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Dublin: 21 °C Tuesday 22 July, 2014

In pics: Tour the streets of China’s most famous ghost city

Kangbashi saw a property price crash last year – but construction is still going on there as much of the city’s luxury properties lie empty.

The stunning museum at the town of Kangbashi in Inner Mongolia.
The stunning museum at the town of Kangbashi in Inner Mongolia.
Image: Chaloos via Flickr/Creative Commons

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 €893 a square foot in 2006 to €382 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.

In pics: Tour the streets of China’s most famous ghost city
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  • Kangbashi: Luxury ghost town

    From above, Kangbashi is beautiful. There are almost no cars in the city execpt for those parked around the government centre (ringed, left). (Image: GeoEye/Forensic Asia Limited).
  • Kangbashi: Luxury ghost town

    The streets, while well planned, are almost completely empty. (Image: screenshot via AlJazeeraEnglish/Youtube)
  • Kangbashi: Luxury ghost town

    Even so, the infrastructure is state of the art. No traffic here either. (Image: screenshot via AlJazeeraEnglish/Youtube)
  • Kangbashi: Luxury ghost town

    This is Kangbashi's main square. It is filled with monuments and cultural centres, but no people. (Image: Chaloos/Flickr)
  • Kangbashi: Luxury ghost town

    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. (Image: Chaloos/Flickr)
  • Kangbashi: Luxury ghost town

    A giant teapot sculpture outside the museum. (Image: screenshot via AlJazeeraEnglish/Youtube)
  • Kangbashi: Luxury ghost town

    Nearby is the library, another architectural marvel. (Image: Chaloos/Flickr)
  • Kangbashi: Luxury ghost town

    The opera house reportedly opens for just two concerts a year, according to Al Jazeera English. (Image: Chaloos/Flickr)
  • Kangbashi: Luxury ghost town

    The square has several massive sculptures. (Image: Chaloos/Flickr)
  • Kangbashi: Luxury ghost town

    This monument is dedicated to Genghis Khan. (Image: Chaloos/Flickr)
  • Kangbashi: Luxury ghost town

    There are a few cars parked outside this building. People are slowly starting to trickle into the city, but it's still very quiet. (Image: Chaloos/Flickr)
  • Kangbashi: Luxury ghost town

    Construction continues apace. China recently announced that it would build 20 cities a year for the next 20 years. (Image: screenshot via AlJazeeraEnglish/Youtube)
  • Kangbashi: Luxury ghost town

    The city blueprints call for housing to hold a million people but estimates put the current population around 30,000. (Image: screenshot via AlJazeeraEnglish/Youtube)
  • Kangbashi: Luxury ghost town

    Some luxury homes are completed, and ready for residents. (Image: screenshot via AlJazeeraEnglish/Youtube)
  • Kangbashi: Luxury ghost town

    Some luxury homes are completed and ready for residents. (Image: screenshot via AlJazeeraEnglish/Youtube)

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