When I was in Zhuhai, I saw a strange villa compound as my bus was driving along the seaside. It really looked in a pretty bad shape: the name of the residential unit was half broken, no guard was present at the main entrance, and the colours on the walls of the villas were washed out.
So I went back to explore this place. Looking for more background online, I found out that it was an abandoned compound of luxury villas called « The Rosary », built in the 1990s but forbidden to be placed on the real-estate market because it seems that the former developer died in a car crash before the legal rights were transferred to him. Therefore, it is said that this place would have a « bad feng shui »1. In the compound, only four villas had property rights, belonging to a Chinese bank, but the remaining 80% buildings were still without certificate. Ironically, the people renting one of the Chinese bank’s buildings were… a real-estate company!
An unfinished villa compound, abandoned for more than 17 years
There is a problem with the right to buy and sell these villas because the Zhuhai city government forbid the completion of this residential compound. The compound was never finished, and the already built villas cannot legally be inhabited yet, exactly like the Olympic villas in Beijing. That is why the inhabitants of Zhuhai call this place « ghost villa » (鬼墅).
However, some people were present in the compound when I went there. First of all, a few employees of the management company still lived there. Secondly, some people still used the houses as their workplace. Finally, other people who looked like young students told me they came here « to play » (玩儿), I could not understand what they were playing at, but it did not look very catholic…
Chinese/European-style ghost villas
The architectural style of these villas is quite heavy, with fake European-style collumn and Western-style balconies.
The rest of the equipments were not even built: instead of a clubhouse, there was still a wasteland…