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  • The most fascinating ghost towns in Asia

    Dhanushkodi, photo by -Chandra- on Flickr

    Ghost towns with creaking saloon doors and the occasional tumbleweed are interesting relics of the American wild west, but ghost towns can be creepy, unsettling and completely fascinating wherever they are. The thing about ghost towns is that they mostly manage to fool you by looking like they are still inhabitable, and yet there is no other soul in sight except you, or some other travelers in search of new experiences.

    Asia’s ghost towns are particularly intriguing, even if some of them have never even had any inhabitants. All of these places have some interesting and often morbid story to tell, and all of them will make a shiver go down your spine. Here are some of the most fascinating ghost towns in Asia.

    Sanzhi UFO Houses, New Taipei City, Taiwan

    The Sanzhi pod house village look like a ghost town from the distant future, and a far cry from a ‘traditional’ ghost city like the ones found in great numbers in the US. Sanzhi was supposed to be a vacation resort, but the the site was abandoned in the 80’s due to a lack of funding, before being completed. Local legends haven’t been slow to appear: the site was supposedly a former burial ground, or that the project somehow managed to anger some spirits that proceeded to kill construction workers.

    Mardai, Mongolia

    Ashio, photo by yamakidoms on Flickr

    Mardai is a very dreary place, but it sounds like it wasn’t much better back in the day when people lived there. The town was short lived, and its purpose was to house workers from the nearby uranium mine discovered by the Soviets.

    The mining operations stopped when the Soviet Union fell, and the town was abandoned. Locals scavenged what they could, and now Mardai is an empty and rather creepy shell.

    Hampi, Karnataka, India

    Hampi is the kind of ghost town that every archaeologist dreams of discovering, and where history buffs probably wouldn’t mind living for a few days. Hampi is very old, and its origins can be traced back to the first century AD. It’s a wonder that the town is as well preserved as it is, so naturally it has a great architectural and historical significance. There are several amazing temples in town, and many of them attract lots of worshipers and visitors.

    Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu, India

    Hampi, photo by Footprint Books on Flickr

    Before 1964, Dhanushkodi was the perfect little tropical beach town, with dozens of hotels, shops and some interesting religious sites, located on the only land border between India and Sri Lanka.

    But the geographical location of the town proved to be its unmaking in 1964, when a huge storm, complete with 10 meter tidal waves hit Dhanushkodi. A passenger train was wiped off its tracks and all the buildings in town were marooned. Many pilgrims as well as curious tourists still visit the ghost town.

    Ashio Dozan, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

    Once in the past, Ashio was one of  the most technologically advanced towns in Asia, and the first to have a hydroelectric power plant, or a telephone network. Ashio collapsed when workers from the copper mine revolted in the early 20th century, not only because of their miserable wages but also because Ashio’s various industries were horribly polluting.

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