Fairy Water: the village and the Guest House


Welcoming session at the Guest House.

Fairy Water Village and the Guest House.


Graphs from HKU.

The social situation in Fairy Water Village is a typical phenomenon in China’s rural villages. People have moved out of the rural village in search for jobs in the cities (they often live in urban villages). The ones left behind are children and old people, resulting in the social phenomenon called ‘village without a heart’.

Living conditions in the village, during house visit with families in the village.

Ma Guest House is located inside fairly water village and grew to its current size over a period of 300 years. Built initially as a family house, the Guest House during the Cultural Revolution was redistributed to all villagers who then started living in the building since then. Until now, there are still 3 households who stay inside the Guest House. Villagers who have a bit of money have moved out of the Guest House to build new houses near other places in the village.


The total floor area of the Guest House is around 2,450 m2. The entire building spread along the central lobby, including 15 lobbies, 330 rooms and 24 light wells. At its peak, there were more than 300 people living in the Guest House at one time.