Archive for the ‘Guangdong Travel’ Category

How to Visit Kaiping Diaolou from Guangzhou

Monday, September 21st, 2020
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Plan your Guangzhou tour?  A side trip to Kaiping County, 130km southwest of Guangzhou is highly recommended. Kaiping is world famous for its Diaolou (fortified village houses ), pristine villages and old townships. Kaiping Diaolous and villages were named as World Cultural Heritage in 2007 for their harmonious fusion between Chinese and Western structures.

Kaiping Diaolous were originally built in the early Qing Dynasty and fully developed in 1920s and 1930s. There are mainly three kinds of fortified village towers:  Watch Towers, Communal Towers and Dwelling Towers. Watch towers were built to guide against any possible forays by bandits; communal towers were built collectivly with the fund raised by all the villagers.

They would hide themselves in case of bandits’ attack. These kinds of communal towers were often built behind villages while watch towers were built at the entrance of a village. Dwelling Towers were built as a combination of a residential house and a watch tower. Today, approximately 1,833 diaolou towers remain standing in Kaiping County.

All the diaolou towers are now scattered around the villages in Kaiping County.  Some villages have been chosed by the local tourism bureau to be open to the public. These selected villages have been turned into a large “Diaolou Tourist Site” with tourism administration.

A combo ticket allows you to visit three villages where the most representitive diaolou towers stand. The three villages are Zili Village (自立村) in Tangkou Township, Majianglong Village (马降龙村) in Baihe Township and Jinjiangli (锦江里) in Jiangang Township.

Most of the tall and impressive diaolou towers were funded and built by oversea Chinese returning home from South Asia, Australasia, and North America.  The Kaiping diaolou towers were built in a variety of architectural styles featuring a perfect combination of traditional Chinese watchtowers and classical European architecture.

The combo ticket also allows you to visit Li Garden ( 立园) in Beiyi Xiang,which was built in 1936 by Mr. Xie Weili, a Chinese emigrant to the United States.  On your village trip in Kaiping, you can visit Chikan (赤坎), the charming old town with the featuring Qilou structures.

How to go to the selected villages in Kaiping from Guangzhou?

1) Take buses: you may take buses to Kaiping Yici Bus Station from Guangzhou Bus Station ( by the Guangzhou Railway Station) : 145-149 Huanshi West Road, Guangzhou Tel: (020)86661297.  When you reach Yici Bus Station in Kaiping, you may connect local buses to your selected villages.

2) Hire a private vehicle with a driver or self-drive. It is highly advised to hire a private car or van to tour freely around these villages.

Now follow me to have a glimpse of the diaolou towers, Li Garden and Chikan in  the villages and townships in Kaiping.

Dialou Towers in Zili Village of  Tangkou Township

The two Diaolou Towers behind the small Zili Village

The two Diaolou Towers behind the small Zili Village

The two Diaolou Towers behind the small Zili Village

The two Diaolou Towers stand amid the paddy fields

The two Diaolou Towers stand amid the paddy fields

The two Diaolou Towers stand amid the paddy fields

Diailou Towers in Majianglong Village of Jiangan Township

The diaolou tower is harmoniously nestled in the greenery of the village.

The diaolou tower is harmoniously nestled in the greenery of the village.

The diaolou tower is harmoniously nestled in the greenery of the village.

The walled Diaolou towers in Jiangan Village

The walled Diaolou towers in Jiangan Village

The walled Diaolou towers in Jiangan Village

The three magnificent diaolou towers in Jinjiangli Village of Baihe Township.

Ruishi Lou,the highest tower in Kaiping

Ruishi Lou,the highest tower in Kaiping

Ruishi Lou,the highest tower in Kaiping

Shengfeng Lou, one of the most beautiful towers in Kaiping

The charming old town of Chikan

The the streets of shophouses with an arcade on the ground floor, the fusion of Chinese and western styles.

The the streets of shophouses with an arcade on the ground floor

The the streets of shophouses with an arcade on the ground floor

The streets are viewd from the bridge over Tanjiang River in the town

The streets are viewd from the bridge over Tanjiang River in the town

The streets are viewd from the bridge over Tanjiang River in the town

Tip : Hassle-free Guangzhou Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Guangzhou:


Guangzhou Half Day Tour  from US$75 p/p
Guangzhou Highlight Day Tour    from US$80  p/p

Guangzhou Day Trip to Kaiping  from US$95  p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Guangzhou
How to Visit Guangzhou in One Day
Guangzhou Pearl River Night Cruises
How to Visit Chen Clan Ancestral Hall Guangzhou
How to Visit Mausoleum of the Nanyue King
How to Visit Kaiping Diaolou from Guangzhou

How to Visit Guangzhou in One Day

Sunday, September 20th, 2020
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Plan your Guangzhou tour? If you are pressed for time and would like to visit Guangzhou in one day or just a few hours’ layover tour, my proposed highlight Guangzhou day tour will bring both the modern and ancient Guangzhou to you, which you can customized per your own request.

