Ghost Towns – Ordos, China



Ordos is one of the twelve major subdivisions of Inner Mongolia, China. It is located within the Ordos Loop of the Yellow River. Although mainly rural, Ordos is administered as a prefecture-level city. The administrative seat is at Dongsheng. The city is one of the biggest ghost towns in the world.



Built to home over a million people, this town still remains empty five years on….


The Kangbashi district began as a public-works project in Ordos, a wealthy  coal-mining town in Inner Mongolia. The area is filled with office towers,  administrative centers, government buildings, museums, theaters and sports  fields—not to mention acre on acre of subdivisions overflowing with middle-class  duplexes and bungalows. The only problem: the district was originally designed  to house, support and entertain 1 million people, yet hardly anyone lives there.


Though many of the properties in Kangbashi have been sold and a million people  were projected to be living in Kangbashi by 2010, the city is still empty today.

The story started about 20 years ago, with the beginning of a great Mongolian coal rush.

Private mining companies poured into the green Inner Mongolian steppe lands, pock-marking the landscape with enormous opencast holes in the ground, or tunnelling underground.

Local farmers sold their land to the miners, and became instantly rich. Jobs burgeoned. Ceaseless coal truck convoys tore up the roads.

And the old city of Ordos flourished as the money flowed in.

The municipality decided to think big, too.

It laid out plans for a huge new town for hundreds of thousands of residents, with Genghis Khan Plaza at the centre of it.