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Photo: Recent residents of “cave houses” in China

Many young people leave the caves for work, but most often return to the family. To favorites Photo by The New York Times In the Chinese mountain province of Guizhou, cave villages are still preserved - their ancestors' ancestors hid in the mountains from armed raiders, built houses there and arranged everyday life. They stayed in the caves and after China was united under the rule of the Communists. Zhong, one of the last inhabited caves in China, is connected to the outside world only by a pedestrian mountain trail, along which it takes about an hour to get to the road. However, in the last 20 years this place has lost much in its isolation - all because of the tourists who make their way to the cave to see the settlement with their own eyes. Local residents wrapped the flow of tourists to their advantage - they produce handicrafts for sale and even rent out rooms in their houses built of wood and bamboo. Villagers keep cattle - mostly chickens and cows. Children study in boarding school, returning home only on weekends. Photo by The New York Times Local authorities want the residents of the cave to move to a village nearby, built especially for them almost 10 years ago. Each resident was offered 60,000 yuan (about 9.5 thousand dollars) for relocation, but only five families agreed. Another 18 families decided to stay. According to them, the new houses are too small. In addition, they are afraid of losing access to their land and believe that they, because of their historical connection with the cave, should have the right to independently control their small tourist economy. Photo by The New York Times In the 80s, authorities visited the cave with checks to observe the policy of "one family - one child." The measure was deeply unpopular among the villagers whose children work together with their parents in the fields and take care of the cattle. Violators of the rule were often taken to forced abortions and sterilization. The biggest change in the history of the cave was the appearance of electricity, conducted here only in 2002. This issue was decided not by the Chinese government, but by American businessman Frank Beddor Jr. He first visited the cave of Zhong in the early 2000s and returned a few more times, donating tens of thousands of dollars to ease the lives of the villagers. Young people sometimes leave the village for work, but many eventually return to their families. Photo by The New York Times
Many young people leave the caves for work, but most often return to the family.
To favorites
Photo by The New York Times
the lives of the villagers.
Young people sometimes leave the village for work, but many eventually return to their families.
Many young people leave the caves for work, but most often return to the family.

In the Chinese mountain province of Guizhou, cave villages are still preserved – their ancestors’ ancestors hid in the mountains from armed raiders, built houses there and arranged everyday life. They stayed in the caves and after China was united under the rule of the Communists.

Zhong, one of the last inhabited caves in China, is connected to the outside world only by a pedestrian mountain trail, along which it takes about an hour to get to the road. However, in the last 20 years this place has lost much in its isolation – all because of the tourists who make their way to the cave to see the settlement with their own eyes.

Local residents wrapped the flow of tourists to their advantage – they produce handicrafts for sale and even rent out rooms in their houses built of wood and bamboo.

Villagers keep cattle – mostly chickens and cows. Children study in boarding school, returning home only on weekends.

Photo by The New York Times
Photo by The New York Times
Local authorities want the residents of the cave to move to a village nearby, built especially for them almost 10 years ago. Each resident was offered 60,000 yuan (about 9.5 thousand dollars) for relocation, but only five families agreed.

Another 18 families decided to stay. According to them, the new houses are too small. In addition, they are afraid of losing access to their land and believe that they, because of their historical connection with the cave, should have the right to independently control their small tourist economy.

Photo by The New York Times
Photo by The New York Times
In the 80s, authorities visited the cave with checks to observe the policy of “one family – one child.” The measure was deeply unpopular among the villagers whose children work together with their parents in the fields and take care of the cattle. Violators of the rule were often taken to forced abortions and sterilization.

The biggest change in the history of the cave was the appearance of electricity, conducted here only in 2002. This issue was decided not by the Chinese government, but by American businessman Frank Beddor Jr. He first visited the cave of Zhong in the early 2000s and returned a few more times, donating tens of thousands of dollars to ease the lives of the villagers.

Young people sometimes leave the village for work, but many eventually return to their families.

Photo by The New York Times
Photo by The New York Times
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