It will spread to you the vivid and true picture of Guangzhou – museum, temple,  vernacular buildings, modern architecture, walking streets, river banks, parks, church  and Zhujiang River night cruising.

Guangzhou’s public bus is daunting for first-time visitors and you are hard  to get a taxi in rush hours, so I suggest a combined use of subway and walking on this Guangzhou one day tour.

Subway lines can allow you to have the right directions for your destinations and they are fast and punctual. Walking makes you get closer to the inside of Guangzhou.

Guangzhou Mausoleum of Nanyue king
Address: 867 Jiefang North Rd, Yuexiu, Guangzhou

Leave your hotel around 8:00am and try o find your nearest metro station.  Take subway Line 2 ( or interchange from other subway lines ) and get off at the station of Yuexiu Park (越秀公园) and use Exit E.

Walking along the sideway to the north direction for about 5 minutes, you will see a vermilion building – Guangzhou Mausoleum of Nanyue King.

The selection of the museum as your first destination is not because how much it is fascinating, but because the tomb shows you the building of Guangzhou as a city started over 2200 years ago.

 Guangzhou Mausoleum of Nanyue king.

Guangzhou Mausoleum of Nanyue king.

You may skip the exhibition halls for the dull and dazzling statistics and pictures, go directly to the upper floor under the main exhibition building and go to see the burial site of the Nanyue King.

Buried 20 meters underground, the tomb is composed of over 700 huge stones and slabs carved with colorful murals.

A huge number of ancient artifacts , bronze ware and terra-cotta ware were discovered. The King was in the jade shroud with typical jade burial rite. In addition, 15 human sacrifices found in the tomb reflects the unique burial customs.

Temple of the Six Banyan Trees
87 Liurong Rd, Yuexiu, Guangzhou

Then walk along the sideway of Jiafang North Road (解放北路) to the south direction for about 15 minutes, then right  at the road of Bailing Road (百灵路).

Again turn left at the first T-junction and walk for about 5 minutes along Liurong Road (六榕路), you will see the entrance to Temple of the Six Banyan Trees ( Liurong Temple ).  The temple is well known for its lotus flower pagoda, the main structure of the temple built in 1097.

The entrance to Temple of the Six Banyan Trees with the two words “Six Banyan” above the gate.

The entracnce to Temple of the Six Banyan Trees

The entrance to Temple of the Six Banyan Trees

The Lotus Pagoda inside the Temple

The Lotus Pagoda in the Temple

The Lotus Pagoda in the Temple

Guangxiao Temple
109 Guangxiao Rd, Yuexiu, Guangzhou

After finishing your visit to the Temple of Six Banyan Trees, you walk along Liurong Road (六榕路) to the north direction and turn right at the T-junction and walk on Cangqian Road (仓前路) to the west direction.

Again come across a T-junction and turn left and walk on Haizhu North Road. Again come across a T-junction and you turn right and walk on Jinhui Road (净慧路), soon you will see the Guangxiao Temple on your right side.

The entrance to Guangxiao Temple

The entrance to Guangxiao Temple

The entrance to Guangxiao Temple

The Guangxiao Temple is the largest monastery in Guangdong Province with the longest history and greatest influence.

It was originally the former palace of Prince Zhao Jiande, the grandson of King Zhao Tuo, the first king of Nanyue Kingdom in the Western Han Dynasty.

The monastery has an important position in Buddhist history as Huineng of the Zen Buddhist sect was a  monk here in the 7th century.

The grand Hall of Mahavira

The grand Hall of Mahavira

The grand Hall of Mahavira

The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall
By the Chenjiaci Station of Subway Line 1

At the end of your glimpse of Guangxiao Temple,  you exit and walk to the south along Guangxiao Road ( 光孝路). Then come across Zhongshan Road (中山路), one of the main avenues in Guangzhou and take subway line 1 from the station of Ximenkou (西门口) to the west direction and get off at the next station of Chenjiaci ( 陈家祠) and use the Exit C.

The magnificent entrance or exterior of Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

The magnificent entrance or exterior of Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

The magnificent entrance or exterior of Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall was originally  built by the 72 Chen clans for the accommodation and preparation for the imperial examinations from Chen families in 1894 in Qing Dynasty.

