Zhongdong village in Guizhou Province, China, is believed to be the country’s only inhabited, year-round 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 early 2011. 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.