Photos: City dwellers in China turn to rural commune for a simpler life

China's teeming megacities have drawn hundreds of millions of people from rural villages and small towns in search of jobs and wealth, but some people are moving in the opposite direction. Set up inlate 2015, the isolated AnotherCommunity at a village called Guanzhong is providing people a chance to start a new life centered on sustainability and organic farming.  It is now opening to the public for a four-month trial. Since mid-October, over 20 potential residents - fromformer computer programmers to online English teachers and freelancevideographers - have signed up to join the community.

Updated On Dec 30, 2019 03:14 PM IST 14 Photos
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Chen Yan looks up as she paints on a hill during sunset at AnotherCommunity in Guanzhong village, Fuzhou, Fujian province, China. The community was set by Tang Guanhua, 30, and his wife, Xing Zhen, 35, in late 2015. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Chen Yan looks up as she paints on a hill during sunset at AnotherCommunity in Guanzhong village, Fuzhou, Fujian province, China. The community was set by Tang Guanhua, 30, and his wife, Xing Zhen, 35, in late 2015. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Updated on Dec 30, 2019 03:14 PM IST
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Yang Zhaoyu and Chen Yan meditate in the early morning inside a dome shaped house on a hill at AnotherCommunity. Yang Zhaoyu quit his job in a big Chinese city nine months ago and moved to a small community that preaches sustainable living and mindful consumption. “After graduating from college, I lived a very mainstream life,” the 30-year-old former software developer told Reuters. “I dated, got married, and found a job.” (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Yang Zhaoyu and Chen Yan meditate in the early morning inside a dome shaped house on a hill at AnotherCommunity. Yang Zhaoyu quit his job in a big Chinese city nine months ago and moved to a small community that preaches sustainable living and mindful consumption. “After graduating from college, I lived a very mainstream life,” the 30-year-old former software developer told Reuters. “I dated, got married, and found a job.” (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Updated on Dec 30, 2019 03:14 PM IST
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Yang Zhaoyu scans a leaf with his smartphone to find out its species with an app, at AnotherCommunity. Reuters reports that China’s teeming megacities have drawn hundreds of millions of people from rural villages and small towns in search of jobs and wealth, but people like Yang are part of an emerging trend in the opposite direction. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Yang Zhaoyu scans a leaf with his smartphone to find out its species with an app, at AnotherCommunity. Reuters reports that China’s teeming megacities have drawn hundreds of millions of people from rural villages and small towns in search of jobs and wealth, but people like Yang are part of an emerging trend in the opposite direction. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Updated on Dec 30, 2019 03:14 PM IST
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Chen Yan shops for vegetables at a grocery store in Guandong village close to where the alternative lifestyle community is located. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Chen Yan shops for vegetables at a grocery store in Guandong village close to where the alternative lifestyle community is located. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Updated on Dec 30, 2019 03:14 PM IST
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Xing Zhen teaches her students how to weave, in a common room of AnotherCommunity. A recent poll of people aged 18-35 by a state think-tank found 52% of those living in smaller towns and cities had moved there after spending on average three years in top-tier cities, citing the fast pace of life. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Xing Zhen teaches her students how to weave, in a common room of AnotherCommunity. A recent poll of people aged 18-35 by a state think-tank found 52% of those living in smaller towns and cities had moved there after spending on average three years in top-tier cities, citing the fast pace of life. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Updated on Dec 30, 2019 03:14 PM IST
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Tang Guanhua, Xing Zhen, Zhen’s parents and her students have lunch at AnotherCommunity in Guanzhong village. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Tang Guanhua, Xing Zhen, Zhen’s parents and her students have lunch at AnotherCommunity in Guanzhong village. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Updated on Dec 30, 2019 03:14 PM IST
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Xing Zhen cooks lunch for her weaving class students at AnotherCommunity in Guanzhong village. Chinese media is full of stories about people seeking alternative lifestyles in the countryside. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Xing Zhen cooks lunch for her weaving class students at AnotherCommunity in Guanzhong village. Chinese media is full of stories about people seeking alternative lifestyles in the countryside. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Updated on Dec 30, 2019 03:14 PM IST
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Da Wang mounts freshly chopped bamboo to make a rack at his farm, at AnotherCommunity. A newspaper reported in 2018 that a young woman had moved into the Zhongnan mountains in Shanxi province seeking a hermit life. Her story went viral on social media after she was forcibly evicted. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Da Wang mounts freshly chopped bamboo to make a rack at his farm, at AnotherCommunity. A newspaper reported in 2018 that a young woman had moved into the Zhongnan mountains in Shanxi province seeking a hermit life. Her story went viral on social media after she was forcibly evicted. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Updated on Dec 30, 2019 03:14 PM IST
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Tang Guanhua uses his laptop as he takes part in an online meeting inside a building which he and Xing Zhen built, at the AnotherCommunity. After a year at AnotherCommunity, residents can vote to have a say in its affairs and use shared funds and resources. There are currently five permanent members. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Tang Guanhua uses his laptop as he takes part in an online meeting inside a building which he and Xing Zhen built, at the AnotherCommunity. After a year at AnotherCommunity, residents can vote to have a say in its affairs and use shared funds and resources. There are currently five permanent members. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Updated on Dec 30, 2019 03:14 PM IST
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Liu Peilin eats breakfast at her house at AnotherCommunity. The community also serves as a safe space for 63-year-old transgender woman Liu, who has known Tang for several years. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Liu Peilin eats breakfast at her house at AnotherCommunity. The community also serves as a safe space for 63-year-old transgender woman Liu, who has known Tang for several years. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Updated on Dec 30, 2019 03:14 PM IST
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Da Wang holds up a wire for Xing Zhen as he drives a vehicle through his farm at AnotherCommunity. “Whatever they do, I just hope they make something of it,” said the village’s Communist Party chief, surnamed Lin to Reuters. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Da Wang holds up a wire for Xing Zhen as he drives a vehicle through his farm at AnotherCommunity. “Whatever they do, I just hope they make something of it,” said the village’s Communist Party chief, surnamed Lin to Reuters. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Updated on Dec 30, 2019 03:14 PM IST
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A surveillance camera is seen at AnotherCommunity. In 2018, the community had to destroy much of what they had built due to pressure from the local government, though in recent months they have been left alone. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