Later it was turned to be the Chen Clan’s Industry College, and later middle schools afterward. Now it is home to the Guangdong Folk Art.  The Chen clan ancestral hall is famous for the ornate decoration which is presented inside and outside the halls.

A large collection of wood carving, stone carving, brick carving, pottery, plaster and iron engraving are seen on the walls,beams, columns, ridges and soon, a trove of Chinese folk arts.

A large collection of wood carving, stone carving, brick carving, pottery, plaster and iron engraving

 A large collection of wood carving, stone carving, brick carving, pottery, plaster and iron engraving

A large collection of wood carving, stone carving, brick carving, pottery, plaster and iron engraving

Xiguan Dawu ( Xiguan Old and Big Houses)
After your exploring the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall,  walk back to the subway line 1 and take the subway to the west and south direction and get off at the next stationof Changshou Road (长寿), and  use exit B and walk to the north along Baohua Road (宝华), then turn left and walk along Baoyuan Road (宝源路) to the west direction.

In 20 minutes, you will come across the north-south Longjin West Road (龙津西路). You turn right and walk to the north along Longji West Road and soon you will come across Longjin Birdge (龙津桥).  You stroll along the banks of Lizzhiwan River and start your Xiguan Old Houses tour.

Xiguan is a traditional geographical division of Guangzhou. It is situated in Liwan District, on the west of Guangzhou. Longjin Road (龙津路) is the center of old Guangzhou culture.

The big and old buildings were built in the past  100 years. people still live in their old house. These houses  are combination of eastern & western architecture  The houses all have the traditional Lingnan characteristics blended with western styles.

The old houses lie on the banks of Lizhiwan River.

The old houses lie on the banks of Lizhiwan River.

The old houses lie on the banks of Lizhiwan River.

The big and old houses were originally built in Qing Dynasty and the Republican Era of China with a history of over 100 years.

The big and old houses were originally built in Qing Dynasty and the Republican Era of China

The big and old houses were originally built in Qing Dynasty and the Republican Era of China

Dishifu Street  (第十甫)and Shangxiajiu Street (上下九街)
At the end of your glimpse of Xiguan Old Houses, you take  a taxi or walk to the most well known pedestrian streets Dishifu and Shangxiajiu streets which are flanked by the unique and historical architecture, blending the characteristics of European and Chinese styles. It has a group of old famous stores, some well-known restaurants.

Dishifu Pedestrian Street

Dishifu Pedestrian Street

Dishifu Pedestrian Street

Shamian Island

At the eastern tip of Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street,  you turn right and walk on the south direction along Renmin South Road, and soon you will get to Shamian Island.

Shamian Island, is a sandbank island in the Liwan District of Guangzhou city. The island’s name literally means “sandy surface” in Chinese. The island was sectioned into two concessions offered to France and the United Kingdom by the Qing government in the 19th century.

The island is home to a cluster of the architectures of colonial European period, with quiet pedestrian avenues flanked by trees and gardens. The island houses  several hotels,  restaurants and tourist shops selling curios and souvenirs.

Starbucks housed in an old European styled building

A Church  on the small island

A Church on the small island

A Church on the small island

The Cathedral of Sacred Heart

Out from Shamian Island, you just stroll along the Green Path along the northern bank of Zhujiang River to the east direction, soon you reach Renmin South Road ( 人民南路), then walking along Renmin South Road in the north direction and turn left at Yide Road ( 一德路).

When you see  a big signboard over the street with the two Chinese chinese characters ” 石室”,then you turn left and see the towering Church.

The Cathedral is a magnificent construction with walls and columns made of granite. It is well known both in the main land China,and oversea for its gothic architectural style and characteristic features of high towers, clusters of huge columns, pointed arches and stained glass windows.

It was founded 1863 and completed in 1888, date of the Feast of Sacred Heart which become the name of the Cathedral. It covers an area of some 2754 square meters, 35m west to east,78.69m high.

The Cathedral is a magnificent construction

Inside the Church

Inside the Cathedral

Inside the Cathedral

Zhujiang River Night Cruising at Tianzi Wharf
Walk out of the church and back to Yide Road (一德路) and stroll to the east and soon come across the north-south Jiefang South Road (解放南路).  Walk along Jiefang South Road till its southern tip, then walk to the east along the green path of the northern bank of Zhujiang River.

Soon you will pass by Zhujiang Square and Zhujiang Bridge and you see a waterfront building – Tianzi Wharf.  The first boating will start at 6:40pm.

