Li and his wife
A family who chose to live in the remote Zhuangzi village of Luanchuan county in Henan province, only connecting with the outside world through a mountain tunnel and a cellphone, has gained attention online after a photo story documenting their daily life was published on Tencent News.
66-year-old Li Weicheng and his 58-year-old wife rely on themselves by keeping bees, raising chickens, planting crops and gathering herbs.
Li is seen getting water from a stream.
Li told reporters that they use the water gushing from a gully behind their house, and they plant rice and vegetables to sustain themselves.
When villagers had tried to persuade Li to move out, he said: “I am not good at making contact with people or doing business. Although my life here is a bit tough, I am very happy.”
At the age of 57, Li married a divorced woman who was eight years younger than him. In recent years, his wife has suffered from dementia.
Li and his wife have a daughter, who occasionally takes her son to visit them.
Li is photographed feeding chickens.
Li listens to the radio while going about with his daily tasks.
The above picture is a tunnel that was excavated by villagers almost five decades ago. It’s also the main route through which Li leaves his secluded area.
“In summer time, the water in the tunnel sometimes rises up to our thighs. We need to make it through by the light of a torch. In colder days, when the water floods, we have to detour around the mountains to get out,” Li said.
A few places near Zhuangzi village have been developed and remodeled in recent years, and Li receives a subsidy. He spent part of his savings and the subsidy building a 50-square-meter bungalow outside the remote village. Other villagers had moved about one kilometer away from the village some five years ago. Li, however, has chosen to stay and live in seclusion.
Li is picking vegetables before cooking.
By Lucy Liu
[Images via Tencent]