A surveillance camera is seen at AnotherCommunity. In 2018, the community had to destroy much of what they had built due to pressure from the local government, though in recent months they have been left alone. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Updated on Dec 30, 2019 03:14 PM IST
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Chen Yan and Yang Zhaoyu burn branches and weeds to make plant ash which is used to cover faeces in an ecological toilet at AnotherCommunity. It is now opening to the public for a four-month trial. Since mid-October, over 20 potential residents -- from former computer programmers to online English teachers and freelance videographers have signed up to join the community. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Chen Yan and Yang Zhaoyu burn branches and weeds to make plant ash which is used to cover faeces in an ecological toilet at AnotherCommunity. It is now opening to the public for a four-month trial. Since mid-October, over 20 potential residents -- from former computer programmers to online English teachers and freelance videographers have signed up to join the community. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Updated on Dec 30, 2019 03:14 PM IST
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Xing Zhen walks at AnotherCommunity in Guanzhong village. Mountains have attracted young people from all over China. At one point, the community had over 600 residents, many former city dwellers, according to media reports. The regional government, irked by what they saw as an incursion, tore down the illegal structures. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Xing Zhen walks at AnotherCommunity in Guanzhong village. Mountains have attracted young people from all over China. At one point, the community had over 600 residents, many former city dwellers, according to media reports. The regional government, irked by what they saw as an incursion, tore down the illegal structures. (Tingshu Wang / REUTERS)

Updated on Dec 30, 2019 03:14 PM IST
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