From the Mirror (UK): “Chinese hermit found living in cave for 20 years – which is 50ft climb up a cliff face,” published August 22, 2013. (The article is reprinted here because so many such articles on the web tend to disappear too soon.)
Authorities have tried to place Feng Mingshan, 54, in a nursing home but he keeps escaping and heading back to his cave home high above a ravine
Some people like to have their own chair or their own room in the house to get a slice of the quiet life, but one Chinese man has chosen a cave 50ft high to get away from the neighbours.
Feng Mingshan, 54, has lived in a cave high above a ravine, which is only accessible by a vertical climb, in the southern Shaanxi Province and two-hours away from his native Gaobadian for 20 years.
The hermit, who claimed to have found the cave when was a boy, has made some home improvements to his cosy dwelling, but failed to say why he chose this life.
“It was a small cave when I found it, and I expanded it to its current size using a hammer,” he said, shouting to a reporter outside the cave.
“I also cleared the path through the ravine. Summer is cool here and it’s good.”
The cave entrance has a curtain hanging at the entrance, and his family revealed they do keep in contact Feng – though none of his brothers have made it up the steep climb.
“My brother seldom talks to others and has never been engaged. But he’s lived in there for over 20 years,” said his younger brother.
Residents say Feng is often seen in the village looking for supplies and are amazed by what he does to get in and out of his cave.
One resident said: “He usually comes out at night and climbs in and out the cave with ease. It’s really amazing.”
However, local government officials are wanting to persuade Feng to move from his home, even trying to put Feng in a nursing home several times, but he eventually escaped after failing to get along with other residents.
According to town mayor Xu Min, Feng was diagnosed with intermittent psychosis in 2011, and moved back into his cave after briefly receiving treatment.
“Some local officials went to visit Feng a few days ago and waited for two hours with no sight of him,” said Xu. who said the local government will continue to support Feng and persuade him to move from the cave.