The cruise tickets include a buffet on the ship.  If it is too early, you may take stroll along the waterfront green path to appreciate the views of the river banks.Lightened Bridge

Lightened Bridge

Lightened Bridge

The colored Canton Tower

The colored Canton Tower

The colored Canton Tower

After enjoying the night view,  you may use the subway station of Line 1 by Jiiefang Road.

Tip : Hassle-free Guangzhou Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Guangzhou:

Guangzhou Half Day Tour  from US$75 p/p
Guangzhou Highlight Day Tour    from US$80  p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Guangzhou
How to Visit Guangzhou in One Day
Guangzhou Pearl River Night Cruises
How to Visit Chen Clan Ancestral Hall Guangzhou
How to Visit Mausoleum of the Nanyue King
How to Visit Kaiping Diaolou from Guangzhou

Any questions, just drop a line.

Guangzhou Taxi: Guangzhou Taxi Fares, Tips and Phones

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019
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Plan your Guangzhou tour? Currently Guangzhou has thousands of taxis operated by over 80 taxi companies with taxis in different colors such as yellow, blue, maroon. Taking taxi is a common and convenient way for transportation within the city.

Taxi Models in Guangzhou
The models of taxi in Guangzhou include Jetta, Volkswagen, Santana, Red-flag, Sonata, Buick, Golden cup, Citroen and more.  The taxis in Guangzhou have 7 colors – red, yellow, blue, green, silver…

Guangzhou Taxi

Guangzhou Taxi Fares:
•RMB 12 flag-drop for the first  3 km
• RMB 2.6 per each km beyond 2.5 km.
• Meters will automatically add additional 50% after running 25 km for returning empty

Guangzhou Taxi Company Booking Calls
If you need to book a taxi, please make the calls:
Tel: 96900
Tel: 96122
Tel: 83600000

Hailing a Guangzhou City Taxi
The best places to hail a taxi is near the Station, the Airport, Bus stop, Scenic Spots, Hotel and the taxi stands.

Guangzhou Taxi rider’s rights
As a taxi rider, you have the rights below:
Direct drive to your destination and no compulsory car pooling;
Go to any destination in and beyond Guangzhou;
Your car driver knows the streets in Guangzhou and the way to major destinations in Guangzhou;
Your driver should know and abide by all traffic laws;

Air-conditioning on demand;  A radio-free trip;  No Smoking  A clean passenger seat area;  A clean trunk  A driver uses the horn only when necessary to warn of danger;

Important Tip
Please remember to ask for and keep the receipt because there is taxi identification number on it and this comes in handy when you forget some valuables in a taxi.

Guangzhou Taxi Complaints
If you have any problem with a taxi in Guangzhou, please contact the following:
•Guangzhou Taxi Complaining No.: 020-96900

If You forgot your luggage in a taxi, What can you do?

First, if you have a paper receipt for your taxi ride. It is easy to find the taxi company and contact them for your lost luggage.

If not, things will be a bit complicated. Try the three ways below:

1. Try to remember the color of your taxi and with the help of the local people around you, find the taxi company and call them.

2. With the help of your local Chinese friends, you can contact the local traffic radio station (Each city has a traffic radio), asking them to assist you finding your luggage. Most of the taxi drivers listen to the radio.

3. Call 110 and tell your story. Maybe you have the CCTV (surveillance cameras) on the streets to know the taxi you got off.

Anyhow, don’t give up! Good luck!

Guangzhou Taxi Useful Information
•Using a meter instead of bargaining with the cab driver
•If you want to take a taxi to suburban areas of Guangzhou, you can have a bargain with the driver before you get in the taxi.
•Guangzhou Railway Station – Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport: RMB100
•Guangzhou Eastern Railway Station – Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport: RMB150
•Guangzhou Fangchun Bus Station – Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport: RMB120

Guangzhou Taxi Stands
Generally speaking, the taxi stop boards are located just not far from the bus station boards and those large departments and shopping malls often has special stop for taxi passengers.

However, people still hail a taxi anywhere they feel safe and convenient.

Tip : Hassle-free Guangzhou Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Guangzhou:

Guangzhou Half Day Tour  from US$75 p/p
Guangzhou Highlight Day Tour    from US$80  p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Guangzhou
How to Visit Guangzhou in One Day
Guangzhou Pearl River Night Cruises
How to Visit Chen Clan Ancestral Hall Guangzhou
How to Visit Mausoleum of the Nanyue King
How to Visit Kaiping Diaolou from Guangzhou

Any questions,  just drop a line.