1. November 2017. “There should be a temple or something down here!” said Amy, her finger running across the little map we’d picked up from the hotel. We’d just finished checking out Nanyang Bridge on the outskirts of Sixi Town and hadn’t realized there was something else of note nearby. Hidden away from the main road down a wild country trail, we initially thought it was closed when we saw the padlocked gate.
2. November 2017. As it turned out, the open lock could easily be lifted and the rusty iron bar simply slid to one side, gaining us access. Walking into the walled complex, it quickly became clear that the place had fallen into a terrible state of disrepair and was all but abandoned.
3. November 2017. It was very difficult to find any information on the place, both locally and online. All we know is that it was once home to the wealthy and influential Bao family, who were renowned throughout Taishun County.
4. November 2017. Despite being overgrown in parts and with plenty of dead bushes and dried up flowers, the garden is nevertheless a place of ethereal beauty. Some of the plants that do still thrive are mind-boggling, such as this bizarre skeletal thing that looks like it might have been crafted from card in an art class.
5. November 2017. The actual interior is a total mess. This courtyard was perhaps the most photogenic of all the rooms, most of which were filled with litter, rotting furniture, broken pots, shattered glass and sheets of fallen leaves.
Check out my other articles from around Taishun County.
For more on the region, have a look at My 5s from around Zhejiang Province.
Like these? Then why not leaf through my many other 5s from all across China.
I’ve also written a short story series called Challenged in China.