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This Giant Cave In China Has 100 People Living Inside, A Basketball
Court And Even Had A School. Zhongdong village in Guizhou
Province, China, is believed to be the countrys only inhabited, yearround settlement located inside a naturally occurring cave. At 1800
meters (almost 6000 ft) above sea level, the cave can only be
accessed by a one hour hike, and because of such inaccessibility,
the community struggles to survive. To make matters worse, the
government stated that China is not a society of cavemen and
closed the village school in 2008. Now the children must trek by foot
for two hours every morning and evening to attend another school.
In order to improve the livelihoods of villagers, elders have been
trying to lobby the local government to build them a road linking the
cave to existing infrastructure, but while Zhongdong has access to
television and the occasional newspaper, the village still remains
largely disconnected from the outside world.
UPDATE: After a discussion with a Chinese person some additional
information emerged. With growing media attention the site gained
tourist attraction and now has a road, linking it to the outside world.
Also, as time went by, more and more locals relocated to other
areas (as per the governments request), however the majority
stayed. Also, the students were sent away to live and study at
another school in a different area but most visit their families on
weekends and during holiday seasons. It is believed to be the last
year-round settlement inside a cave in China

In a remote Miao village in the Guizhou province of southwest China,

a small community of villagers refused houses that the government
offered them, and decided to continue living in caves in the
mountains of Anshun. The Miao ethnic minority group has lived here
for centuries and has developed a quasi-tribal society and built
roofless houses, schools and a basketball court inside the 230meter-long, 115-meter-wide and 50-meter-high cave. The
inhabitants use the water falling from the rock and grow wheat in
the hills near the quarry.

Inside this cave theres a village with about 100 people

At 1800 meters (almost 6000 ft) above sea level, the cave can only
be accessed by a one hour hike

The cave is conveniently warm in winter, cool in summer and dry all
year long. To take in enough sunshine, light and fresh air, most of
the houses squeeze along the entry of the cave. Benches, beds and
dining tables are the prominent decorations. One peculiar thing here
is that each house is marked with a door number and separated by
bamboo fences. Considering the moderate size and good neighbor
relationships, both are more a token than a necessity.

In China they became famous after a China Daily articles of 2007, which depicted
them as modern troglodytes. Other articles claimed they were the last tribe who
lived in a cave in Asia (but thats not true.) Since 2007, when the community
counted about a hundred members, the cave is now inhabited by only 18. Most of
the people left the village in search for money and job opportunities, and the
remaining group now has to build a water reservoir to solve the issue of water

Rambling around, you can hear the occasional cow mowing which
resonate within the cave like a helicopter. Villagers weave the
fabrics, grind the rice, cultivate rice and raise pigs or cows.

Each week, they will buy necessities in the market which is 15 km

away, on foot. Although living in the hills, far away from the urban
environment, the group is not completely isolated from the rest of
the world. Each week, they will buy necessities in the market which
is 15km away, on foot.

This cave shelters not only Miao villagers, livestock but also a
school,built in 1984, the only one of its kind in the world. During its
heydays, over 200 students studied here. In 2010, Zhongdong
School was shut down and all the students are transferred to a
school nearby and these classrooms, together with basketball field
and tennis (Ping Pong) tables, are left deserted.It even had a school
until Chinas government said China is not a society of cavemen
and closed it in 2008.

They even have a basketball court

They have television and use the telecommunication signal of the quarry. Their
children have books and, every once in a while, somebody brings newspapers
and magazines.

In 2003, Hurank Bode, an American, visited Zhongdong Miao Village.

Overwhelmed by their plight, he denoted over 100,000RMB to build
the electricity wire for them. Since then, nights in this cave is not
engulfed by darkness anymore. To improve these villagers life, he
dropped by three times later and gave each family the needy funds
to purchase livestock. The peculiar life in Zhongdong Miao Village
The village elders have been trying to lobby local government to
built them a road linking the cave to existing infrastructure.
Currently, it is a hours walk through mountain passes to the nearest
road. The elders are insistent that if a road is built, it would
drastically improve the standard of living for those at Zhong Dong.
Crippled by inaccessibility, the farming community of Zhong Dong
find it difficult to transport their sellable good to market. The
children could be driven to school on motorbike taxis, instead of
walking for 2 hours every morning and again every evening. The
adults would enjoy improved job prospects. The whole community
would benefit from the laying of a road, far more than they would
have from the poorly-planned and unwanted housing project, had
the local officials only listened to those they govern.