On the island Gouqi, (one of 394 islands that make up the cluster known as Shengsi) photographer Jane Qing took breathtaking pictures of a green paradise: Houtou Wan Village.

This village was once a thriving fishing settlement until the small bay couldn’t support the ever-increasing number of fishing boats. In only a few decades, the village has turned into an abandoned paradise with green ivy swallowing every former home.

Gouqi Island: one of the best-preserved fishing villages in Shengsi

Half a century ago the fishing industry in the area began to dwindle and the island gave way to many alternative businesses: ship building and repair, light industry, service industry and tourism replaced fishing as Gouqi’s prime moneymakers. The fishing population left the village, leaving behind this ghost town. With its lush greens and intriguing back story, it’s no wonder the island has become a hotspot for tourists. In fact, these days tourists are what keep the former fishing village from being hauntingly empty.

Taming the wild beauty of nature

On Gouqi Island nature reclaimed the abandoned remains of the population. In Shanghai, designer Dalong takes the opposite approach. With his team he scours former construction sites and landscaping projects to reclaim wood he uses to create products. While nature has the power to reclaim an entire village, Dalong and his Youxi team make a smaller impact by using unwanted camphor wood for his work. But his creations are no less impressive.

The peace of Gouqi Island and Mauritius Island at your fingertips

Houtou Wan Village has become a tourist attraction because of the calm and beauty nature now provides the island. But an island doesn’t need to be reclaimed to be a natural green paradise. On Mauritius Island, designer Julie Pang fashions stunning jewelry from the elements nature gives her. Raw stones, sea shells and even sea-urchin spikes. Under the name Okra Handmade she shows off her all-natural beauty and invites us to adorn ourselves with nature.

Originally published at on November 3, 2015.

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