The Haunting Beauty of Forgotten Landscapes

By Jack Ripley | March 19, 2024

Bodie, California

Get ready to embark on an extraordinary journey into the world of forgotten civilizations and eerie relics frozen in time. Abandoned ghost towns, scattered across the globe, beckon intrepid adventurers to unravel their mysterious histories. From the hauntingly enchanting Okpo Land in South Korea to the enigmatic Gunkanjima Island in Japan, and the submerged secrets of Villa Epecuén in Argentina, we've unearthed some of the most fascinating, strange, and off-the-beaten-path destinations for those with a penchant for both world travel and the thrill of abandoned places.

Prepare to be captivated by the allure of these forgotten realms as we unveil the stories, specters, and serenity that lie within. If you're as intrigued as we are by the allure of these abandoned gems, read on and discover the secrets they hold. Your passport to the peculiar awaits!

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If you are a ghost town enthusiast, California is your playground. Thanks to the boom and bust of the Gold Rush years, the state has countless abandoned communities to explore. The height of Bodie's activity lasted less than a decade, but during that time almost 10,000 residents were busy producing 38 million dollars in gold. It was well known for saloons and brothels, and vigilante justice was common. Bodie's fate was sealed when the Gold Rush years ended, but it has new life as a popular National Park destination. 

Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong

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(atlas obscura)

The last ghost town on this list went from being the most densely populated city on earth to being totally abandoned. At the height of its population Kowloon had 50,000 inhabitants on a mere 6.5 acres of land. Kowloon was a twisting, multilayered, disorganized, homegrown settlement that arose from refugees seeking governmental protection after World War II. By staying in the bounds of the ancient Walled City, inhabitants felt more secure and had access to protection. In spite of efforts to tear it down, residents continued to return. Finally, in 1994, Hong Kong officials demolished the city.