travel . Guide

Explore These Forgotten Places In Asia

Off the beaten path

Places that are left to their own devices are often reclaimed by nature and turn out to be some of the most interesting spots to visit. It certainly beats a story about seeing a typical tourist attraction. What makes ruins and abandoned places so fascinating? Read on — you might be inspired to chase after your own adventure.

Houtou Wan Village, China

This village east of Shanghai can only be described as verdant, with thick, trailing layers of ivy growing over the buildings long left behind by its residents in the early 1990s for ironically, greener pastures, to better access education, utilities, and other conveniences. Once home to thousands of fishermen, this village now survives with a handful of residents that cater to tourists who visit this remarkable place.

Mandu, India

Ghost towns are often portrayed as creepy, eerie places where things go bump in the night, but back in its prime, Mandu was an enchanting place known as the City of Joy. It is an important example of Afghan architecture, and supposedly celebrated the love between Baz Bahadur and his consort, Rani Roopmati, who remain integral characters in local folklore.

Kayakoy, Turkey

Unlike Mandu, Kayakoy is a modern ruin deserted in the 1920s for political reasons. Also known as Levissi, where the Greeks and Turks used to live side by side, approximately 350 homes sit deserted and mostly roofless, nestled against the Taurus Mountains. It is now one of the biggest tourist destinations for the nearby Fethiye and surrounding resorts, with UNESCO naming it a world friendship and peace village.

Hashima Island, Japan

Hashima Island sits nine miles from the city of Nagasaki, a monument to Japan’s rapid industrialisation, having functioned as a coal facility from 1887 to 1974. However, once petroleum became the more popular choice of fuel, the mines were shut down and the island was abandoned. The island was named a UNESCO World Heritage Historical Site in 2015 and now receives regular visitors through tours.

Naypyidaw, Myanmar

Although not technically abandoned, there are few traces of human life in this city, earning it the moniker "The Ghost Town" among the locals. The city was secretly built by the ruling Junta in the early 2000s as the new capital of Myanmar, boasting 20-lane highways as well as being four times the size of London. It may be lonesome, but at least there’s no chance of hotel rooms being overbooked!

Love visiting spooky places? Check out these haunted spots in the region.