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Xi'an's Cave Houses

Beiyuanmen Snacks Street, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
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Xi'an's Disappearing Cave Houses  Xi'an  China

Xi'an's Disappearing Cave Houses

After spending time in Xi'an's city center, we ventured out to a remote rural village. Many of the locals still lived in man-made cave houses ("yáodòng"), which contrasted from the sleek homes and cramped apartments we saw in major Chinese cities. The villagers were kind enough to let us into their homes; this is a photo of a couple's stove.

Most of these homes don't have electricity or running water, which serves as a reminder of the stark differences between rural and urban life in China.

We were lucky to find people still living in the village. Many villagers, fearing earthquakes, have abandoned the yáodòngs; and recently, the Xi'an local government has initiated demolition projects to "modernize" the area.