A Tour Of China's Most Famous 'Ghost City'

ordos kangbashi

Photo: Chaloos at www.flickr.com

Construction on Kangbashi, a grand city on the outskirts of Ordos in Inner Mongolia, started in 2004.Intended to hold a million residents, less than 30,000 live there today, according to the Daily Mail. High home prices are often blamed for keeping prospective buyers away from the city. But when home prices crashed there late last year—from $1,100 a square foot in 2006 to $470 a square foot in December 2011—people started to think Kangbashi was a lost cause.

When Al Jazeera English visited Kangbashi last September, it saw that construction was ongoing despite the fact that few people were moving in. The station noted that while many of the city’s luxury properties have been sold, they sit empty—perhaps because they’re a relatively safe place for people to keep their money.

Flickr user Chaloos traveled to Kangbashi in 2010 and said that when he went, “it was pretty much a ghost town.” Resident have started to trickle in, but not nearly enough to fill the vacant homes. He was kind enough to share some photos with us.

From above, Kangbashi is beautiful. There are almost no cars in the city except for those parked around the government centre (left).

The streets, while well planned, are almost completely empty.

Even so the infrastructure is state-of-the-art. No traffic here.

This is Kangbashi's main square. It is filled with monuments and cultural centres, but no people.

The Ordos Museum, designed by Chinese architecture firm MAD, is truly a work of art. It was completed in 2011 but reportedly is still empty.

A giant teapot sculpture outside the museum.

Nearby is the library, another architectural marvel.

The opera house reportedly opens for just two concerts a year, according to Al Jazeera English.

The square has several massive sculptures.

This monument is dedicated to Genghis Khan.

You can see another Genghis Khan memorial in the distance.

More grand buildings on the main square of Kangbashi.

There are a few cars parked outside this building. People are slowly starting to trickle into the city, but it's still very quiet.

Construction continues apace. China recently announced that it would build 20 cities a year for the next 20 years.

Workers on a project in Kangbashi.

The city blueprints call for housing to hold a million people, but estimates put the current population around 30,000.

Some luxury homes are completed, and ready for residents.

But they sit empty, often bought as investments for people looking to shelter their money somewhere safe.

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